The political world was in a New York state of mind Tuesday night, as voters from Montauk to Buffalo headed to the polls to vote for the Democratic and Republican presidential candidates. The politics team liveblogged the whole affair. Here’s my first-look analysis:
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.