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Your politics briefing: Trump romps, Clinton clocks Sanders

Republican presidential candidate Donald Trump speaks at a

Republican presidential candidate Donald Trump speaks at a news conference at Trump Tower in Manhattan on the night of the New York State primary, on Tuesday, April 19, 2016. Photo Credit: Newsday / Thomas A. Ferrara

Trump’s staggering win

While Donald Trump’s New York primary victory was long assured, his margin of victory was huge — not just a majority, but close to three of every five Republican votes.

The unofficial tally, Newsday’s Michael Gormley reports, suggests that Trump more than met the 50-percent threshold he needed to win all three delegates in most congressional districts. That would give him the lion’s share of New York’s 95 delegates.

The mogul-turned-politician needed 50 percent to win all 14 at-large delegates and got roughly 60 percent. And in Suffolk and Nassau, he won between 66 and 75 percent.

Looking ahead, Trump still has his work cut out for him to get to the 1,237-delegate number he needs to avoid a contested convention. John Kasich and Ted Cruz, who came in a distant second and third respectively, have moved to states on next Tuesday’s primary fight card. Trump will be there too.

“We are really, really rockin’ … it’s impossible to catch us,” Trump said.

Clinton rolls, Sanders stalls

Hillary Clinton brought a decisive end to Bernie Sanders’ recent winning streak. Almost to the end, Sanders argued polls that predicted a double-digit Clinton victory would be proved wrong. They proved right.

Clinton was buoyant in her victory speech, as if the win had lifted a burden from her shoulders, Newsday’s Yancey Roy reported.

Clinton was projected to win the bulk of the 291 Democratic delegates at stake. With the math even more in her favor, she reached out to Sanders’ supporters to come to her side against the common foes of Trump or Cruz.

“New York has sealed the deal for her,” declared Jay Jacobs, the Nassau County Democratic Chairman.

Sanders vowed to fight on after a break in Vermont to “recharge” himself. His campaign manager Jeff Weaver said Sanders still has a chance and floated a strategy that seems a long shot: trying to flip some “superdelegates” previously pledged to Clinton.

The takeaway: In the sober light of day...

Some of the more interesting numbers are the ones less hyped in the glare of the victory speeches. Among them: Loser Sanders got more votes than winner Trump -- owing to New York's status as a Democratic-dominated "blue" state, Dan Janison writes.

For another, Clinton -- who topped a million votes in her adopted home state -- on Tuesday netted just 33 of the target 2,383 delegates needed to clinch the nomination.

Voting foul-ups to be probed

New York City Comptroller Scott Stringer said he would audit the local Board of Elections over “polling problems” and “widespread reports of voter disenfranchisement” during the presidential primaries, Newsday’s Matthew Chayes reports.

Mayor Bill de Blasio said he supports the investigation. “The perception that numerous voters may have been disenfranchised undermines the integrity of the entire electoral process and must be fixed,” he said.

The numbers:

Latest primary results here.

Delegate tracker here.

What the winners said:

Trump: “We don’t have much of a race anymore ... Senator Cruz is just about mathematically eliminated.” (Video here.)

Clinton: “The race for the Democratic nomination is in the home stretch and victory is in sight.” (Video here.)

What the losers said:

Sanders: “We are going to fight this out until the end of the process.”

Cruz played down Trump’s win as “a politician winning his home state.”

Kasich said says he believes Republican delegates will get to choose their nominee at the convention.

What the exit polls said:

Six in 10 New York Republican voters say their party has been divided by the nomination process, while only 3 in 10 Democratic voters say the same about their party’s primaries.

Only a third of GOP voters say they’ve been energized, exit polls show, compared with two-thirds of Democratic voters who say that about their side.

Biggest NY spender: Bernie

Sanders’ campaign paid for $5.8 million in ads on New York’s airwaves — double what Clinton spent, NBC News reported.

The ad-spending data from SMG Delta showed less spending on the Republican side: $480,000 for Kasich, $467,000 for Cruz and $67,000 for Trump.

Pete King names his poison

Rep. Peter King said on MSNBC Tuesday “I think I’ll take cyanide” if Cruz gets the GOP nomination.

The Nassau Republican said he voted by absentee ballot for Kasich, and “if I thought Kasich had a chance, I would endorse him.” For now, King wants to keep his “powder dry” while awaiting the July convention. (Video here.)

Making Twitter sedate again

Trump was said by his aides to be trying to act more presidential on Twitter — the platform he has favored to hurl insults at politicians and celebrities during his campaign and for years before.

“Oh, absolutely, I think you’ve probably noticed the Twitter feed lately,” spokeswoman Katrina Pierson said on Breitbart News Radio on SiriusXM Tuesday when asked if Trump would be more disciplined.

Will that last? Just before the polls closed Tuesday night, Trump ripped the talking heads on CNN as “so negative it is impossible to watch. Terrible panel, angry haters.”

Art of the retreat

Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell stepped back into neutral territory, saying he spoke “inartfully” when he said he was “increasingly optimistic” the convention will go to a second ballot, which would be bad for Trump.

What else is happening:

  • The big-state spotlight shifts to Pennsylvania, where contenders are already in circulation.
  • Trump's New York win "poises him for an east coast run next week," says the Washington Post (pay site).
  • The registration has lapsed on one of the planes used in the Trump campaign fleet, The New York Times reported ...
  • Fox News Channel’s prime-time shows spent 666 minutes interviewing the GOP candidates or their surrogates in the past month, and 13 minutes on Democrats Clinton and Sanders ...
  • A Florida bar fight was a catalyst for changes adopted by New York State Republicans to delegate-selection rules, according to Politico New York ...
  • BuzzFeed says a Breitbart News editor was paid by the Trump campaign for consulting work ...
  • “Boo hoo,” tweeted Sen. Elizabeth Warren over a Cruz fundraising email listing sacrifices he made for his campaign ...
  • Sanders’ campaign is accusing Clinton’s campaign and the Democratic National Committee of violating campaign finance laws through joint fundraising .
  • Ben Carson’s name was still on the New York GOP primary ballot Tuesday because the ex-candidate didn’t act quickly enough to get it removed ...

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