How Many Delegates Did Hillary Clinton Win In New York? The Frontrunner Is Keeping Her Lead

The New York primary was the single biggest contest in the Democratic race so far, and it's finally over. As the polls had predicted, Hillary Clinton defeated Bernie Sanders, getting about 58 percent of the vote to Sanders' 42. But what matters most in this race isn't percentages, but delegates. How many delegates did Hillary Clinton win in New York?

Results from a few precincts are still rolling in, but as of this writing, Clinton has won 169 delegates from New York to Sanders' 104, according to Politico. New York, then was a really big win for Hillary Clinton. She's been leading Sanders in delegates for quite some time now, and her victory in New York allowed her to not only retain this lead, but slightly expand it.

In primary campaigns, the media tends to focus on states: How many states a candidate has won, how many they're likely to win, whether they'll be victorious in one state or another, and so on. But this is misleading, because you don't become a presidential nominee by winning a majority of states. You do it by winning a majority of delegates. Putting too much emphasis on who's winning states can lead to misconceptions about who's winning the delegate race — and by extension, the nomination.

Donald Trump learned this firsthand: Despite winning more states than any other Republican, he's in danger of losing the nomination by failing to secure enough delegates. Similarly, Sanders' recent string of victories — he won seven states consecutively before New York — haven't actually altered the delegate math, because other than Washington, all of those victories were in relatively small states. And small states, of course, aren't worth many delegates. Clinton, by contrast, has been winning big, delegate rich-states. Victories in bigger states, to be frank, simply matter more than victories in smaller ones.

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Another crucial part in this equation is the fact that Democrats allocate delegates proportionally, based on the share of the statewide vote. This means that a razor-thin victory, like the one Sanders scored in Michigan, results in both candidates getting roughly the same number of delegates. But in order for a trailing candidate to close a delegate gap, they need to not only win, but win by large margins. Likewise, a candidate who already has a big delegate lead simply needs to fight their opponent to a draw.

All Clinton really needed to do in New York was prevent Sanders from scoring a blowout victory, because a Sanders landslide could have seriously cut into Clinton's delegate lead. But Sanders didn't win in a landslide — in fact, he lost in a landslide, and as a result, the delegate math hasn't change. The New York primary, for all of the attention it's received, ultimately didn't do much more than strengthen the status quo. And the status quo is that Clinton is the heavy favorite to become the Democratic nominee.