A clear picture with New York wins

US Republican presidential candidate Donald Trump (left) and Democratic presidential candidate Hillary Clinton. PHOTOS: REUTERS, BLOOMBERG

After resounding victories in the primaries of their home state of New York, presidential candidates Donald Trump and Hillary Clinton have started turning their attention to the big fight in November, the general election.

Both took potshots at each other in the hours after their wins on Tuesday. Mrs Clinton, from the Democratic Party, called her Republican rival "dangerous" in her victory speech while Mr Trump returned the compliment at a rally by calling the former secretary of state "crooked".

While their rivals disagree, the front runners of the two parties believe - with good reason - that their results have put them within touching distance of the finish line, their party's nomination.


Both Mr Trump, a real estate mogul, and Mrs Clinton had faced a string of defeats heading into the New York primary and a loss there would have sent shock waves through their campaigns. Instead, it is their rivals who are now regrouping.

Senator Bernie Sanders now has to secure 60 per cent of all remaining delegates to beat Mrs Clinton to the Democratic Party nomination while Senator Ted Cruz needs over 90 per cent of the delegates still up for grabs to catch Mr Trump. Nothing that has happened so far suggests either is a possibility.

The New York results also exposed severe shortcomings in the campaigns of the chasing pack.

Exit polls show that Mr Sanders is still unable to attract black voters, and he lost the group to Mrs Clinton by over 50 percentage points. With those numbers, the states with primaries to come - such as Pennsylvania, Maryland and Connecticut - will prove unfriendly territory with their diverse voters.

For Mr Cruz, the argument that the Republican establishment is finally coalescing around him was roundly debunked, given that he lost every demographic group in New York to Mr Trump.

While anything still can happen in what has been an unpredictable contest, New York is as close as it comes to the front runners landing a decisive blow.

US election 2016: More stories online at: http://str.sg/Zjyq 

A version of this article appeared in the print edition of The Straits Times on April 22, 2016, with the headline 'A clear picture with NY wins '. Print Edition | Subscribe