New York: Republican presidential candidate Donald Trump improved his chances of winning the party nomination on Tuesday night after registering a commanding victory in the New York primary, while Democratic candidate Hillary Clinton snapped Senator Bernie Sanders’s winning streak and took an important step toward clinching the nomination, the media reported.
Queens-born Trump campaigned vigorously for a huge vote total to revive his political fortunes. Trump drew support from majorities of nearly every demographic group across the state, according to exit polls by Edison Research, The New York Times reported.
Trump’s appeal was so strong that the media declared him the winner shortly after the polls closed at 9 p.m. Early results with 40 percent of all votes counted show Trump won more than 60 percent, the report added.
Trump, who built his fortune in New York’s real estate market, now has clear momentum heading into the next primaries in Pennsylvania, Connecticut and three other states on April 26.
His handy victory in his home state came well within expectation as early surveys over the past few weeks showed the current GOP front-runner led the Republican field with a large margin.
If voting for Trump tops the 50 percent mark statewide, Trump would take all 14 at-large delegates. The remaining 81 delegates would be allocated based on the share of votes in all New York’s 27 congressional districts.
A clean sweep of all 95 New York delegates would be crucial for Trump, as he was seeking a path to garner 1,237 delegates before the contested party convention in July. Trump entered the contest on Tuesday with 755 delegates, 212 more than his major rival Texas Senator Ted Cruz.
Anti-Trump Republicans had long suggested that if Trump falls short of the 1,237 delegates, he might be stopped at the first ballot at the nominating convention in July, giving Cruz a chance to snatch the nomination from the New York billionaire developer.
On the Republican side, Clinton held an edge in early returns even as Bernie Sanders, a US senator from Vermont, fought for an upset victory.
Early results with 55 percent of all votes counted showed Clinton led Sanders by about 20 percent. After her win in New York, Clinton would take a majority of New York’s 247 pledged delegates, further widening her delegate lead over Sanders.
“We’ve won in every region of the country,” Clinton says. “From the north to the south to the east to the west, but this one’s personal,” Clinton said in her address. Clinton told Sanders supporters: “There is much more that unites us than divides us.”
Clinton entered the contest on Tuesday with a substantial edge over Sanders in terms of pledged delegates, with 1,411 to 1,179, according to the latest New York Times delegate count. To win the party’s nomination, a Democratic candidate needs to win over 2,383 delegates, including unpledged delegates, who at the moment overwhelmingly support Clinton.
Clinton’s win in New York also ended a two-week back-and-forth attack between her and Sanders, with the latter constantly questioning the former secretary of state’s judgement and accusing her of not releasing the transcripts of her paid speeches to big banks.
In a bid to derail Sanders, who with a winning streak had defeated her six times in the past seven Democratic contests before Tuesday, Clinton slammed Sanders for his voting records on abortion and gun control. With about half of the vote in both races, Clinton and Trump both led their primaries by roughly 60 percent.