WASHINGTON, April 20, 2016 — The much anticipated victory in New York by Donald Trump slows the momentum of Sen. Ted Cruz and puts Trump back on track to win the nomination. Trump’s margin of victory was so large that media outlets proclaimed him the winner almost immediately after polls closed.
Trump had not had a victory since the Arizona primary in March. Cruz won five in a row since then. Trump cleared the 50 percent threshold to win all statewide delegates, plus almost all of the delegates awarded in the state’s 27 congressional districts, according to unofficial results reported by the New York State Board of Elections. The Trump victory made sure that Cruz would no longer be able to reach the necessary 1,237 delegate mark.
While Trump won New York, he is expected to lose Indiana and Nebraska, as those are states with conservative evangelicals who strongly support Cruz. The next set of primaries continue down the East Coast and include Connecticut, Delaware, Maryland, Pennsylvania and Rhode Island. The next highly competitive contest for delegates is in California, the final primary of the season. If Donald Trump fails to pick up California, that would most probably lead to a brokered convention in July.
Despite Trump’s decisive win, the Cruz campaign attempted to dismiss it as a candidate winning his home state and not an indication of larger support. As Trump delivered his victory speech, he became more presidential sounding and even called Ted Cruz “Sen. Cruz” instead of “lyin’ Ted.” Trump’s campaign staff has begun toning down his “bully” style message and turned him into a real presidential candidate.
The win in New York has done little to calm political tensions. Anti-Trump campaigners are pushing hard for a brokered convention, and rumors continue to swirl that Cruz and Kasich are courting delegates.
Meanwhile, Trump supporters are now lobbying for Trump to win the nomination even if he does not reach the magic 1,237 total delegates needed to officially become the nominee. They argue that Trump will win the vast majority of votes, and so he should win the nomination.
However, if they don’t award him the nomination, this could lead to a brokered convention. If the GOP enters a brokered convention in July, nobody will know who becomes the nominee until the final round of voting by the delegates. In the meantime, expect a flurry of deal making and delegate wooing.