Leave a comment, and send us questions @FiveThirtyEight.
That’s it for our live blog tonight, folks. At various times throughout the course of the campaign, we’ve wound up with annoyingly ambiguous results. Not so tonight. Clinton had a great night, as Harry pointed out below, and so did Trump. It’s pretty much that simple.
It looks as though Trump will win every New York county except for Manhattan. More importantly, it looks as though he’ll eventually get something like 90 delegates of the 95 available in New York, winning all but one congressional district (he’s down by 70 votes to Kasich in the 12th congressional district on the East Side of Manhattan with all precincts reporting) and finishing above 50 percent in all but a handful of them. That’s right in line with the deliberately optimistic path-to-1,237 projections that we outlined for Trump last week, which had him finishing with 91 delegates in New York.
It’s also well ahead of the 71 delegates that our expert panel initially expected Trump to get in New York when we looked at the race a month ago. If Trump finishes with 90 delegates from New York and matches the panel’s projections in the remaining states, he’d eventually finish with 1,191 delegates — close enough to 1,237 that he might be able to get there with uncommitted delegates, especially uncommitted delegates from Pennsylvania.
Speaking of Pennsylvania, it’s one of five states that will vote next Tuesday, along with Maryland, Connecticut, Delaware and Rhode Island. Although it’s hard to say exactly how much of Trump’s results tonight reflect the fact that New York is his home state, it’s certainly not a bad sign for how he’ll perform in nearby states — and keep in mind that Trump also performed well in earlier northeastern states such as Massachusetts. In fact, he has a chance to nearly sweep the delegates next week — except in Rhode Island, where delegates are allocated highly proportionately. It will be worth watching whether Trump can get more than 50 percent of the vote statewide in Connecticut, which could potentially enable him to win every delegate there, and how he performs in Maryland districts in the Washington suburbs, where he could potentially lose a couple of districts to Kasich.
I’m not sure we’ve learned as much about how Trump will perform outside the Northeast. It’s been a highly regional campaign so far, and Trump will probably still need to win both Indiana and California to clinch 1,237 without uncommitted delegates. If he loses both states, we’re probably headed for a multi-ballot convention, which would be trouble for Trump. If he splits Indiana and California, Trump will be right on a knife’s edge — that’s the case where the extra two or three dozen delegates he’ll pick up in the Northeast tonight and next week could be the most helpful to him.
Clinton won the Democratic primary in New York on Tuesday by what looks to be about a 15 percentage point margin. While that generally matches pre-election polls, it is a devastating result for the Sanders campaign. The outcome almost certainly ensures that Clinton will beat Sanders in the elected delegate count after the final Democratic votes are counted in June.
Clinton entered the night with an elected delegate lead of about 205. That means, of course, that Sanders needs to catch-up. In order to do so, he has to win states with big delegate totals because of the proportional allocation rules that Democrats use in their primaries. Late last month, Nate calculated that Sanders needed to win New York by about 9 pledged delegates to remain on track for the nomination. Instead, Sanders lost the state by about 30 delegates or more. That’s a swing of about 40 delegates or more. To give you an idea of how big of a swing that is, that’s about double the total available delegates in Montana, which is expected to be a strong state for Sanders.
Sanders’s loss in New York means that he needs to do even better in upcoming contests than we originally thought to have any shot at winning more elected delegates than Clinton. More specifically, he’ll need somewhere in the area of 59 percent of the remaining elected delegates to eliminate his deficit to Clinton — he needed 57 percent before the night began. That means that he needs to win a state like Pennsylvania by closer to 10 percentage points instead of the 7 percentage points Nate originally calculated. (Sanders is behind in the Pennsylvania polling average by 14 percentage points.)
Indeed, the math just doesn’t look like it’s on Sanders’s side in upcoming contests. Besides Pennsylvania, he’s behind in all three of the other states with the biggest delegate prizes left on the calendar. He’s down 23 percentage points in Maryland — we originally estimated a 9-point Sanders loss would signal he was “on track.” Sanders trails Clinton by 9 points in New Jersey, which he originally needed to win by 6 points. Most importantly, he’s trailing by 13 percentage points in California, where he needed to win by 15 points.
Put simply, Sanders can’t win the Democratic nomination without a minor miracle. That doesn’t mean Sanders won’t continue to campaign, and minor miracles do sometimes happen. But the media shouldn’t sugarcoat this. There’s a reason the Sanders campaign is talking up superdelegates: Clinton can see the nomination in sight. Tonight reaffirmed that she is almost certainly going to be the Democratic nominee for president.
Today’s wins raised Trump’s probability of becoming the Republican nominee and preserved Clinton’s status as odds-on favorite to win the Democratic nomination. That means the probability of a matchup between the two of them in November rose, too. And in polls asking voters nationally about that hypothetical matchup, Clinton consistently is beating Trump, by an average of about 9 points. She has led Trump in each of the last 44 polls compiled by HuffPost Pollster, going back to mid-February. That’s one reason betting markets think the Democratic candidate has about a 74 percent chance of winning the White House.
Kasich uses his consistent advantage over Clinton in hypothetical general-election polls to make the case for his nomination:
General-election polls don’t tell us much before the candidates are set. They probably tell us more, though, about would-be candidates as well-known nationally as Trump and Clinton than they do about candidates with a lower national profile, like Kasich.
Tad Devine, a senior adviser to the Sanders campaign, isn’t taking quite so strident a stance as Weaver’s, which Jody noted below.
During a live blog last month, a commenter pointed out that Sanders is doing quite well in counties named Clinton throughout the country. He has won Clinton County in Ohio, Illinois, Missouri, Iowa and Michigan. And tonight he won Clinton County, N.Y. The streak lives! There’s a Sanders County in Montana, which votes on June 7. We’ll see if Clinton can get her revenge then.
On MSNBC just now, Sanders’s campaign manager, Jeff Weaver, was asked whether his candidate would stay in the race even if Clinton had the pledged delegate and popular vote lead at the end of the primary season. He said yes. Steve Kornacki then asked Weaver if he would use the weeks between the California primary and the Philadelphia convention to “flip” super delegates. Weaver said yes. On the one hand, what do you expect a campaign manager to say? But it was still somewhat stunning to hear Weaver put it in such stark terms.
I’m not sure what to say, Micah. As Dave said at the beginning of the night, we’re talking degrees of certainty for Clinton on one tail of the probability distribution. She was already above 90 percent to win the Democratic nomination before the night began, in my view, and now she’s somewhat further above 90 percent. Whether it’s 95 percent or 99.5 percent, I’m not quite sure. Tonight’s victory might have been emphatic enough that the media might stop implying that the Democratic race is highly competitive, but I’m not sure how much that matters either, given how poorly “momentum” has predicted results on the Democratic side so far.
Gang, jumping off Clinton’s win in New York tonight and this provocative(!) Josh Barro tweet …
… what’s the most precise way to describe the Democratic race right now? Is Clinton the presumptive nominee? The prohibitive front-runner? Is the Democratic race over?
Earlier I cited Morning Consult polling data suggesting that voters in states that voted before today had roughly the same presidential preferences within their parties, as a group, as voters in the rest of the states. SurveyMonkey, another online pollster, sent along its data just now, and it shows a slightly different picture. In its latest poll, Clinton and Sanders were tied among voters in states that had not yet voted before today, but Clinton led by 12 percentage points in states that had voted. The data suggests Sanders’s gains in national polls have mostly come from gains in states yet to vote — where he trailed by more than 10 points in every weekly SurveyMonkey poll from the start of the year through late February.
What looks like a big loss to Clinton in New York today isn’t particularly encouraging for that storyline, but SurveyMonkey includes voters who lean Democratic, while only registered Democrats may vote in New York’s Democratic primary. Still, Sanders can’t just be close to Clinton to win the nomination; he has to beat her in most remaining states, most by big margins — especially after tonight.
On the Republican side, Trump leads Cruz by 22 points and Kasich by 26 points in states that haven’t voted — not far from his leads of 17 points and 28 points, respectively, in states that have voted. But Trump’s lead has declined in states that haven’t voted since the field narrowed to three candidates a month ago.
Thanks to returns in Schenectady and Albany counties, it now looks almost certain that Trump will be just under 50 percent in New York’s 20th District, so dial up a second upstate delegate for Kasich on top of the one in New York’s 24th District.
It’s true: the exit poll results are re-calibrated as the night goes along to match the actual vote count. In fairness, however, the people who conduct exit polls — and the networks and newspapers who pay for them — are quite insistent that exit polls are not intended to project election results and instead are mostly meant for demographic analysis after the fact. And for the record, while the exit polls were off on the Democratic side tonight, they’ve had a pretty good campaign cycle overall — they were quite good on the GOP side tonight, for instance, providing an early indication that Trump would probably win.
Hey Nate, what do you mean when you say that they “re-calibrated” the New York exit poll to reflect Clinton’s larger-than-expected margin of victory? You can re-calibrate exit polls?!
So evidently I’m on a bit of a nationalism kick… but I’m not alone. One of the things that has struck me about the Democratic debates on immigration in particular is the mix of talking about immigrants as human beings vs. talking about the contributions of immigrants to American society as a whole. The distinction between these two approaches can apply to all different policy areas.
This combination was on display in Clinton’s victory speech. She appeared to get the strongest reaction from the crowd when she talked about society as a whole – about “lifting each other up, not tearing each other down,” or about other system-level problems. She’s added some individual stories about 9-11 first responders and the school shooting at Sandy Hook.
But in most of the speech, she either sounded like a New Dealer, talking about how systemic problems are at odds with who we are as Americans, or like an updated version of that, talking about banning the box or about finding strength in diversity. There’s a persistent, if sometimes subtle, emphasis in her words on national well-being and strength, rather than just the protection of individuals. In the event that Clinton wins the nomination, this may tell us quite a bit about how she would approach big policy questions.
“The race for the Democratic nomination is in the home stretch and victory is in sight,” Clinton said in her victory speech just now, giving a nice little preview of what her general election stump speech might be.
In the ultimate diss, Clinton pretty much ignored Sanders, turning her focus to both Trump and Cruz, both of whom, she said, were “ushering a vision of America that’s… dangerous.” She noted that her campaign was “the only one, Democratic or Republican, to win more than 10 million votes,” quoted Bobby Kennedy, her husband, the New York State motto, and harked back to the “progressive tradition” of FDR and Obama in which she was following in the footsteps.
She also spent a solid 30 seconds talking about some ice cream that she ate the other day and liked quite a bit — Clinton was in a really, really good mood.
Trump has another opportunity to beat our delegate projections next week in Connecticut, where he could potentially sweep the state’s delegates if he gets more than 50 percent of the vote. Again, it’s a bit hard to account for home-state effects and how local they might be to New York. But Trump’s extremely strong showing on Long Island — he has 72 percent of the vote so far in Suffolk County — bodes well for Connecticut. To a slightly lesser extent, so do his results in Westchester County, where he has 55 percent of the vote. Trump was at 50 percent exactly in the only recent poll of Connecticut.
The Working Families Party, a minor party in New York that often endorses Democratic candidates, cannot seem to catch a break tonight. Not only has the party’s candidate in the presidential race been routed (Sanders), but its candidate in a high-profile state Assembly special election to replace the former Assembly Speaker Sheldon Silver, Yuh-Line Niou, lost to the Democratic candidate Alice Cancel.
It does look like Kasich will prevent a Trump delegate sweep in upstate New York. Nearly all precincts are reporting in Syracuse’s Onondaga County, and Trump is leading Kasich there 46 percent to 36 percent. Onondaga County is a majority of the 24th District, and it doesn’t look like Trump is doing well enough in the outlying counties of the 24th — Cayuga, Wayne and Oswego — to hit 50 percent overall there.
The Democratic exit poll — which has been re-calibrated to reflect Clinton’s larger-than-expected margin of victory — now has her winning 75 percent of the black vote in New York, along with 63 percent of the Hispanic vote. Clinton and Sanders split the white vote in New York almost evenly.
The power of any one Republican voter to determine a delegate’s vote at the convention varies enormously by state and even by congressional district, as my colleague Harry Enten wrote last week.
Because we and everyone else get so laser-focused on the percentages, raw vote counts sometimes get forgotten about. But so far, there have been 1.2 million votes recorded from Democratic voters in New York, as compared with around 450,000 for Republicans. That gap may close some because New York City is over-reported relative to the rest of New York State. Still, while Trump is popular among Republicans in New York, he’s not that popular in the state overall, with Clinton having more than twice as many votes so far.
Alright, let’s break down the delegates. To my eye, there are only seven congressional districts where Trump appears in jeopardy of falling below 50 percent: the 7th, 10th, 12th, 13th, 20th, 21st, and 24th. It looks like he will definitely fall below 50 percent in the 10th and 12th. All others look clear. If that holds, Trump will claim between 88 and 93 of New York’s 95 delegates tonight.
Recently, we’ve seen a slew of national polls showing Clinton and Sanders nearly tied. Those didn’t square in my mind with the statewide polls showing comfortable Clinton leads in states like California, New York and Pennsylvania. Well, it seems in New York that the statewide polls were nearly perfect. Our polling average showed Clinton with a 13.5 percentage point lead. Right now, she’s up 18 percentage points and that should fall a little bit as more of the vote outside the New York City metropolitan area is reported.
Speaking of betting, Nate, the markets see today’s results as a big win for Trump, whose probability of winning the Republican nomination is up to 68 percent from below 50 percent earlier this month, according to Predictwise. Bettors apparently expected a Clinton win of this magnitude; her nomination-winning probability has held steady at 92 percent.