Winners and losers from New York primaries

By Chris Cillizza

Republican presidential candidate Donald Trump prepares to speak during a New York primary night campaign event. Photo / AP
Republican presidential candidate Donald Trump prepares to speak during a New York primary night campaign event. Photo / AP

WINNERS

1 Donald Trump

He's baaaaaaaaack! Trump's convincing statewide win should net him almost all of New York's 95 delegates, a win that effectively erases the gains Ted Cruz made in recent weeks. Sure, New York was Trump's home state and there hasn't been a shred of polling to suggest he was even close to vulnerable in it. But, winning where you are supposed to win - and doing it by large enough margins to wrack up big delegate gains - is a critical piece of Trump's chances at getting to 1237 delegates on the first ballot at the Republican National Convention.

The New York win also hands Trump momentum heading into next week's primaries where he looks well positioned to romp again. And, unlike after past victories - think Florida - Trump won't take the next few days off. He's off to Indiana and Maryland tomorrow. And, he's got a new and improved political team in place. And judging by Trump's MUCH more measured tone in victory - he called Ted Cruz "Senator Cruz" rather than "Lyin' Ted", for example - that new team of advisers have his ear.

2 Hillary Clinton

The former Secretary of State just keeps winning where she needs to keep winning. While a narrow loss in New York would have done next to nothing to puncture her clear delegate lead, it would have been a massive symbolic blow to her efforts to unite the party behind her. Knowing that, the candidate and the campaign focused relentlessly on the Empire State even while weathering a series of losses to Bernie Sanders in smaller, less delegate-rich states. Mission accomplished.

Clinton, like Trump, should have a very good next few weeks with polling in Pennsylvania and Maryland showing her comfortably ahead. That's not to say that Sanders won't continue to win states here and there. He will. But with every large state that comes off the map, Sanders's maths to overcome Clinton in pledged delegates becomes that much more difficult. "Victory is in sight," Clinton said in her victory speech. She's right.

3 Empire State building

I see you iconic structure of New York City! Staying relevant!

4 John Kasich

The Ohio Governor came in second! Okay, it was a distant second....but that's not bad! And, his showing in a Northeastern state gives him a bit of fodder to argue at the convention that Cruz simply can't win in regions of the country - and with more moderate Republicans - that the party needs to expand the map in November. Mostly though Kasich is a winner in my book because he opened his mouth - and his stomach - to the full New York experience.


LOSERS

1 Ted Cruz

The Texas Senator is widely regarded as the establishment GOP pick. And yet, he finished third behind Trump and Kasich who, to date, has won a total of one state in the primary process. The calendar - or at least the rest of April - looks just as bad for Cruz as a series of Northeastern and Mid-Atlantic states are set to vote.

Cruz remains the best organised candidate of the final three - not saying much given what we have seen of Trump's "organisation" to date - but momentum matters to him too. He had clearly built a sense of momentum after delegate selection victories in Colorado and a series of other states over the past few weeks. New York will dampen that enthusiasm to stop Trump as the "Trump is ascendant" storyline will (re)take over. Cruz needs to find ways to poke holes in that narrative before the Trump train gets going too fast heading into the Indiana primary on May 4. It's somewhat hard to see how Cruz does that given how unfavourable the calendar looks for him right now.

2 Bernie Sanders

Sanders didn't win in New York. And he needed to if he wanted to have any realistic hope of catching Clinton in pledged delegates by the time the primary season ends on June 8. Let's also not forget that Sanders raised expectations in advance of the New York primary, suggesting he could win because he would have ample time to campaign in the state. He didn't come close.

Even more problematic for Sanders is that the next set of primaries won't be much better for him. He will stay in the race. He will continue to win states. But, the maths is the maths. And the maths is damn close to determinative - against Sanders.

3 Stop Trump movement

Make no mistake: Trump's sweeping win in New York combined with his disciplined and respectful tone in victory should scare the hell out of the Republicans working to keep the nomination from him. The delegate maths is still not easy for Trump. But, his moves since losing the Wisconsin primary - layering over some original loyalists for more experienced campaign hands, dialing back his rhetoric on Twitter and the campaign trail etc. - have all reflected a candidate who knows he was headed in the wrong direction and is bound and determined to fix those problems. If the Trump we saw over the last week in New York is the Trump we get between now and June 8, the effort to stop him may fall on hard times.

- Washington Post

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