Lane Filler is a member of the Newsday editorial board. He came to Long Island in 2010.
Donald Trump won a landslide victory in New York Tuesday night, that was expected. Whether he gets 90 of the state’s 95 available delegates or all of them, the message is clear. He’s the favorite.
But the state sent just as clear a message to Ted Cruz. You’re last, or as Trump (and many New Yorkers) would put it: You’re fired! John Kasich, the somewhat likeable Ohio governor, got about 65 percent more votes than the deeply unlikeable senator from Texas. Kasich will likely get a couple of delegates. Cruz, as of 11 p.m., looked like he wouldn’t get a single one.
And no matter how many Wyomings a guy like Cruz can win, it takes 34 Wyomings to equal one New York. And it takes 66 Wyomings to equal one California, where Cruz is also going to get his tuchus handed to him. If there was an office called “President of the United States with more cows than people,” Cruz might get elected to it. But president of the actual United States full of people. Nope.
Cruz’ dismal showing in New York put to an end the mathematical possibility of his getting the 1,237 delegates he’d need to claim the nomination through the primary and caucus process. That also ended the real-world possibility that Cruz could convince delegates to move over to him on later ballots. Because people in the political world like Cruz about as much as teens like calves liver ice cream.
There is a path of events that leads to Trump being the GOP presidential nominee, and perhaps even president, nutty as that may sound. People are, um, crazy about him, and want to vote for him. There is also a very narrow path of events that leads to Kasich being the GOP nominee, and then a much broader one that could take him from the nomination to the White House. In general election polling, Kasich beats Hillary Clinton. People like him, but Republicans mostly don’t want to vote for him. But if they were convinced voting for him would crush Clinton’s dreams, they could be swayed.
But there is no path of events that leads to Cruz being the GOP presidential nominee, and then the president.
It’s true that Trump sounds whiny when he says Cruz is getting delegates because of a rigged system, but there is a larger point to be made there. Cruz is getting so many of his delegates in states that don’t give them out via primaries because the creatures who vote in primaries … normal people…don’t want Cruz to be president.
In a GOP debate, Cruz made a comment about “New York values” that was variously interpreted as being anti-Semitic, anti-liberal or just anti-Trump. It was all three. Tuesday night, commentators were going on about how that comment might have cost Cruz any chance of making inroads in New York.
I don’t think that was it, though it didn’t help. I think New Yorkers knew there was plenty about Cruz that wasn’t kosher even before he suggested that News York was too kosher for him.