Thankfully, New York gave Donald Trump a resounding victory on Tuesday, April 19 with 62% of the vote. John Kasich and Ted Cruz lagged far behind.
Trump won 89 delegates and Kasich got four. As I write, the other two are unallocated. Going into the next set of primaries on April 26, Trump has a total of 845. Cruz has 559 and Kasich has 148.
Cruz spent the evening giving a poorly-attended speech in Pennsylvania.
Meanwhile, at Trump Tower, the Donald gave a short victory speech. While reporters were in attendance, there was no press conference. His two Republican offspring, Tiffany and Don Jr, stood by his side.
Later, Eric joined his two siblings to speak with Fox’s Sean Hannity. Don Jr compared being denied the vote at primaries with living in Communist China. A blogger I used to like in 2012, soopermexican, has turned into a Never Trumper in 2016. He writes:
I really thought that Trump’s kids weren’t nearly as psychotic and self-delusional as he is, and used to think so to his credit, but it’s becoming more clear that they’re just as nuts as he is …
What gets me is that these morons never ONCE noticed before now that the caucus/primary system existed and that it was supposedly “stealing” votes from Americans?
Except voters never really had to think about it until this year. And, in several states, the rules change with every election.
Soopermexican sounds a bit like Wisconsinite Reince Priebus, the GOP chairman, who got taken down by Trump supporters after this post-Colorado tweet of April 13:
Nomination process known for a year + beyond. It’s the responsibility of the campaigns to understand it. Complaints now? Give us all a break
Then there was Senate majority leader Mitch McConnell from Kentucky. On Saturday, April 16, he told a television interviewer:
he was “increasingly optimistic” the GOP presidential nomination would go to a second ballot at the Republican National Convention this summer.
By Tuesday, at his weekly press conference, he changed tack:
“What I said, somewhat inartfully, is that we’ll have a nominee once we get to 1,237 votes. And if that does not happen on the first ballot, there will be another ballot … “
Pressed on whether his comments were passing judgment on Trump or a sign he didn’t want Trump, the message-disciplined veteran lawmaker declined to say more.
“I think we covered that issue pretty well,” he said.
The New York Daily News, which endorsed Kasich with a ‘Never Trump’ headline, surmised that the billionaire’s New York victory would:
likely shift the momentum in the race back toward the temperamental tycoon and away from the “anti-Trump” movement …
On the day of the primary, however, it was clear that the ‘anti-Trump’ movement was still very much on the frontrunner’s mind:
“I think they will not accept anybody but me. I’m the messenger,” he said in an interview on WABC radio Tuesday morning. “If the millions of people that came out to vote for me are disenfranchised, I think there’s going to be unbelievable turmoil.”
Speaking of disenfranchisement, a number of voters in New York found that they were ineligible to vote. On April 18, Election Justice USA filed a lawsuit on behalf of at least 200 voters. Democrats, many of whom wanted to vote for Bernie Sanders, appear to have been largely affected. However, the organisation also received complaints from would-be Trump voters. GlobalResearch has their story. Some registrations had been ‘purged’. Others contained clerical errors which could not be corrected in time. Many had been ‘lost in the post’. One new voter who registered within the deadline was dismayed to find that, in looking for her polling station online, she was not registered. After lengthy attempts to contact the Board of Elections, she finally got through by phone only to be chided for not registering sooner:
… the office was receiving some 2,000 forms a day towards the end, and … her record can’t be found, likely because it hasn’t been processed yet.
Prior legislation has been proposed on more than one occasion to open primaries in New York to all registered voters, but either voters or the Supreme Court have rejected or overruled such moves.
Returning to Trump, the five states voting on April 26 are all on the East Coast, Trump’s natural territory.
In early May, things get trickier. Indiana votes on May 3. No one knows how that will turn out. The state has strict rules about polling and, so far, none has appeared. On the one hand, Cruz could do very well in rural WASPy parts of the state while Kasich could garner much of the urban vote from descendants of 19th century European immigrants.
Both types of Hoosiers dislike bombast and brashness, two prominent Trump characteristics. On the other hand, he has often mentioned the Carrier plant in Indianapolis, which is to shut as operations move to Mexico. However, if he does win, Indiana is a winner-take-all state, with some qualifications. Trump was careful to visit Governor Mike Pence on Wednesday and mention his name positively at a rally in the state later that day.
On May 10, Nebraska and West Virginia vote. Both seem like Cruz territory to me. Whilst it is now mathematically impossible for Cruz to best Trump in the delegate stakes overall, he can still leave noticeable dents, especially if he wins later on in South Dakota and Montana.
As for the Pacific Northwest, the people I know from Oregon and Washington (Democrats) seem more in tune with Kasich than Trump. However, I have read anecdotally that Trump is generating pockets of enthusiasm in Oregon.
It’s still too early to make many predictions. Even Real Clear Politics says so. Their senior elections analyst Sean Trende writes:
we really don’t know how this plays out. Trump’s worst-case scenario probably leaves him with around 1,158 pledged delegates (assuming Kasich stays in), while his best-case scenario probably leaves him with 1,283. We also don’t know what the 130 or so unbound delegates will do; at least some of them would vote for Trump on the first ballot.
And, as we well know, those pesky delegates are everything at the moment.