US Analysis: Hillary’s Victory; Donald’s Dare to the GOP


PHOTO: Hillary Clinton and Donald Trump size up

Adam Quinn of the University of Birmingham reflects on Tuesday’s wins for Donald Trump and Hillary Clinton in New York’s Presidential primaries:

Hillary won big, by about 15 points, in another big state. She’s definitely going to win the nomination. I mean, she was already definitely going to but now…. I don’t know, she gets extra “definitely” credit? At this point there’s a total divergence between the underlying numbers and the narrative in much of the media, which wants to continue covering this race as a competition. Barring a miracle, Clinton will go to the convention with more elected delegates, a bigger vote share, a higher absolute number of votes — victory on every metric.

Bernie Sanders can and will continue to campaign and win delegates, and as a message candidate there’s no reason he shouldn’t. The pressure on him can only grow, however, to refrain from the sort of blows that needlessly harm the presumptive nominee in any serious way.

See also US Analysis: Clinton Wins Big in New York, But Battle for Democratic Party’s Soul Continues
US Audio Analysis: Assessing Trump and Clinton’s Victories in New York

As for why Hillary won big in New York, there were many factors, but for my money the top two are:

(1) Diverse electorate and Hillary wins big among the non-white vote, as she has done all along. Demographics are the single biggest predictor of who wins between Clinton and Sanders, and unfortunately for him New York’s Democrats aren’t all young white liberals.

(2) In a closed party primary, you had to make a decision to register Democrat away back in the autumn. That probably stopped a lot of the independents who favor Sanders getting onto the electoral roll.

Clinton wins big when the vote is among actual Democrats. Make of that what you will — you can argue the fairness issue both ways.

Trump’s Dare to the GOP

On the Republican side, Trump smashed it. Raked in more than 60% of the vote and almost every single delegate. The reasons are obvious. New York his home state. Hee was challenged by a man — Senator Ted Cruz — who explicitly insulted ‘New York values’ in a high-profile TV debate moment earlier in the contest, and by a no-hoper for the nomination in Governor John Kasich. So the night pretty much could not have been better for Trump.

As we all know by now (right?), Trump faces a big challenge to get to 1237 delegates on the first ballot at the convention. Get that magic number, and he has the nomination. Fail, and all the forces arrayed against him may be able to block him, as those delegates won’t all stick with him once unbound.

The number he got last night helps a lot, and puts him back on a trajectory to maybe narrowly pull off the feat. But now we go to a bunch of nearby states that aren’t his residence: next week there are votes in Pennsylvania, Maryland, Connecticut, Delaware and Rhode Island. Trump needs to keep racking up proper wins in all these places. We’ll see how he does without home-state love at his back.

In the meantime, Donald will keep making noises that denying him the nomination at the convention — when he will have by far the single largest share of the vote and delegates, majority or no majority — will be an outrage.

Trump is effectively daring the Republican establishment to take the nomination away from him and see what happens: “Nice party you got here; be a shame if somethin’ happened to it.”

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