Trump, Clinton clinch New York primary to emerge inevitable contenders
Trump’s crushing defeat of Ted Cruz in the primary election tilted the energy in the Republican race back to the front-runner. The Republican National Committee members begin meeting in Florida to discuss their July convention where the nominee will be chosen.
The Democratic favorite Clinton’s narrow victory over Bernie Sanders snapped a string of victories by the 74-year-old democratic socialist and gave her a much-needed lift. The eventual victors of the Democratic and the Republican nominating campaigns will face each other in November’s general election.
Trump’s win was celebrated to the tune of Frank Sinatra’s “New York, New York” at Trump Tower in Manhattan. It set him up for another big night on April 26 when Pennsylvania, Connecticut, Rhode Island, Delaware, and Maryland will hold primaries.
Trump has sought to improve in recent weeks as a candidate with a campaign reboot and a more focused performance. The tone of his victory speech was in keeping with a more measured style the often-brash billionaire has adopted.
Trump’s haul of most of New York’s 95 delegates moved him closer to the 1,237 needed to win the nomination outright. Anything short of that will lead to a contested convention when Republicans hold their national conclave July 18-21 in Cleveland.
“We don’t have much of a race anymore based on what I’m seeing on television,” Trump said as television networks projected a large margin of victory for him. “Senator Cruz is just about mathematically eliminated.”
Trump predicted some “amazing weeks” ahead for his campaign, but has a long way to go to seal the nomination and begin trying to heal the wounds in his bitterly divided party.
Cruz, a 45-year-old U.S. senator from Texas, came in third in New York and gave his primary night speech in Philadelphia, where he was already focused on running in Pennsylvania. He called on Republicans to unite around his candidacy.
Ohio Governor John Kasich, 63, a long-shot candidate, is seeking to use his second-place showing in New York as proof he is emerging as a central challenger to Trump.
Clinton, a former U.S. senator from New York, former secretary of state and former first lady, got nowhere near the knockout punch she needed to finally put Sanders away.
The broad smile on her face as she gave her victory speech spoke volumes about how important New York was to her bid to become the first female U.S. president.
“Today you proved once again there’s no place like home,” Clinton said. “This one was personal.” The race for the Democratic nomination, she said, is now in “the home stretch, and victory is in sight.”
Clinton, 68, was to campaign in Philadelphia on Wednesday. Sanders flew home to Vermont to take a day off the campaign trail. Her win made it nearly impossible for Sanders to overtake her commanding lead in the number of delegates needed to win the nomination.