After Bernie Sanders’ and Ted Cruz’s victories in Wisconsin last week, many wondered whether the presidential races had reached a new turning point. Maybe the Wisconsin winners would take some “momentum” into New York, home to the next big primary?
There’s still time for the race to change, but as things stand, the Empire State appears to favor both parties’ national frontrunners. There have been several new polls released over the last day, and let’s start with the Democratic race, which is clearly the more competitive of the two primaries.
The new NBC News/Wall Street Journal/Marist poll shows the race shaping up this way:
Hillary Clinton: 55%
Bernie Sanders: 41%
That’s largely in line with the broader averages across all New York polling. It’s also roughly consistent with the new Monmouth University poll, which shows Clinton up by 12 points, 51% to 39%, and the new NY1/Baruch College poll, which found Clinton up by 13 points, 50% to 37%.
The primary isn’t until a week from today, and there will be a televised debate between now and when voting begins, which means the race may yet change. That said, FiveThirtyEight currently gives Clinton a 98% chance of winning the New York primary. The state poses a particular challenge to Sanders because it’s a closed contest – only Democrats are permitted to participate – and the Vermont senator has fared far better in states in which independents can help choose the Democratic nominee.
As for the Republican race, the NBC News/Wall Street Journal/Marist poll has the race shaping up this way:
Donald Trump: 54%
John Kasich: 21%
Ted Cruz: 18%
In the NY1/Baruch College poll, the results are even more lopsided, with Trump leading with a whopping 60% – as best as I can tell this is the first statewide poll in 2016 in which any GOP candidate has reached 60% support in any state – followed by Kasich with 17% and Cruz with 14%.
Trump’s overwhelming advantage in his home state is striking, but note that in practically every New York poll, Cruz is running in third place, not second. If this holds true, it will be Kasich’s only 2nd-place finish in any state since Super Tuesday in early February.
No candidate will be able to formally clinch their party’s nomination with a victory in the Empire State, but New York is the nation’s second-largest delegate prize – only California offers more – and should the frontrunners hold on to win here, they’ll get a significant boost.