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Wake Up To Politics - April 20, 2016

Wednesday, April 20, 2016
6 Days Until the CT/DE/MD/PA/RI Primaries
203 Days Until Election Day 2016I'm Gabe Fleisher for Wake Up To Politics, and reporting from WUTP world HQ in my bedroom - Good morning: THIS IS YOUR WAKE UP CALL!!!
To send me questions, comments, tips, new subscribers, and more: email me at wakeuptopolitics@gmail.com. To learn more about WUTP and subscribe, visit the site: wakeuptopolitics.com, or like me on Twitter and Facebook. More ways to engage with WUTP at the bottom.    2016 Central

  • New York Primary: Trump, Clinton Regain Footing with Hometown Wins; Cruz, Sanders Paths Forward Seem Unlikely Both Donald Trump and Hillary Clinton delivered decisive wins in New York’s primary Tuesday night, triumphing over their rivals in votes and delegates, both creeping closer to locking up their parties’ nominations.
  • Trump won Tuesday’s primary with 60.5% of the vote, a 35-point margin of victory over John Kasich’s 25.1%. Ted Cruz came in third place, with 14.5% of the vote, and even came in fourth place in three congressional districts in Westchester County, losing to suspended candidate Ben Carson (whose showing does not factor into the delegate count).
  • Trump is expected to win 90 delegates out of the 95 up for grabs (bringing his delegate count to 849), with John Kasich taking the remaining five (brining him to 150 delegates). Trump dipped below 50% in just four congressional districts, surrendering one delegate in each of the three delegates he still won and two delegates in the district Kasich won.
  • Having been shut out of delegates in New York, it is now mathematically impossible for Ted Cruz (with 558 delegates) to win the Republican nomination with pledged delegates alone (according to the Daily Kos’ Taniel), meaning his (slim) path to victory runs through unpledged delegates or a contested convention. But, after Tuesday night, it may be John Kasich who could triumph in a contested convention – if he continues picking up delegates in the Northeastern primaries ahead, it will only bolster his argument that he is the sole Republican candidate able to expand the party’s victory map in November.
  • But it is Donald Trump’s blowout win – with all 62 counties in the state, save Manhattan (ironically his hometown borough) –that brings a complete turnaround in narrative for a GOP race that seemed headed for uncertainty and chaos after the Wisconsin primary two weeks ago. Now, the race is once again Trump’s to lose, with every scenario (including ones where he does not reach the magic number of 1,237 to win the nomination outright) seeming to bend in Trump’s favor, as long as he is near 1,150 delegates at the race’s end, as expected.
  • Hillary Clinton’s win was similarly large, and harmful to her rival’s path forward: the former Secretary of State won with 57.9% of the vote, to Bernie Sanders’ 42.1%. According to The Green Papers provisional total, Clinton won 139 delegates in New York to Sanders’ 108, excluding superdelegates (39 of whom have endorsed Clinton, with 5 uncommitted). New York’s allocation bring the Democratic pledged delegate count to about 1,446 for Clinton and about 1,200 for Sanders.
  • With her New York landslide, Associated Press projections show Clinton on track to clinch the 2,383 delegates needed for the democratic nomination before the California primary on June 5 – barring huge Sanders wins in the states ahead (to catch Clinton among pledged delegates, Sanders must win every future primary/caucus by 18.5%, according to ABC’s Ryan Struyk; he needs 73% of the remaining delegates and uncommitted superdelegates to win).
  • This Sanders’ path must include flipping superdelegates (many of the primaries ahead are expected to favor Clinton), which his campaign manager Jeff Weaver alluded to on MSNBC, saying even if Sanders losers among pledged delegates, he will continue to work on bringing superdelegates over – an unfortunate strategy for a candidate who has railed against the outsized power of party establishment in the primary process. And it was a very different message than that of Sanders advisor Tad Devine, who told AP that the campaign would “asses where we are” after next Tuesday’s results.
  • Speaking within three blocks of each other – Trump with Frank Sinatra’s “New York, New York” playing, Clinton to “Empire State of Mind” by Jay-Z and Alicia Keys – both frontrunners sought to wrap up the nomination contests with their victory speeches. Trump was characteristically blunt: “We don’t have much of a race anymore based on what I’m seeing on television,” he said. “Senator Cruz is just about mathematically eliminated,” although calling his rival by his title and not “Lyin’ Ted” did represent a shift in tone for the candidate.
  • Clinton was more subtle, but only barely so. “The race for the Democratic nomination is in the homestretch and victory is in sight,” she said. Clinton also appealed to her rival’s supporters in her victory speech, saying: “To all the people that supported Senator Sanders, I believe there is much more that unites us than divides us.”
  • Expectations were extremely high for both Donald Trump and Hillary Clinton in New York, the state of his birth and business success and her service in the U.S. Senate, but they still managed to exceed them, recovering from twin strings of losses to return to inevitability in their respective races and show that the nominations are still within their grasps.
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For more on Wake Up To Politics, listen to Gabe on NPR's "Talk of the Nation, the Political Junkie podcast, and St. Louis Public Radio; watch Gabe on MSNBC's "Up with Steve Kornacki, and read about Gabe in Politico, the St. Louis Post-Dispatch, the Globe, and the St. Louis Jewish Light