Emily Flitter and Jonathan Allen — Reuters April 19, 2016
Republican Donald Trump and Democrat Hillary Clinton won commanding victories in New York state’s U.S. presidential nominating contests on Tuesday, recapturing lost campaign momentum and moving the front-runners closer to their parties’ nominations.
The billionaire businessman’s huge victory in his home state put Trump in position to win nearly all of the state’s 95 delegates, edging closer to the 1,237 delegates needed to win his party’s presidential nomination and avoid a contested national convention in July.
Clinton’s dominating double-digit primary election win in New York, which she once represented in the U.S. Senate, snapped Democratic rival Bernie Sanders’ winning streak and made it nearly impossible for him to overtake her delegate lead.
Trump captured about 60 percent of the vote, easily beating Ohio Governor John Kasich, who got 25 percent, and U.S. Senator Ted Cruz of Texas, who had 15 percent, with 95 percent of the votes counted. For Trump, it was enough to win all 14 statewide delegates and most of the delegates from each of New York’s congressional districts.
“We don’t have much of a race anymore based on what I’m seeing on television,” Trump, 69, told cheering supporters at a victory party at his Trump Tower in Manhattan. “We are really, really rocking.”
He said the Republican Party establishment forces that have tried to keep him from a first-ballot victory at the convention are “in trouble,” and repeated his criticism of a “crooked” system that has allowed Cruz to outmanoeuvre him and win delegates in a series of recent state conventions.
Trump entered the New York contest with 756 delegates, while Cruz had 559 and Kasich had 144, according to an Associated Press count. The count includes endorsements from several delegates who are free to support the candidate of their choice.
Trump said his New York win would make it almost mathematically impossible for Cruz, 45, to win the nomination on the first ballot at the party’s national convention in July.
If Trump cannot secure enough delegates to win the nomination on the first ballot at the July 18-21 conclave in Cleveland, delegates would be allowed to switch to other candidates.
Some establishment Republicans have been alienated by Trump’s more incendiary proposals, such as building a wall along the border with Mexico and temporarily banning Muslims from entering the country.
“We have shown the all-talk, no-action politicians that this is a movement that cannot be stopped,” Trump said in an email to supporters after his win.