On Tuesday, the frontrunners of both the Republican and Democratic presidential nomination races took home big wins in New York’s presidential primary. Donald Trump padded his significant delegate lead with a huge sweep in his home state, taking over three-fifths of the popular vote and nearly all of New York’s 95 delegates. The decisive win was Mr. Trump’s first by a majority of the vote, a showing in keeping with the businessman’s gravitas in the state where he made most of his multibillion dollar fortune.
Hillary Clinton easily fended off a surging Bernie Sanders in the Empire State, winning 58 percent of the vote and picking up the lion’s share of the state’s 247 delegates. Her easy victory dealt a massive blow to the Sanders campaign, which had hoped to leverage its momentum from a long string of successes in the West to produce a victory on Mrs. Clinton’s home turf. Mr. Sanders, the earnest septuagenarian senator from Vermont, spent nearly twice as much in New York as his opponent, funding a massive television and radio advertising blitz which ultimately did little to overcome his polling deficit. According to RealClearPolitics, his finish was only 0.6 percent better than his polling average in the state.
Mrs. Clinton’s strong performance put to rest concerns that her campaign was faltering in the face of Mr. Sanders’s invincibility throughout the western primaries and in Wisconsin, where the senator notched an important win early this month. Though still lagging in terms of voter enthusiasm, Mrs. Clinton demonstrated once again her campaign’s superior organization and deep support among registered Democrats, who were the only people permitted to participate in New York’s closed primary.
On the Republican side, Donald Trump exceeded expectations, losing only a single district in the entire state. After a hot streak in the Colorado and Wyoming caucuses, Texas Senator Ted Cruz stumbled in New York, winning no delegates and taking only 14.5 percent of the popular vote. Ohio Governor John Kasich took four delegates and about a quarter of the popular vote, demonstrating signs of life at a critical juncture in the race. With a battery of northeastern primaries coming on April 26th, Mr. Kasich needed to demonstrate himself to be a better alternative to Mr. Trump than Mr. Cruz, whose abrasive style and strongly conservative sentiments make him a poor fit for the well-educated, politically moderate Republican electorate in next week’s primary states.
Going forward, Mr. Trump hopes to replicate his performance in New York in next week’s primaries. Majority victories in Maryland, Connecticut, and Pennsylvania would effectively shut out the real estate mogul’s opponents, who are locked in fierce battles for second place in virtually every state. In Delaware, the only strictly winner-take-all state to vote on the 26th, Mr. Trump holds a massive lead and is set to sweep the state’s delegation.
A dominant showing in the Northeast would leave Mr. Trump well-positioned to win Indiana on May 3rd. Taking Indiana would be the first of two crucial steps—the second being a victory in California on June 7th—to crossing the 1,237 delegate threshold needed to secure the nomination at the Republican National Convention.