By JUSTIN HANSON (@HunterHanson1)
Photo credit goes to scmp.com.
New York had its primary for both major parties Tuesday, and the results taught us a lot.
They taught us that New Yorkers did not respond well to Ted Cruz’s criticism of New York values. They also taught us that Donald Trump really can say and do almost anything without losing votes — apparently including confusing convenience store 7-Eleven with national tragedy 9/11.
Perhaps the most important realization after The Donald’s huge win in New York’s Republican primary has more to do with what is coming: Trump is in a great position to sweep up a majority of the delegates available on Tuesday.
Trump has now won New York, Vermont, New Hampshire and Massachusetts. The states voting Tuesday are Rhode Island, Connecticut, Delaware, Maryland and Pennsylvania, all located in a geographic area that has proven to be more Trump-friendly than most political pundits expected.
If he wins a large majority of the delegates available, which he seems well positioned to do, he has a very strong path to the Republican nomination. Trump is virtually guaranteed to have the most delegates of any Republican candidate come Convention time, but it is likely that he could find himself on the losing end of a brokered convention if he does not have the full 1,237 delegates required to win the nomination outright.
Assuming he does well on Tuesday, he would still need very strong performances in a few other large states. If he can keep his momentum going through Indiana May 3, he could ride it to a successful performance in California.
Should Trump command a large proportion of the state’s 172 delegates, it could be game over for the Establishment Republicans. Cruz would be wise to focus hard on Pennsylvania (the state with the most delegates up for grabs Tuesday) and then get to work in Indiana and California in the coming days. Kasich needs to perform strongly in these Northeastern states to attempt to prevent Trump from reaching 1,237.
On the Democratic side, it is almost inevitable now that Hillary Clinton will be the Democratic candidate in 2016. Bernie Sanders has started a movement, but it hasn’t been enough. Clinton has a strong but not insurmountable lead in pledged delegates (the ones assigned based on the voters in each state), but she is absolutely dominating Sanders when it comes to superdelegates (elected Democrats and party leaders who each get a vote).
This lead in superdelegates is because Clinton represents the establishment Democrats and is more of a “traditional” Democrat. For Sanders to win the nomination, he would have needed to garner a noticeable lead in pledged delegates in order to win over some of the superdelegates.
Here’s hoping that Trump and Schwarzenegger combine to make some interesting headlines in California. After all, the only thing more pumped up than Schwarzenegger’s muscles is Trump’s ego.
Photos credit goes to The New York Times and broscience.org.