New York was one of the important states to watch in the presidential primaries for both major parties, with some candidates’ teams even referring to the weeks leading up to the New York primaries as some of the most important of their campaigns. While there can be a lot of bias built into the reporting from major media companies (as another Affinity writer made clear in this piece) reactions from political commentators are just as important as the actual numbers at the end of polling. By both measures, whether we like it or not, Donald Trump did very well tonight.
Pretty much as soon as polls closed, the Republican race was called for Donald Trump. CNN’s exit polling showed 68% of Republicans in New York believe Trump is the candidate who can bring about change, and 56% believe he’s the right candidate to defeat Hillary Clinton (assuming she wins the democratic nomination). It’s a scary thought, but one political commentator referred to him as an “unstoppable force” in the Republican race after this win, and they might be right.
While it’s up for debate whether Donald Trump will gain enough delegates to secure his party’s nomination before their convention, nearly everyone agrees that there’s no way Ted Cruz or John Kasich can gain the nomination short of making some deal at a contested convention. But how likely is it really that the powers that be in the Republican Party will be able to deny him the nomination when he’s winning so many states by such large margins? With the tone of his speeches changing, it’s clear that regardless of what anyone else thinks, he’s convinced he’s going to get the Republican nomination. Trump’s campaign is now more concerned with making him seem like a good general election candidate, and it will be interesting to see how exactly they’ll go about doing that.
Calling the race on the Democratic side took longer, but ultimately Clinton was projected as the winner. To Bernie Sanders’ credit, the margin of victory for Clinton wasn’t as wide as many had thought it would be even a few weeks ago, and Sanders will still get a good number of delegates from the state. Looking forward, while it’s generally accepted that tonight’s win was impressive for Clinton, it does still seem that there’s a chance that she won’t be able to win her party’s nomination with pledged delegates alone, and she’ll need her superdelegates to get to the required 2,383.
In theory, if the Sanders campaign can win some of the remaining states by wide enough margins, he might be able to convince some superdelegates to defect to his side. In theory. But – and I say this as someone with a lot of love for Bernie Sanders – it’s a long shot. A lot of mainstream commentators are ready to call the country-wide Democratic race for Hillary, insisting it’s now time for Bernie to stop attacking Hillary and “reign in” his supporters. Whatever message the mainstream media is putting out, whether Bernie’s supporters are actually ready to give up on him yet is another story. At least for now, it seems that while New York may not have been a victory for him, the Sanders campaign lives to fight another day.