The New York Primary Favorites Feel Right At Home In The Empire State
The presidential primaries continue to march along, and on Tuesday, it's the Empire State's turn. The New York primary goes down on April 19, with five candidates between the two parties fighting it out for those precious delegates. If for some reason you're unable to follow the results as they happen, though, or if you're just looking for a sensible prediction, you might be wondering which candidates are likely to win. Well, here's your safe bet: The New York primary favorites are the frontrunners, and it's not all that close.
Obviously, anything can happen on election day. There's a chance, however slim and unthinkable, that Ted Cruz could prevail despite his boneheaded "New York values" remark, or that Bernie Sanders could pull off a big upset against Hillary Clinton, as he did in Michigan last month. The latter scenario, for the record, would be far more likely, based on the polls heading into Tuesday. According to Real Clear Politics' polling averages taken over the last few months, Clinton is currently leading Sanders in New York by 12 points ― a sizable lead, although not nearly as colossal as Trump's lead over the GOP field, which currently stands at a staggering 30 points.
It's worth keeping in mind that the polls don't show the GOP candidates finishing in the order you usually see, however. Perhaps due to Cruz's marked social conservatism, in addition to his outright antagonism of the state to try to appeal to Iowa Republicans, he's not even projected to finish second ― that slot is currently occupied by Ohio Gov. John Kasich, who's polling at an average of about 23 points, compared to 53 for Trump. In other words, Cruz is going to get dusted by a very big number, while Trump could theoretically secure a delegate sweep — an absolutely crucial development for his hopes to sew up the Republican nomination with a 1,237 majority.
On the Democratic side, things are a bit tighter, but thanks to the states awarding their delegates proportionally based on the vote, even a narrow loss for Sanders would be devastating. He currently trails Clinton by more than 200 pledged delegates, and his opportunities to narrow that gap are dwindling ― New York is the second-largest delegate haul (291) on the entire Democratic schedule, trailing only California at 546.
And if he can't overtake Clinton in pledged delegates, he'll have virtually no hope of attracting superdelegates to his cause. That's because Democratic superdelegates ― who can theoretically support whomever they please ― always ultimately back the candidate who's otherwise leading. You can see this evidenced in 2008, when, for all the talk about how they might favor the establishment-entrenched Clinton, they swung to then-Sen. Barack Obama once was leading in pledged delegates.
This is all a long way of saying that Tuesday will probably ― almost certainly, in fact ― will be a red-letter day for the respective frontrunners. That's not likely to be a welcome prediction for supporters of Sanders' insurgent White House bid, nor for the countless conservatives who want nothing more than to halt Trump's march to the nomination. But, at least based on where the numbers stand now, it's what you should prepare yourself for.