If delegates were awarded to candidates based on the number of counties they win, Sanders would have swept New York. With nearly all the results in, it’s striking that he seems to have won nearly four times as many counties as his opponent. Too bad the population density of many of those he captured—only ones lying north of Rockland and Westchester Counties—is less than 50 people per square mile.
New York delivered big wins to a favorite son and a favorite daughter on Tuesday, as Hillary Clinton and Donald Trump dominated returns.
Clinton—who isn’t a native, but in the grand tradition of New York transplants, represented the state in the U.S. Senate—bested Senator Bernie Sanders, who spent his early years in Brooklyn and retained the accent despite his long residence in Vermont. Clinton’s win was no surprise, but she ended up beating Sanders by around 15 points, exceeding most predictions. On the Republican side, Queens native Trump cruised to a huge victory and celebrated his win at Trump Tower, where he announced his campaign with a brash and splashy press conference 10 months ago.
The Republican side was the one to watch Tuesday. Trump has dropped the last couple of nominating contests, and he’s been shellacked at state conventions across the country where delegates are selected to go to the Republican National Convention. That puts Trump in danger at a contested convention, where delegates are freed up to vote for the candidate of their choice on the second, third, or subsequent ballots (depending on state rules), and makes it even more important for him to secure the 1,237 delegates required to win the nomination outright.
That figure has become more challenging in recent weeks, but it is not out of reach for Trump, and Tuesday’s dominant showing brought it a lot closer. By winning the state, Trump picked up 14 of its 95 delegates. But most of the GOP delegates are allocated by congressional district—any candidate who tops 50 percent clinches all three in each district, while they’re otherwise split. For John Kasich and Ted Cruz, the goal on Tuesday was simply to keep Trump under 50 percent in as many places as possible and peel off a few delegates.
It wasn’t a great night for those plans. With the votes mostly counted, Trump was on pace to take roughly 90 delegates. By Tuesday night, Cruz’s campaign had decided the Texan was unlikely to win a single delegate. He spoke before the polls had even closed at a rally in Philadelphia, where he was campaigning ahead of next Tuesday’s Pennsylvania primary, and barely mentioned Trump. (It turns out that turning an entire state’s “values” into a pejorative is not an effective tool for winning that state.) Kasich, meanwhile, had placed many hopes on New York. Lagging well behind both Trump and Cruz, the Ohioan had hoped that the Empire State’s demographics might echo his home state and give a boost to his campaign—and his argument that only he can win a general election.
Trump was jubilant but uncharacteristically brief at his victory party in Manhattan, where he was backed by his family and joined by New Yorkers from businessman Carl Icahn to former gubernatorial candidate Carl Paladino. He sought to declare the race effectively over.
“We don’t have much of a race anymore based on what I’m seeing on television. Senator Cruz is just about mathematically eliminated,” Trump said, using the Texan’s formal title rather than Trump’s usual favored epithet, “Lyin’ Ted.” But Trump also issued a threat to Republican insiders, warning that voters would not stand for him being denied the nomination if he reaches the convention with only a plurality of delegates, rather than the 1,237-delegate majority. “It’s a crooked system, it’s a system that’s rigged, and we’re going to go back to the old system,” he said. “Nobody can take an election away with the way they’re doing it in the Republican Party.”
Perhaps Trump’s brevity was intended to avoid the provocative comments he has sometimes made on election nights and elsewhere. Certainly, he seemed to be avoiding controversy. Alluding to a recent campaign shakeup, however, he said, “It’s a team of unity. People don’t understand that. The press does understand that, but they don’t want to talk about it.”
Kasich finished second to Trump, with around a quarter of the vote, and he seemed likely to peel off five delegates. Cruz finished a distant third and earned no delegates.
Bernie Sanders’s finish proved a disappointment. (Early exit polls suggesting a closer-than-expected race proved misleading.) Clinton’s home-field example helped her to an easy win. While that edge was always expected, Sanders made a play for New York, campaigning hard across the state, save a short jaunt to the Vatican over the weekend, where he spoke at an event and briefly met Pope Francis.
It’s the first bad night for Sanders in a long time. He had won seven of previous eight Democratic contests, and despite the Clinton campaign’s hopes and expectations, the Democratic race seems to be tightening as it goes forward, rather than allowing Clinton to pull away. In some polls, including the first PRRI / The Atlantic poll this month, Sanders has tied or pulled ahead. But Sanders still lags Clinton by more than 200 pledged delegates (to say nothing of superdelegates), and so he needs big wins to overtake her. The result in New York doesn’t do that for him.
“Today we have proved again there’s no place like home,” Clinton told a crowd in Manhattan. “New Yorkers, you’ve always had my back, and I’ve always tried to have yours.”
Like Trump, and not for the first time, Clinton tried to pivot to the general election and put the primary behind her. But she put that in her strongest terms yet.
"The race for the Democratic nomination is in the home stretch and victory is in sight," she said, telling Sanders supporters, “There is much more that unites us than divides us.”
As usual, Sanders far outpaced Clinton among young voters; the two candidates roughly split voters ages 30 to 44, according to exit polls. Those polls also showed the pair roughly splitting white voters, but Clinton winning African Americans 3-1 and Hispanics 2-1. She also won among the poorest voters.
Sanders barely spoke Tuesday, giving his traveling press corps the slip and jetting back to Vermont, where he held a brief press conference—most of it via conference call, with reporters still on the trail.
The results were somewhat marred by irregularities in the voting process. Reports spread of eligible voters being purged from the roles, in some cases at large scale. Some polling places reportedly opened late or voting machines were not functional. New York City Comptroller Scott Stringer promised an audit. “There is nothing more sacred in our nation than the right to vote, yet election after election, reports come in of people who were inexplicably purged from the polls, told to vote at the wrong location or unable to get into their polling site,” he said. Mayor Bill de Blasio backed Stringer.
That followed several days of complaints about the system. New York’s primary is closed, which means only registered Democrats and Republicans could vote, and the deadline to switch registration was months ago. That system put Sanders at a disadvantage, as he has drawn support from independents, and some of his backers complained that the process was unfair. Also shut out were two of Donald Trump’s children, who couldn’t vote for their father after missing the deadline to register as Republicans.
The small number of votes might have helped Trump in Manhattan, which he was on pace to lose narrowly to Kasich, and where his most prominent developments stand. Home-state status can be a boon, but too much familiarity really does breed contempt. But Manhattan was one small, 13-mile blemish for Trump on an otherwise excellent night.
—David A. Graham
The Empire State Building just went from red, white, and blue to all stark red. Presumably because the Republican race was just called. Or to herald the arrival of the antichrist. Or both.
The Empire State Building turns blood red as Donald Trump wins the New York primary. pic.twitter.com/zK6wPdxQT9— Micah Grimes (@MicahGrimes) April 20, 2016
Bernie Sanders's campaign manager Jeff Weaver went on MSNBC to spin the campaign's New York defeat. Weaver projected a veneer of optimism as he tried to cast New York as an anomaly. "The Secretary and her people should be congratulated for their victory tonight, no doubt about it. But she had a special relationship with the people of New York," Weaver said, adding: "the fact that she did very, very well in New York doesn't necessarily mean the same thing in these other states."
Pressed to project the future, Weaver refused to give an inch. He argued it's unlikely that either Sanders or Clinton will have sewn up the nomination by the time the convention takes place. If that happens, Weaver suggested, the Democratic establishment will decide the outcome. "It's going to be an election determined by the superdelegates," he said. Team Sanders has been saying that they hope to win over superdelegates for some time, but Weaver's assertion nevertheless seems at odds with the campaign's populist power-by-the-people sentiment.
Russell spent his evening in Trump Tower, hanging out with other members of the press, well-heeled residents, and political supporters of the unlikely Republican front-runner. He explains just how much has changed:
Ten months ago, the reporters who gathered to hear Trump rail against illegal immigrants and American decline were paraded in front of a couple hundred “supporters” who were supposedly paid to stand and demonstrate that there were people who wanted this billionaire real estate tycoon to lead them. On Tuesday night, a media contingent numbering in the hundreds were barred from speaking to any supporters at all. Penned in by velvet ropes and the Secret Service, they could only watch as Trump’s well-dressed guests—some of whom, like Trump, lived upstairs—mingled in the lobby and waited for The Donald to come down and claim his win.
Read the rest of his take on Trump’s big win in New York here.
The Clinton campaign is already fundraising off the spending difference Emma mentioned. In an email missive sent before her victory speech tonight, Hillary noted that “we were outspent by more than $2 million, but this team proved that we have the grit and determination to overcome any obstacle in our path.” Seems like Sanders’s impressive fundraising operation was one of those obstacles.
“Today you proved once again, there’s no place like home,” Hillary Clinton said in her victory speech tonight in the Big Apple. Although exit polls indicated a much closer race, the mood at her event was unambiguously triumphant, as CNN’s current vote tally shows an easy victory.
Clinton took the time to capitalize on some of the controversies that have dogged the Sanders campaign over the past few weeks. “In this campaign we’ve won in every region of the country,” she said, calling to mind recent criticism that the Sanders camp has received over comments that seemed to minimize the importance of the South in the primaries as “front-loaded” for Clinton. After looking ahead to other regions that were ostensibly more liberal, the big loss in New York comes as a blow to Sanders, who has now lost the all-important advantage of momentum going into other Northeastern and Mid-Atlantic contests.
Clinton also went after Sanders’s recent struggles in an interview with the New York Daily News editorial board, which ended up endorsing Clinton. “Under the bright lights of New York, we have seen that it is not enough to diagnose the problem, we have to know how you would actually solve the problems,” she said, referring to Sanders’s difficulties in elucidating specific policy levers and outcomes for his plan to break up banks. That interview is the gift that keeps on giving for Clinton.
It seems the former secretary of state is now looking ahead and sees a victory. Depending on the vote tally at the end of the night, there are just not very many pathways for Sanders moving forward, especially after having outspent Clinton’s campaign by a wide margin on ads in New York. Perhaps that bleak outlook is reflected by Sanders’s trip to Vermont this evening to “recharge.” A turnaround victory now will require all the energy he can muster.
During her victory speech, Hillary mentioned donations a number of times—go online, text her hotline, doesn’t matter, just give her cash. Money-wise, though, Bernie is hurting more than his opponent this evening. According to the Center for Public Integrity, he outspent her on broadcast, cable, and radio ads in New York by about $3 million. Not a great price to pay for a big defeat.
I spotted Carolyn Maloney in the audience just behind Clinton, waving an American flag. The New York congresswoman, whose district includes parts of Manhattan, Queens, and Brooklyn, has been a longtime Hillary booster. Back in 2013, she embraced the Ready for Hillary campaign, which sought to encourage a 2016 Clinton run. To a New York City radio station that year, Maloney said that if Clinton were to launch a bid, “I want her to know that I’m there, my friends are there.” Fast-forward a few years and Maloney is actively campaigning for the former secretary. And, apparently, cheering her on at victory parties.
Bernie Sanders briefly congratulated Hillary Clinton for her win in New York. It was a strange unfolding of events, however, as Sanders appeared to have left his national press corp behind, leading him to hold a conference call. As for why he’s back in Vermont tonight, Sanders said, “I need to get recharged and take a day off.”
Ohio Governor John Kasich has yet to win a state outside his home turf, but he’s making an impressive showing in Trump’s backyard. In the 10th and 12th congressional districts, which encompass Manhattan’s lower half, he’s poised to snatch 2 delegates from the real-estate baron. Keep in mind this is where Trump has rubbed elbows and built skyscrapers for his entire adult life! Now he’s struggling to break 50 percent among the people who should know him best. If only his kids had changed their voter registrations in time...
Wondering what Hillary Clinton thinks about the state of the Democratic race? Her victory speech tonight provided an answer. After the New York primary win, Clinton thinks she’s got the nomination pretty well sewn up. “The race for the Democratic nomination is in the home stretch, and victory is in sight,” she told an adoring crowd.
I’ve been sober for ten grueling wonderful years, and as I sit here watching democracy favor an orange billionaire whose theory of campaigning—winning!—was originally coined by Charlie Sheen, it’s hard not to be a smidge jealous of those who imbibe and who can therefore tamp down all this insanity. When it occurs to me that Donald Trump—who has been a lifelong teetotaler—is a total waste of sobriety. I mean, if you’re going to spend a lifetime not drinking, use that to achieve great things, like Warren Buffet or Chuck D. Someone could become Donald Trump while being drunk All. The. Time. What a waste.
Sanders may have lost the New York primary, but as voting results come in, he is still winning out over Clinton in areas of western and upstate New York, including Erie County where my hometown of Buffalo is located. That doesn't surprise me. Buffalo is a rust belt city with a long-struggling economy that's been hard hit by a manufacturing decline. It makes sense that Sanders’s populist economic message caught on in the city just as it did in Michigan.
Donald Trump always tries to project self-confidence, telegraphing to his detractors: “I’m unbeatable, unavoidable, and you might as well get on board.”
His base-line attitude is so triumphant that even on the night of a significant primary win, he’s his typical self. “We’re close to 70 percent,” Trump said Tuesday night from Trump Tower. (CNN at the time was reporting his support at closer to 60 percent.) “We’re going to end at a very high level, and get a lot more delegates than anybody projected even in their wildest imaginations.”
That’s some deliberately compelling phrasing, but really, Trump was expected to win. Race watchers have mostly been debating how much he’d win by. The candidate himself is ready to call the primary entirely right now. “We don't have much of a race anymore based on what I’m seeing on TV,” he said, adding how he has hundreds more delegates than his rival Ted Cruz. Later, he criticized the Republican electoral process that allocates those delegates, and expressed sympathy for Bernie Sanders’s battle on the Democratic side for superdelegates.
Trump kept his remarks fairly short and didn’t take questions, as he has at previous victory events. But he made sure to get in a reference to his staff, which has been under a harsh spotlight in recent days after reports of intra-campaign fracturing. He called his campaign a “team of unity,” and suggested people simply don’t understand what’s really going on.
Trump seemed to take pride in his home state delivering for him. There’s “nowhere where I’d rather have this victory,” Trump said. Moments later, he walked away from the lectern to Frank Sinatra’s “New York, New York.”
It looks like John Kasich will win second place in the state’s primary. His campaign is pitching this as an indicator that Kasich is best prepared to come against Trump in the Northeast. Kasich has shown no signs of backing down from the race. Last week, he suggested in a speech that there are two options for the Republican nomination, comparing his path—“well trod, it is at times steep, but it is solid”—to another, which could “drive America down into a ditch and not make us great again.” In any case, it appears Kasich is still likely to affect the convention as he splits the vote in state contests.
Bernie may hail from Brooklyn, but voters from four of the five boroughs were cold to the Vermont senator during today's primary. With nearly all of the results in from Manhattan, Brooklyn, Queens, and the Bronx, CNN is showing roughly 20- to 30-point percentage leads for Clinton over Sanders in those districts. The only exception: Staten Island, which still went to Clinton, but by a much smaller margin.
ABC and NBC News have now called the New York primary race for Hillary Clinton. Her campaign must be breathing a major sigh of relief after early exit polling results showed Clinton with a tight, but relatively narrow, lead. As the results have started to trickle in, Clinton opened up that lead. CNN, which also just called the race for Clinton, shows her with 60 percent of the vote to Sanders’s 39 percent.
Staten Island goes 80+ percent for Trump. But Kasich is leading in Manhattan. Trump of course has literally plastered Manhattan with his name. So he’s winning the state but not his home turf, which—again—bears his name all over the place. Maybe it’s time to show Shoalin some love? Next up: Trump Towers Brighton Heights? The Apprentice: Willowbrook?
CNN’s gaudy election night stunt—turning the Empire State Building red to announce Trump’s huge win—is a feat of high technology. The building’s state-of-the-art LED-illumination system can display 16 million colors. But it’s also a throwback, to a time when such stunts served a much more practical purpose.
In 1891, the 1.5 million candlepower lantern atop Joseph Pulitzer’s New York World building projected the election results up on the cloud-covered sky in Morse code. The next year, not to be outdone, the Herald mounted an enormous searchlight on Madison Square Garden. It would’ve shone toward Harlem to signal a Benjamin Harrison win; instead, it beamed its message south toward Battery Park, to tell the city that Grover Cleveland had prevailed.
These days, New Yorkers have faster ways to find results—they can pull out their phones, and load this liveblog. But lighting the Empire State Building restores some sliver of the civic ritual of election night—summoning ordinary New Yorkers to look out their windows, or come out into the streets, to see what they’ve collectively decided about the future of the country.
The Empire State Building turns blood red as Donald Trump wins the New York primary. pic.twitter.com/zK6wPdxQT9— Micah Grimes (@MicahGrimes) April 20, 2016
Sanders has pushed the issue of income equality and corporate greed mercilessly throughout the campaign, and particularly during last week’s Democratic debate. But CNN’s exits show him losing out to Clinton among the poorest New Yorkers. The network’s poll of 1367 respondents shows her winning 55 percent of voters who make less than $30K per year.
Exit polls show a narrow gap between Hillary Clinton and Bernie Sanders among Latino voters. According to CNN’s results, 59 percent backed Clinton compared to Sanders’s 41 percent—the closest numbers I can recall in the presidential primary thus far. In other states with a number of Hispanic eligible voters, like Florida and Texas, Clinton held a commanding lead, with 68 percent in Florida and 71 percent in Texas. As I noted earlier, the two candidates spent time in New York courting Hispanic voters, but this may signal gains for Sanders in the community.
The Empire State Building just went from red, white, and blue to all stark red. Presumably because the Republican race was just called. Or to herald the arrival of the antichrist. Or both.
The Empire State Building turns blood red as Donald Trump wins the New York primary. pic.twitter.com/zK6wPdxQT9— Micah Grimes (@MicahGrimes) April 20, 2016
Polling has suggested that New York state will deliver a victory for Hillary Clinton, and based on CNN exit polls Clinton does have a lead, though it is narrower than many would have expected with Clinton at 52 percent and Sanders at 48.
New York is a critical contest for Democrats given that there are 247 delegates at stake, which will be awarded proportionally based on the results. Clinton continues to beat Sanders in the all-important delegate race, but her campaign could still use a lift, and victory in New York would certainly deliver. Sanders has won a slate of recent primary contests, and Clinton’s national polling lead has eroded.
Earlier this week, Donald Trump issued a mandate to New York's voters: "We have to win by big numbers!" he said at a rally in Poughkeepsie.
It's looking like his Empire State compatriots listened. Just as the polls closed at 9 p.m., MSNBC and CNN called the state for Trump, who'll soon be speaking at Trump Tower. They didn't waste a minute in announcing his victory, because he was widely expected to do well, particularly in the city, on Long Island, and in western parts of the state. He's looking for a clean sweep. As my coworkers have previously mentioned, if he gets more than 50 percent of the statewide vote, he'll win 14 delegates. And if he snags more than 50 percent in each congressional district, he'll get three delegates per district.
John Kasich and Ted Cruz, who were polling in second and third, respectively, in New York, hoped the voters there wouldn't give their hometown boy a major victory. They hoped to pick off delegates here and there, in their ongoing effort to temper Trump's confidence going into the GOP convention.
In the coming hours, we'll see just how big Trump's win is.
At Trump Tower in Manhattan, hundreds of reporters are packed into a makeshift press area in the lobby, all awaiting Trump to claim his expected victory in New York. Velvet ropes separate the media from Trump's well-heeled supporters, some of whom live in the building. Supporters are crowded into the atrium downstairs and along the gold-rimmed escalators. Trump is expected to speak shortly after the polls close.
Ted Cruz isn’t going to win New York’s primary—and he knows it, kicking of his speech Tuesday night with a nod to Donald Trump, “the politician winning his home state tonight." The Texas senator spoke in Philadelphia shortly before the polls closed in New York. The event was originally dubbed “an election night watch party,” but changed to a “Pennsylvania kickoff event,” according to The New York Times’s Matt Flegenheimer.
And that it was. Cruz presented himself as an outsider, even aligning himself with the outsider in the Democratic race, Bernie Sanders. “This is the year of the outsider. I am an outsider. Bernie Sanders is an outsider. Both with the same diagnosis, but both with very different paths to healing,” Cruz said. “Millions of Americans have chosen one of those outsiders. Our campaigns don’t find our fuel in special interests, but rather directly from the people.”
The location of the speech alone made clear that Cruz didn’t expect to emerge the victor in the Empire State, despite a recent string of victories. Cruz, perhaps stained by his past remarks on "New York values,” trailed behind Donald Trump in the run-up to the election. Exit polls didn’t paint a promising landscape for Cruz either. Evangelicals comprised just a quarters of voters, according to ABC News’s preliminary exit poll results. And only two in 10 voters identified as “very” conservative. Compare this to the nearly two-thirds of GOP primary voters who favor an outsider rather than someone with political experience.
But Cruz’s campaign continues to fight for enough delegates to prevent Trump from securing the 1,237 delegates needed to secure the nomination. As NBC reported, Cruz has shifted his focus to Pennsylvania for the state’s unbound delegates. And there, Cruz, who invoked President’s Obama slogan, hopes to secure a win: “Coming together as one, as we the people, because not only do we say yes we can, beginning here and now we pledge, to each and every one of us, yes we will. And now, my friends, onward to victory.”
Less than one hour from now, Donald Trump is scheduled to speak at his gilded Trump Tower, where his campaign first began. This time, he won't need to pay actors to cheer him along; the Midtown crowd is bound to be enthusiastic by its own choosing.
At least one recent entrant to Trump Tower, though, isn't so supportive of his campaign. The Boston Globe's Matt Viser points out on Twitter that a subversive Bernie Sanders supporter left behind a campaign sticker in support of the Vermont senator.
In one of the grand entryways to Trump’s party this evening, there is an intrusive bit of campaign paraphernalia. pic.twitter.com/ArHI2ySuxM— Matt Viser (@mviser) April 19, 2016
It may've been planted as an act of protest—a signal to Trump and his ilk that he doesn't have this election in the bag yet. But Trump backers looking to celebrate a likely win may simply view it with bemusement.
There’s another result in ABC’s exit poll that’s no less shocking for being a routine feature of the campaign season. Even in cosmopolitan New York—a state built on successive waves of immigration, serving as a port of entry for generations of Americans—six in ten Republican voters told pollsters they’d support a temporary ban on Muslims entering the United States.
That’s actually somewhat lower than the rate in other states this season, but it’s still a dispiritingly clear majority of GOP voters prepared to employ a religious test for entry.
But there’s some question how to interpret such results. In a recent PRRI / The Atlantic survey, we put the question a little differently: Did voters support banning people who are Muslim from entering the U.S.?
Just dropping the word ‘temporary’ generated dramatically different results. Levels of support were still high: 49 percent of Trump supporters, 37 percent of Republicans, and 24 percent of all Americans. But those tallies are still much lower than those generated by exit polls. And the fact that not even a majority of Trump voters support a ban when it’s not presented as a temporary—and presumably, emergency—measure provides some reason for optimism.
The early exit polls are out, and if they’re accurate, they portend a very good night for Hillary Clinton and Donald Trump.
ABC News’s poll shows that, as in other states, Clinton has done much better among Democrats, and Sanders among independents—each, the poll suggests, winning two-thirds. But only two in ten Democratic voters identified themselves as independents, probably because New York holds a closed primary with the most restrictive registration rules in the nation.
On the Republican side, ABC shows 56 percent of voters saying that Trump offers their best chance in November. That’s usually a decent proxy for his overall level of support—people who aren’t voting for Trump tend to be less sanguine about his prospects. And it suggests he has a real shot at securing an outright majority—and with it, every delegate up for grabs. But, as always, these early returns need to be taken with a very large grain of salt; they suffer from methodological limitations, and their results will be adjusted to reflect the rest of the voting, and the actual returns.
Bad news for Bernie. An eleventh-hour lawsuit that supporters of the senator hoped might open up New York state’s closed primary won’t be decided in time to have an impact on the Democratic primary race. The New York Times reports that a “court, not wishing to interfere with the primary election, deferred a ruling to a later date.” The lawsuit was filed on Monday by Election Justice USA, a group that calls itself as a national voting rights organization. The group took to Facebook yesterday to announce that it planned to file the emergency lawsuit in New York federal district court. As noted on this liveblog, an open primary would stand to benefit Sanders by allowing Independent voters to cast ballots for him in the crucial primary. Unfortunately for Team Sanders, it looks like that won’t come to pass.
No one is expecting John Kasich to make a big splash tonight. (Haven’t we written that about a million times?) But he polls surprisingly well in some parts of the state outside New York City. In Staten Island, where Trump reins supreme, the Ohio governor is behind by nearly 60 percent, according to an Emerson College poll conducted late last week. But in western New York, where nearly a third of voters say they’d vote for him, the gap drops to around 10 points. That doesn’t mean he’ll actually win anything, but he could keep a few sorely needed delegates away from Trump.
The reports of voting problems plaguing polling sites in Brooklyn have gotten the attention of New York Mayor Bill de Blasio, who issued a statement shortly before 5:30 Eastern denouncing a purging of the voting lists that apparently affected entire buildings and blocks. "I am calling on the Board of Election to reverse that purge," said de Blasio, who is himself a Brooklynite.
He said he supported the audit—which Emma reported on earlier—that Comptroller Scott Stringer said he would undertake in advance of down-ballot primary elections scheduled for June. “These errors today indicate that additional major reforms will be needed to the Board of Election and in the state law governing it,” the mayor said. “We will hold the BOE commissioners responsible for ensuring that the Board and its borough officers properly conduct the election process to assure that voters are not disenfranchised. The perception that numerous voters may have been disenfranchised undermines the integrity of the entire electoral process and must be fixed.”
For the Democrats, today's delegate math is easy. Clinton and Sanders will fight for New York's 247 pledged delegates on two fronts. First, 84 delegates will be divvied up based on the statewide vote. At the same time, the remaining 163 delegates will be proportionally awarded based on the results in each of New York's 27 congressional districts. Between 5 and 7 delegates are up for grabs in each district.
The GOP delegate hunt is a little more complex. 95 delegates are up for grabs for Trump, Cruz, and Kasich. Like the Democrats, they'll compete for a pool of statewide delegates, as well as 27 smaller pools of delegates in each congressional district. A candidate who wins 50 percent or more of the statewide vote gets all 14 statewide delegates. If no candidates gets more than 50 percent, those 14 delegates are awarded proportionally, with a 20 percent threshold to receive any of them.
The 50-percent rule also applies for the remaining 81 delegates in the 27 congressional districts. Each district offers 3 delegates apiece. If Trump, who leads by a wide margin in recent polls, wins 50 percent or more in a district, he gets all of its three delegates. But if two candidates keep the third one below 50 percent in a district, 2 delegates go to the first-place candidate and the remaining one goes to the runner-up.
If tonight's results reflect the polls, Trump could leave his home state with a substantial sum of delegates. But it also wouldn't be hard for Cruz or Kasich to chip away a few delegates for themselves. Each one they grab puts Trump one step further away from the 1,237 delegates he'll need to clinch the Republican nomination on the first ballot in Cleveland.
More on what Emma wrote below about polling irregularities: Voters also reported missing poll workers—and, as a result, late facility openings—at more than one site in Brooklyn. One Board of Elections official told ABC 7 his department will “get to the bottom” of the delays.
Meanwhile, Stringer has been aggressively going after the Board of Elections. “We intend to find out why the BOE is so consistently disorganized, chaotic and inefficient,” he said on Tuesday. This isn't the first time this primary cycle that we’ve heard of troubles at the polls, as Priscilla mentioned. But this is certainly the most full-throated response I’ve seen from an official condemning what’s gone wrong.
The New York City comptroller, Scott Stringer, has issued a throw-down to the New York City Board of Elections. Responding to a number of voter complaints reported today, he sent a letter to the executive director, Michael J. Ryan, notifying him of an impending audit. “As I’m sure you would agree, whether you are a Democrat or Republican, all New Yorkers deserve an electoral system that is free, fair, and efficient—not one riddled with chaos and confusion,” Stringer wrote.
Among the complaints he cited, along with other primary-related dust-ups: Polling stations opening late and operating faulty machines. Misleading postcards sent to roughly 60,000 newly registered voters which suggested the wrong date for the primary. Another error on the Spanish version of absentee ballots, which cost more than $200,000 in postage fees to correct. An unexplained drop in the number of Democrats listed on voter rolls in Brooklyn between November of last year and this month—63,558 names disappeared, according to WYNC.
A lawsuit about the voter-registration changes was filed Monday.
I’m from Syracuse, New York—the city of, not the suburbs. I get that “lake effect” is a term of art, and I bleed orange. Here’s a common phenomenon: I once had a conversation with a guy from Brooklyn who asked why someone like me, who wasn’t from New York, knew so much about the governor—this is the solipsism of my fair state’s largest city. People in New York City also call parts of the Bronx “upstate” New York. As if. (Besides, in ‘Cuse, we think of ourselves as central New Yorkers.)
The New York City myopia is widespread. Pundits are quick to warn liberal candidates for statewide office that upstate voters aren’t New York New Yorkers. If you think of New York City as a primary, then the rest of the state is like the general election. Candidates on the left move to the center—for all those rural upstate voters.
But here’s the thing: It’s a lie. Upstate is not the deep-red hinterland it is portrayed to be.
In fact, of New York state’s registered voters, half are Democrats and just a quarter are Republicans. There are also more Independents in the state than there are Republicans—that’s why this closed primary is such a big deal. This means a tiny, insular, and downright weird New York Republican Party is running the show—and the days of New York Republicans like Rudy Giuliani and George Pataki are over.
Who did the GOP run against Andrew Cuomo for governor in 2010? Carl Paladino, a Buffalo businessman whose campaign slogan was: “I’m mad as hell, and I’m not gonna take it anymore!” Apparently, he once saw Network. As Rachel Maddow pointed out last night, this Tea Party favorite also enthusiastically emailed hard-core pornography to hundreds of people, sent out racist emails about the Obamas, proposed turning vacant jails into dorms for the poor, and called Kristen Gillibrand Chuck Schumer’s “little girl.” In other words, he was Donald Trump before Trump.
Unsurprisingly, that’s also who Paladino is supporting this election. And, as my hometown paper, The Post-Standard, reports, he has been “bullying” GOP legislators to do the same. Six years after his loss to Cuomo, it seems Paladino is still mad as hell.
“You are supposed to make decisions in the best interests of your constituents,” Paladino emailed New York House Republicans last month. “They’re angry. It’s a festering anger, built up over the years by a smoke and mirrors government working to keep the political class comfortably feeding at the public trough.”
Then: “This is the beginning,” he said. “It’s going to get worse for those that continue to hold out. I’m being nice … I will do everything I can to marginalize them.”
A final email declared, “This is our last request that you join Trump for President and try to preserve what’s left of your pathetic careers in government.”
It’s not clear where Paladino goes from here threat-wise, but it seems fair to say that the New York Republican Party is in as much disarray as the national Republican Party. No wonder Trump is doing so well among New York Republicans upstate—and downstate.
For some New York primary voters, today’s elections have been quite the headache. The New York Daily News reports that at some polling locations in Brooklyn and Queens, voters arrived “to broken machines and belated polling.” Ben Casselman from FiveThirtyEight documented some of the chaos via Twitter when polls couldn’t open because a coordinator was not present on site. The location eventually opened. Voter woes are not entirely surprising. Throughout the presidential primary, there have been a series of snafus, perhaps most notably in Arizona, where voters waited hours in line to vote. (The Democratic National Committee, along with the Clinton and Sanders campaigns, are suing the state.)
In New York, voters are also filing complaints about the state’s closed primary rules in addition to other issues, according to a report by ThinkProgress. “The traffic to our polling hotlines has been pretty significant,” said Kristen Clarke, the president and executive director of the Lawyers’ Committee for Civil Rights Under Law. “We’re seeing a high volume of calls, which suggests this is not an election that is problem-free.”
Those Sanders voters, man, can they be a handful, wearing their buttons and T-shirts and other Berned paraphernalia. There’s a whole cottage industry for Feeling and Expressing the Bern. But according to New York state law, “no political banner, button, poster or placard shall be allowed in or upon the polling place or within such one hundred foot radial.” Warnings abound on reddit, local media, and elsewhere: Leave the swag at home.
Perhaps the temptation is on both sides of the Democratic race, though. This car? Definitely not allowed to in a polling place for the New York primary.
New York is home to one of the largest Hispanic populations in the country at about 3.7 million. According to the Pew Research Center, Hispanics make up about 14 percent of New York eligible voters—a significant uptick from 1990 when Hispanics made up 8 percent of the electorate. Despite struggling to gain traction among minority voters, Bernie Sanders appears to be roughly even with Hillary Clinton among Hispanics nationwide, according to a PRRI / The Atlantic poll. The two candidates courted Hispanics in the lead up to the state’s primary.
Clinton has secured the support of New York City Council Speaker Melissa Mark-Viverito as well as Representatives Jose Serrano and Nydia Velázquez. Hispanic voters are unlikely to dramatically sway the vote on Tuesday. But it could provide a glimpse into how Sanders and Clinton have been doing among the electorate, which has been a point of contention in the past. Younger voters appear to be more enthusiastic about Sanders, as has been in the case throughout the primary, while older voters have mostly backed Clinton.
An interesting point, Clare. New York is not alone in having closed primaries—more than a dozen states, including soon-to-vote Pennsylvania, also bar voting across party lines. But in New York, the deadline to switch party affiliation was Oct. 9, 2015, nearly 200 days ago, the longest gap in the country. Recall that in October, Clinton was ahead in national polls by 16 points or so; Sanders has now narrowed the gap to single digits. It appears there’s a lawsuit in the works to challenge this.
One aspect of New York voting that puts Bernie Sanders at a disadvantage is the fact that, as others have mentioned, the state holds a closed primary. Anyone currently registered as an Independent won’t be able to vote for Sanders as a result. That could spell trouble for the Vermont senator since, as Priscilla noted, Sanders tends to do well with Independent voters. On Tuesday, the candidate rebuked the rule, telling reporters: “Today, 3 million people in the state of New York who are independents have lost their right to vote in the Democratic or Republican primary. That’s wrong.” The argument lines up well with Sanders’s message that the system is rigged against the kind of political revolution he’s trying to build. If Sanders loses to Clinton in New York, as polling predicts, expect the candidate to point to the inability of Independents to vote for him as part of the reason why.
As Rob noted last week, Clinton and Sanders faced off on climate issues in the most recent Democratic debate—one of their most sophisticated conversations on energy and environment so far in the campaign. Sanders came down hard on Clinton for her positions on hydraulic fracturing, or fracking: While he supports a nation-wide ban, she supported expansion of the practice while she was secretary of state and now only wants to limit its use. The campaign also put out an ad last week highlighting Sanders categorial position against the the drilling practice.
This could be important in the New York primaries: Part of the state sits on the Marcellus Shale—prime territory for natural-gas extraction. Last summer, the state officially banned the practice, and a 2014 University of Michigan poll suggested that less than a third of residents supported this kind of drilling. A few counties in the Southern Tier of the state—the part that borders Pennsylvania to the north—did threaten to secede once the ban announcement was made, but they seemed to be in the minority.
Perhaps not coincidentally, Sanders has close ties to two of the few U.S. states and localities that have banned fracking: Vermont, which was the first state to ban the practice; and New York, where he’s from.
Donald Trump made an “easy decision” on Tuesday: He voted for himself. The Republican front-runner, who’s polling ahead of Cruz and Kasich, cast his ballot at Central Synagogue in Manhattan. “It’s a proud moment. It’s a great moment. And who would’ve thought? It’s just an honor,” Trump said. As CNN notes, it’s the first time Trump has ever voted for himself.
Despite Senator Sanders’s protests about the “front-loading” of southern states in the Democratic primaries and the sentiment that liberal hotbeds were buried in the calendar, New York's primary is ideally situated for him. Although polling in the Empire State still shows Hillary Clinton with a sizable lead, Sanders has closed the polling gap by almost 30 points since March. He has also gained ground in the other Democratic powerhouse of California, which will hold its primary contest in June.
Had these states held primaries on Super Tuesday in March, there’s a good chance that Sanders would be out of the race today. The two states hold a whopping 722 delegates, and even if Sanders does not win New York he can continue to extend the fight by pulling close to even. Had Sanders lost on similar lines to his earlier polls, he would have been behind several hundred delegates, with no momentum of which to speak.
This is all, of course, a hypothetical of limited usefulness. States tend to warm to candidates as they campaign there. But it does bring the question of just what Sanders’s complaint about the South was meant to accomplish. Outside of the February contests, states choose when they place their primaries, and Clinton might have been expected to have early leads regardless of which states chose to vote first. Sanders’s fundraising apparatus has had the time to kick into high gear, outspending Clinton by wide margins in New York ads.
All-in-all, the calendar seems most amenable to a late momentum-fueled charge for Sanders. Save for an alternate reality of clairvoyant cherry-picking of contests that he would win and placing them early, this was the likely route. Interestingly, the original conceptualization of superdelegates by the Hunt Commission in 1981 was as a way to counteract the “front-loading” problem by including independent delegates that would decide how and when they wanted. Now, while publicly decrying the system, the Sanders camp seems to have embraced the primary process as the Commission envisioned it would work for outsider candidates: weathering early losses and relying on a war of attrition and the support of superdelegates to bring the race to the convention.
Ted Cruz clearly knows, just as any Philadelphia-area native does, that Philly is a less expensive, but nevertheless dynamic, alternative to New York City.
All five remaining candidates have criss-crossed the Empire State over the last two weeks, stumping not only in New York City but Upstate and on Long Island as well. When the polls close on Tuesday, however, the two front-runners will be just a few blocks away from each other in midtown Manhattan. Hillary Clinton is holding her primary-night event at a Sheraton on 53rd Street and 7th Avenue, while, as Nora mentioned, Donald Trump will be holding his now-customary election night “press conference” at—where else?—Trump Tower, which is on 5th Avenue and 56th Street. The third New Yorker in the race, Bernie Sanders, won't be in the state on Tuesday, having already decamped to the next big battleground, Pennsylvania. He'll be holding an evening rally at Penn State. Ted Cruz will be in Philadelphia, while John Kasich will be holding a town hall in Maryland on Tuesday night.
Donald Trump will get the hard-won vote of at least one of his children in the New York primary. His campaign just announced that the Republican's eldest son, Donald Trump Jr., will cast his ballot for his father Tuesday afternoon at a polling place on the east side of Manhattan. As I’ve written and Priscilla mentioned below, two of Trump’s other adult children, Eric and Ivanka, can’t vote in the New York primary because they didn’t register as Republicans in time. The Donald's youngest daughter, Tiffany Trump, 22, is reportedly eligible to vote for him in Pennsylvania, where she is a senior at the University of Pennsylvania. That would give Trump a 50 percent turnout rate among his eligible children, making his family fairly representative of the nation at large!
Tensions are running high in the Democratic race as voters head to the polls in New York. The Hillary Clinton campaign put a finer point on its argument that Bernie Sanders doesn’t have the party’s best interests at heart on Tuesday when chief strategist Joel Benenson wondered aloud whether Sanders would become “a Ralph Nader and try to destroy the Democratic Party when it comes to defeating Republicans in November” during an interview on CNN. The accusation refers to the 2000 presidential election, in which Nader ran as a Green Party candidate. Some Democrats feared Nader would siphon off support from then-Democratic nominee Al Gore, who ultimately lost the election to George W. Bush.
The remarks were prompted by a scuffle that erupted on Monday between the Sanders and Clinton campaigns. It all started when the Sanders campaign leveled an accusation at the Hillary Victory Fund—a joint-fundraising committee for the Clinton campaign, the Democratic National Committee, and 32 state Democratic Parties—suggesting that the fundraising effort has been used to improperly subsidize the Clinton campaign. In a press release, team Sanders raised the possibility that the fund may have violated campaign finance laws. At least some election-law experts are so far casting doubt on the claim, and it may be more of a political maneuver than a valid accusation. But it has already started quite a fight. The Clinton campaign rushed to denounce the accusations on Monday, calling the incident “irresponsible and poisonous.”
Senator Lindsey Graham famously said that choosing between Donald Trump and Ted Cruz for the Republican nomination is “like being shot or poisoned.” Earlier this morning, as his home state turned out to vote, New York Congressman Peter King took the self-harm metaphor to a whole new level. “I hate Ted Cruz,” said the typically blunt rep. “And I think I'll take cyanide if he ever got the nomination.”
This wasn't the first time King—who isn't endorsing any of the remaining candidates, but voted absentee for John Kasich—has expressed such disdain for Cruz. But while his remarks are extreme, his anti-Cruz attitude dovetails with that of other members of Congress. His attitude might also reflect New York voters’ sentiments about Cruz. The Texas senator isn’t expected to do well in the state, and he got an icy reception last week at a Manhattan GOP gala. King’s own Long Island, meanwhile, is expected to turn out for Trump.
On Sunday, The New York Times published an interesting map showing the distribution of Trump contributors in New York City's five boroughs. The surprising thing for me: Even in a place with a population as dense and diverse as New York’s, there are entire swaths of the city where not a single person contributed more than $200 to his campaign. Trump’s financial support is largely concentrated in Staten Island, the southern part of Brooklyn, and the northern stretches of Queens, as well as midtown Manhattan (which likely includes donors who listed their office as their address). FiveThirtyEight highlights the similarities between Staten Island and Queens, noting that both boroughs have sizable white populations who identify as being of Italian, Irish or “American" ancestry—all strong indicators for Trump support.
It’s official. Hillary Clinton has cast her ballot. As Nora noted earlier, Clinton might have a home-field advantage. A win in the state could give her a leg up after Sanders’s recent string of victories.
In 2008, more than 1.89 million voters cast a ballot in the New York Democratic primary compared to roughly 670,000 Republicans in the same year. With increased interest in the race this cycle, those numbers, particularly on the Republican front, could rise.
But New York is also known for its restrictive voting laws, which has so far excluded two of Trump’s adult children from voting and could go on to hinder Sanders supporters. As Russell noted, the state “has no early voting and same-day registration.” Last week, Trump told the hosts on Fox & Friends that Ivanka and Eric won’t be able to vote for him in the state’s closed primary because they missed the deadline to register with a political party. On the Democratic side, Sanders has fared well with independents, but unless they changed their party registration by the October deadline last year, they won’t be able to cast a ballot for their preferred candidate. In any case, county election officials are preparing for huge turnout—and perhaps voters unaware that they are ineligible to cast a ballot.
Why is this mid-Atlantic primary different from all other mid-Atlantic primaries? This year, New York skipped a week ahead of Delaware, Pennsylvania, Maryland, and a couple of New England states with its Democratic and Republican races. The answer has to do with state politics, the DNC … and Passover.
It started in 2011, when the New York legislature passed a bill to move the next year’s primary to April. That piece of legislation expired in 2012, which meant the primary reverted back to the date set previously in state law—the first Tuesday in February. This violated national party rules, so the legislature tried to set this year’s contest for April 26. The only problem: Passover falls late in the Gregorian calendar this year, meaning that some voters would be observing the holiday or out of town on that date. An estimated 6 percent of New Yorkers are Jews. This was a problem.
Their solution: hold the primary on April 19. Thanks to that change, the Jews of New York will be able to eat their matzo—hopefully the kind made by Ted Cruz—comfortably knowing the results of the New York primary this year.
You can read more—probably more than you’d ever want to know about New York electoral politics, honestly—at the Frontloading HQ blog.