Clinton, Trump Triumph in New York Primaries

For the Democrats, the presidential contest is basically over. The Republican still have a long way to go.

Former American secretary of state Hillary Clinton gives a speech in New York City, New York, April 18
Former American secretary of state Hillary Clinton gives a speech in New York City, New York, April 18 (Hillary for America/Michael Davidson)

Hillary Clinton and Donald Trump won the Democratic and Republican presidential primaries, respectively, in New York on Tuesday, making a Clinton-Trump contest in November more likely.

Clinton’s win was less overwhelming than Trump’s. She got nearly 58 percent support in the state she once represented in the United States Senate against 42 percent for her socialist rival, Bernie Sanders.

But in terms of delegates, Clinton is now so far ahead of Sanders that it is almost impossible for him to catch up.

Including so-called superdelegates (party officials), Clinton already has 1,930 out of the 2,383 delegates needed to win the nomination, according to the Associated Press.

By NBC News’ count, Sanders would need to win 59 percent of the remaining regular delegates to win a majority of them. And then he would still need to persuade a majority of superdelegates to vote for him at the convention. Neither seems likely.

Delegate math

The delegate math on the Republican side is more complicated.

Trump got around the same level of support as Clinton: 61 percent. But his party’s delegate-allocation rules benefit the winner: Trump took 89 of New York’s 95 Republican delegates, bringing his total up to 845 against 559 for his closest rival, Texas senator Ted Cruz.

Cruz got almost no support in New York, a state whose liberal values he derided earlier in the campaign.

He would need to win almost all the remaining delegates to get the 1,237 needed for the nomination. That is virtually impossible, especially when Trump is expected to do well in other Northeastern states like Connecticut, Maryland and Pennsylvania later this month as well.

The Texan’s hope is rather to deny Trump a majority and then convince enough delegates to switch to him on the convention’s second ballot.

Most delegates are only bound to support the candidate who won their district or state on the first ballot. Many will not be Trump supporters personally and eager to nominate someone else.

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