US Elections 2016

Clinton and Trump take convincing victories at New York primaries

Time running out for opponents to catch up to the candidates, who are now clear frontrunners

A woman leaving a voting center in New York on Tuesday
A woman leaving a voting center in New York on TuesdayPETER FOLEY / EFE

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It now seems inevitable that Hillary Clinton will face Donald Trump in November’s presidential elections. Clinton is a candidate who wears her extensive experience in politics as a stripe of honor, while Trump says his main appeal is his lack of political baggage. She is a classic Democratic candidate, while he has arrived completely uninvited, causing the Republican party to implode. Tuesday’s contest was one of the most decisive primaries that New York has held in decades, and, though the race for nomination is not over yet, their opponents have little time left to catch up.

New Yorkers have not failed Clinton. Before serving as secretary of state, she held a New York senate seat for two terms and won the primary there against Barack Obama eight years ago. On Tuesday, 57.9% of New Yorkers chose her, giving her a 15-point lead over leftist Vermont Senator Bernie Sanders.

New Yorkers, you have always had my back, and I have always tried to have yours Hillary Clinton

The Sheraton Hotel on 53rd Street in Manhattan burst into celebration. Alicia Keys’ Empire State of Mind blared out as Clinton walked on stage. “Today you proved once again there’s no place like home,” she told supporters. “New Yorkers, you have always had my back, and I have always tried to have yours.”

Meanwhile, her acolytes were already thinking about the November presidential elections – even though Sanders has proven to be tougher to beat than Clinton thought at the beginning of the race. “She is going to be a great president, I’m sure,” said Aidyn Urena, a 27-year-old African American resident of Harlem who grew up in the Bronx. “And she is going to beat Trump. I don’t know anyone in my community, no Latinos or African Americans, who could vote for a candidate like him or Ted Cruz.”

I don’t know anyone in my community, no Latinos or African Americans, who could vote for a candidate like him or Ted Cruz Aidyn Urena, a 27-year-old African American resident of Harlem

Bernie Sanders has stumbled in his homeland of New York after winning seven of the last eight primaries. The Brooklyn native criticized Clinton for her ties with Wall Street and the so-called establishment, but that was not enough for New York. “I believe in progressive changes, in someone who is going to continue Obama’s work,” Urena said.

Just a few blocks away, Donald Trump was basking in his latest electoral victory in his namesake tower on 5th Avenue. Some TV stations reported the real estate mogul’s win minutes after the last polls closed, because his victory seemed already beyond question. He took 60.5% of the Republican vote, which means he will receive nearly all the delegates because he has won by a majority.

“It has been a tremendous success, incredible,” Trump told the crowd. “We don't have much of a race anymore. Senator Cruz is just about mathematically eliminated. We have won millions and millions of more votes than Governor Kasich.”

Trump’s lead in the race means the Republican Party’s future is in the hands of this garrulous, part-businessman part-showman

Texas Senator Ted Cruz is Trump’s toughest rival in the primary race but New Yorkers only gave him 14.5% of the vote on Tuesday after he disdainfully suggested that Trump embodies “New York values.” Ohio Governor John Kasich, the only man in whom the Republican Party has any faith, received 25.1 percent of the votes.

Trump’s lead in the race means the Republican Party’s future is in the hands of this garrulous, part-businessman part-showman, who spits xenophobia and sexism and believes his unconventional style is his main virtue. Republicans will have to make do with him or pull off a dangerous maneuver at the convention in order to keep him away from the nomination. “We’re going to go into the convention I think as the winner,” Trump said in his victory speech on Tuesday.

Hillary Clinton chose New York, a Democratic stronghold, to launch her political career as senator. After leaving the White House, the Clintons bought a house in the affluent town of Chappaqua in upstate New York where they voted on Tuesday. She has a good deal of support from Latinos, African Americans and women – even if younger generations have some reservations about her.

Can you imagine Clinton in a debate with Trump? She will tear him apart Andrew Young, a 30-year-old publicist

When asked why he is voting for her, Andrew Young, a 30-year-old publicist said: “There are many things but I think that the most important now is to get the first woman to the White House. It’s about time.” Because she’s a woman? “Well, that’s a good reason but the truth is she is incredibly intelligent and a great politician. Can you imagine her in a debate with Trump? She will tear him apart.”

More and more people expect to see that debate even though there are still 20 primaries left including decisive contests in Pennsylvania and California. Meanwhile, Clinton is already preparing to face Cruz or Trump, whom she accuses of presenting a dangerous and slanted vision of the United States.

English version by Dyane Jean François.

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