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Trump's NY Primary Victory Strengthens Campaign

Republican presidential candidate Donald Trump at Trump Tower in New York City on Tuesday night.
Republican presidential candidate Donald Trump at Trump Tower in New York City on Tuesday night.

New York Native Donald Trump cruised to victory in Tuesday's GOP presidential primary.

Trump's Primary victory in New York puts winning the GOP nomination within reach.   "We've won and now, especially after tonight, close to 300 delegates more than Senator Cruz."

During his victory speech at Trump Tower in New York City, Trump quipped that Ted Cruz, who came in a distant third, was “just about mathematically eliminated” from the race.

Republican Strategist Jessica Proud:   "It was a great night for Donald Trump. We all knew he was going to win here, but by what margin was the biggest question. And he really outperformed most of the polls, getting over 60 percent, so he's going to leave New York with a lot of momentum and a big delegate count."

Trump picked up 89 delegates, tasting victory in every New York county except his own. Ohio Governor John Kasich stole Trumps' home base, Manhattan, right out from under him, nabbing 3 delegates.

According to the rules, 1,237 delegates are needed to clinch the GOP nomination.   "The path to 1237 is not guaranteed for him. He will also have to compete in states out west where Ted Cruz is doing well and has good ground operations."

If Trump cannot muster those numbers, Cruz has a chance at victory come July's Republican convention.

Trump remains wary of what he calls a "rigged system."  "We're gonna go into the convention, I think, as the winner. But nobody can take an election away, with the way they're doing it in the Republican Party."

Trump also mentioned Bernie Sanders in his victory speech:  "I am no fan of Bernie's.  But I've seen Bernie win, win, win and I've watched and then they say he has no chance of winning. So they have their super delegates. The Republican system is worse."

In an interview with CNN Tuesday, House Speaker Paul Ryan retorted "The rules are the rules." Ryan beseeched Republicans to attend the July convention and unite behind whomever delegates choose as presidential nominee.

Trump needs approximately 58 percent of the remaining delegates. Proud notes that both Trump and Sanders are regarded as "outsiders" and both were widely counted out in the early days of the race.   "It's a very tight line. At the end of all this, both sides are gonna want their parties to be united in the general election. So, you've seen Donald Trump change his tone a little bit; we'll see how long that lasts. But it's gonna be very important at the end of this process to have a united party, otherwise we won't see a chance of winning in November."

Proud believes New York Republican leaders and lawmakers who have resisted committing to a candidate will rally behind the party nominee.  Back in Manhattan last night, Trump outlined his plans as he concluded his victory speech:   "I'm flying tomorrow morning to Indiana. I'm going to Pennsylvania. I will be all over. So, we're going to celebrate for about two hours, then early in the morning I get up and we begin working again. Thank you everybody, and thank-you New York. We love New York, We love New York. Thank you very much everybody."

Dave Lucas is WAMC’s Capital Region Bureau Chief. Born and raised in Albany, he’s been involved in nearly every aspect of local radio since 1981. Before joining WAMC, Dave was a reporter and anchor at WGY in Schenectady. Prior to that he hosted talk shows on WYJB and WROW, including the 1999 series of overnight radio broadcasts tracking the JonBenet Ramsey murder case with a cast of callers and characters from all over the world via the internet. In 2012, Dave received a Communicator Award of Distinction for his WAMC news story "Fail: The NYS Flood Panel," which explores whether the damage from Hurricane Irene and Tropical Storm Lee could have been prevented or at least curbed. Dave began his radio career as a “morning personality” at WABY in Albany.
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