Tuesday, April 19, 2016

If You Can Make it Here You Are Probably a Front-Runner Anyway: New York Primary

My proximity to New York ensures that I am all up in the New York primary, which happens today.  From ads for Bernie to my local NPR station's daily Donald Trump story, today's electoral contest has been inescapable for the past few weeks.  New Yorkers are rather giddy at the prospect that their votes will shape the voter choices in the 2016 contest, though giddy in a brassy, opinionated, New York kind of way.  

Let’s start with the GOP.  Donald Trump is from Queens and he can claim New York as home.  Upstate, he’s likely to be appealing as well, though it’s an appeal that comes from his name recognition and not his ideas.  Neither Ted Cruz nor John Kasich are any competition for Trump and he will win the state so the real contest is about the numbers.  If Trump wins more than 50% of the state’s GOP voters as well as a majority in the state's Congressional districts, he will get ALL of the state’s delegates.  I expect that he will come in at 53% and he does have a shot at every Congressional district.  Kasich will take second, with 24% of the vote and Cruz will roll in third, with 18% of the vote.  Trump will be very close to the GOP threshold for the nomination coming out of this race, so expect more conversations about a brokered Republican convention as we move forward.

Over on the Democratic side, both Bernie Sanders and Hillary Clinton can also lay claim to New York.  Sanders was born and raised in Brooklyn; Clinton moved to the state and represented it in the Senate.  The contest between them is real and will be shaped by the demographics of their supporters.  Both have been airing ads in the state and in those commercials their demographics are laid bare.  Sanders is hoping that students, labor activists, and the Working Family Party  will come out in big numbers; Clinton is looking to score big with women and African American voters in the state.  Bernie may sound like a New Yorker, but Hillary’s connection with the state’s are the real deal and run deeper.  The state’s delegates will be awarded by Congressional district for the Democrats so both Sanders and Clinton will score some off them.  Clinton  will score more with 54% of the vote and a majority of the state’s delegates.  Sanders will come in at just a shade over 44%.  

Rather ironically, both sets of voters in the state will be casting a majority of their ballots on behalf of the established front runners.  So much for shaking things up, New York.  We’re headed to Connecticut, Maryland, and Pennsylvania next week…..the circus isn’t over yet, folks.

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