A woman dances before US Republican presidential candidate Donald Trump speaks at a campaign event in Buffalo.
(photo credit: REUTERS)
New York natives Donald J.Trump and Hillary Clinton won their home-state primaries on Tuesday, solidifying their leads as front-runners for their respective party’s presidential nominations.
On the Democratic side, Clinton, formerly a New York senator and US secretary of state, met expectations by winning virtually every demographic across the state: The young and old, men and women, black and Hispanic, Protestant, Catholic and Jewish voters. The primary was closed, meaning that only registered Democrats were allowed to vote for either her or Sen. Bernie Sanders of Vermont.
Clinton’s sweeping victory – she secured 58 percent of the vote – extended to districts with some of the largest Jewish populations in the country. In the nation’s very largest Jewish community, New York’s 10th congressional district, Clinton beat Sanders, getting 66% of the vote to his 34%.
Sanders is running out of leeway for opportunities to pick up delegates to the Democratic nomination, and would have to secure every state going forward by double-digit margins in order to catch up with the former secretary.
In such a scenario, he still would fail to reach the requisite number of delegates to clinch the nomination.
And Clinton is heavily favored in the states to come: California, Indiana, Pennsylvania, Maryland and New Jersey, chief among them, all of which Clinton won facing then-Sen. Barack Obama in 2008.
Sanders’ campaign manager told US media on Tuesday night that the socialist senator hopes to win enough delegates to deny Clinton the nomination outright, allowing him to contest the convention. All contests on the Democratic side assign delegates on a vote-proportionate basis.
On the Republican side, Trump also met expectations by winning the Empire State handily.
He secured over 60% of the total vote. But in order for Trump to have collected all the state’s 95 delegates, GOP rules required the candidate to win over 50% of the vote not only statewide, but also in every congressional district.
He failed to do so by losing one congressional district – the east side of Manhattan, which preferred Gov. John Kasich of Ohio – cutting his net victory to an estimated 89 delegates.
A robust win in New York was essential for Trump as he fights to secure 1,237 delegates to the Republican National Convention in July – the number required for him to automatically secure the presidential nomination. Party insiders believe he will still be able to secure the nomination with un-pledged delegates should he arrive at the convention in Ohio between 50 and 100 shy of that magic number.
But to get there, Trump must win every state in the Northeast yet to vote – including Maryland, Connecticut, Pennsylvania, West Virginia and New Jersey – as well as Indiana and California, two delegate-rich states.
The demographics of Indiana and California both offer Sen.
Ted Cruz of Texas – Trump’s nearest rival – the chance to perform well. But a recent poll out of California suggests Trump will ultimately win in the state, which votes on June 7.
“We don’t have much of a race any more,” Trump said in his victory speech, noting that Cruz has no mathematical path to securing the nomination through future electoral victories. But he went on to say he would have only the night to celebrate his home-state win, and that he would be “back to work” immediately, given the narrow path he faces himself.
Trump currently has 845 delegates to his name; 734 delegates remain up for grabs.