As expected, both leading candidates in the Republican and Democratic primaries in New York on Tuesday extended their leads over their rivals. Hillary Clinton took 135 delegates to Sanders’ 104, all but cementing into place her nomination at the Democrat convention in July. Donald Trump extended his lead over his nearest rival, Ted Cruz, by running the board, taking 89 delegates to none for Cruz.
What was unexpected was the margin of Trump’s victory, beating the polls by seven percent with 60.5 percent of the vote, compared to 25 percent for John Kasich and 14.5 percent for Ted Cruz.
Trump’s victory speech was short and to the point. Filled with the glittering generalities that have endeared him to his supporters, Trump exclaimed: “We’re going to use our great business people to negotiate unbelievable trade deals so we bring our jobs back and we don’t let our companies go to Mexico and all of these other countries anymore. We’re going to keep the jobs here…. We’re going to build our military bigger, better, stronger than ever before. Nobody is going to mess with us, that I can tell you.”
He added that, for all intents and purposes, the Republican primary is over, and he has won: “Senator Cruz is just about mathematically eliminated.… We’ve won millions more votes that Senator Cruz. Millions and millions more votes than Governor Kasich. We’ve won, especially after tonight, close to 300 delegates more than Senator Cruz. We’re really, really rocking.”
Trump has made significant changes to his campaign staff, pointing toward the July convention in Cleveland and the general election after that. Trump’s new convention manager, Paul Manafort, who has advised the presidential campaigns of Republicans Gerald Ford, Ronald Reagan, George H. W. Bush, Bob Dole, George W. Bush, and John McCain, said “We’re expanding [Trump’s] campaign. He is recognizing this is a phase we have to go through. The convention is another phase, and [then] we get to the general election. It’s a whole different phase.”
The Financial Times looked at the numbers following Trump’s victory on Tuesday night and said he’s got it locked up: “Mr. Trump effectively closed off the path for Mr. Cruz to win the 1,237 delegates needed for the nomination on the first ballot in Cleveland.”