Both Hillary Clinton and Donald Trump had big nights in New York, both getting around 60% of the vote. They both needed the big wins, and they got them. Clinton won 139 of 247 delegates, and Trump will get around 90 of the 95 on the GOP side.
They didn’t, however, deviate too much from our projections (although, and we admit it, we went on the conservative side on both, the mid-point part of our model would have had us closer, at Clinton 105 and Trump 85. Oops.)
With Trump’s big win, we now estimate he will get 1,160 of the 1,237 delegates he needs to lock up the nomination on the first ballot.
There are a lot of caveats to this analysis. Most importantly, there’s vanishing little polling in the upcoming states. While he should get 40% or so of the votes in Maryland, Connecticut, Pennsylvania, Delaware, and Rhode Island on April 26, the big outstanding tests are Indiana and California. Our model currently has Trump losing New Jersey. This is almost certainly wrong, and would hand him 51 delegates (or 1,211 of the 1,237 he needs), but is based on now 2-month-old polling.
Another caveat: one important outcome for the evening is that Ted Cruz held steady with 546 pledged delegates, by our count. With just 618 left on the board, he joins Kasich in becoming mathematically eliminated. However, Kasich’s reasonably strong performance in New York shows that’s not necessarily a killer, but our model has Cruz cleaning up in states like Montana (and winning Indiana), which could be more difficult if he’s having to wage a Kasich-like battle for relevancy.
With California at the end (well, DC) of the calendar and 714 super delegates able to change allegiances through the convention, Sanders will never face mathematical elimination. New York, as expected, made his case much more difficult.
Like Trump, Clinton now enters a slate of states that should be favorable. Our model has her picking up between 20-30 delegates over Sanders in next week’s primaries, which look a lot like New York in terms of polling (10-20 in Maryland and 10 in Pennsylvania). It’s not enough to clinch the nomination with pledged delegates alone.
For Sanders, we show him getting around 48% of the remaining delegates. He needs 59% of the 1,400 remaining delegates to work this to a tie.
His campaign is sending mixed messages on his way forward. Sanders’ campaign manager, Jeff Weaver, told MSNBC that Sanders would “absolutely” try to flip superdelegates if he remained behind in the popular vote and delegate count. They would need to win 500+ of the 714 superdelegates to do so.
At the same time, campaign strategist Tad Devine left open an exit, telling the AP that the campaign planned to “sit back and assess” the campaign’s chances after next week’s contests.