U.S. Democratic presidential candidate former Secretary of State Hillary Clinton speaks during a primary election night gathering on April 19, in New York City. Hillary Clinton defeated democratic rival U.S. Sen. Bernie Sanders in the New York presidential primary. (Justin Sullivan | Getty Images)
Republican Donald Trump and Democrat Hillary Clinton won the potentially game- changing New York primary, April 19, as the front-runners wrested back control of the U.S. presidential race on their home turf to position themselves close to securing an outright nomination, writes Yoshita Singh. (@Siliconeer, #Siliconeer, #2016USPresidentialRace, #HillaryClinton, #DonaldTrump, #Trump)
The emphatic wins give Clinton and Trump edge over their rivals Bernie Sanders and Ted Cruz and solidify their front-runner status after a series of losses recently. It also resoundingly answers questions about their command of the White House race.
Trump’s win means he could sweep the state’s 95 delegates and position himself to win the Republican nomination without going through a contested Republican convention in July.
Clinton’s win means that it could blunt Sanders’ momentum once and for all and leave him with a tough decision on how to proceed as she extends her overwhelming lead in the Democratic race.
With 98% of the vote in, 69-year-old Trump was in the lead at 60.5% while Kasich was at 25.1% and Cruz at 14.5%.
With 98% of the Democratic votes in, Clinton was leading Sanders 57.9% to 42.1%.
Trump’s big victory in his home state gave him renewed momentum in the Republican race and pushed him closer to the 1,237 delegates required to win the nomination.
According to a CNN estimate, the business tycoon-turned- politician held 847 delegates, while Ted Cruz had 553 and John Kasich had 148.
Across the aisle, Clinton was leading with 1,930 delegates including 1,443 pledged delegates and 487 super-delegates. Sanders had a total of 1,223 delegates including 1,183 pledged delegates and 40 super-delegates.
A Democratic candidate needs 2,383 delegates to secure the nomination.
“Today you prove once again there is no place like home…This win is personal,” said the 68-year-old former secretary of state, joined by her husband ex-president Bill Clinton and daughter Chelsea, in her victory speech. “The race for the Democratic nomination is in the home stretch and victory is in sight.”
Calling out Trump and Cruz for their remarks against Muslims and women, she said, “Donald Trump and Ted Cruz have a vision for our country that’s divisive and dangerous—rounding up immigrants or banning Muslims is just not who we are.”
“Threatening to ban Muslims” and treating American- Muslims like “criminal” go against “everything America stands for,” she said.
“We are about lifting each other up, not tearing each other down. Our country is at its best when we come together—no one knows that better than New Yorkers,” Clinton said.
In a passing reference to Sanders, Clinton said it was not enough to just diagnose the problem. “America is a problem-solving nation. We have set progressive goals for creating more jobs and providing dignity and pride,” she said.
Clinton, who was senator of New York for eight years, comfortably beat 74-year-old Sanders.
Sanders in a tweet said that he was looking ahead to the five northeast states that vote on April 26.
“Thank you to all those who came out tonight in New York! Onward to five more states voting next week,” he tweeted.
Trump also appeared like a different candidate in his victory speech at his Trump Tower in Manhattan. His speech focused on jobs and trade and the economy but did not mention Clinton.
“We don’t have much of a race anymore,” Trump said to applause and cheers from his supporters. “Sen. Cruz is just about mathematically eliminated.”
Trump told the cheering supporters that he will focus on bringing jobs back from Mexico and “all other countries” and invest in U.S. military and its veterans.
Flanked by his family, friends and business associates, he said he will use America’s great business people to negotiate “unbelievable trade deals so we bring our jobs back.”
Political pundits here believe, Trump despite having the largest number of delegates in his kitty is still far short of the magical figure of 1,237 delegates he needs to have before the Cleveland convention in July to become the Republican presidential nominee.
Trump, is now eyeing at the Republican primaries next Tuesday s in the States—Maryland, Pennsylvania, Connecticut, Delaware and Rhode Island—where 172 delegates are at stake.
Latest polls indicates that Trump is leading in most of these States.
Well aware of the high stakes in these States, the Republican frontrunner is scheduled to campaign heavily in these States.
Even if he does not do so, in all likelihood he would enter the July Convention with the largest number of delegates.
The entire strategy of Trump’s two remaining rivals, Cruz from Texas and Ohio Governor Kasich is to prevent Trump from hitting the target of 1,237 delegates.
By doing so, the Cruz and Kasich campaigns hope that given Trump’s rhetoric and his antipathy with the establishment, the delegates would vote against New York thus opening up opportunities for them.
On the Democratic side, Clinton after her victory in her home State of New York, appears to be all set to become the party’s presidential nominee.
Clinton now has 502 super delegates, who are mainly party officials, have pledged their support to her. But they can change their vote even at the last moment.
Sanders campaign believes that they can still manage to get the necessary delegates in the rest of the States to win the party’s nomination.
Latest polls show, Clinton is leading in most of the Democratic primaries to be held in States of Maryland, Connecticut, Delaware, Pennsylvania and Rhode Island.