New York, April 20 (IANS) Republican Donald Trump and Democrat Hillary Clinton regained their stride in the presidential race on Tuesday night, winning their respective primaries in the northeastern state of New York — and sending a message to their rivals that their campaigns are back on track after recent stumbles.
Trump, in his home state, notched what appeared to be his biggest victory yet. Speaking to cheering supporters on Tuesday night at Trump Tower, he said: “We don’t have much of a race anymore.”
Clinton’s win, meanwhile, will go a long way in blunting the momentum of Bernie Sanders — the liberal Vermont senator whose unexpected popularity has dogged the former secretary of state, CNN reported.
“[Texas] Senator [Ted] Cruz is just about mathematically eliminated,” Fox News quoted Trump as saying.
“We’re really, really rockin’.”
Indeed, Cruz’s poor showing left him with no mathematical chance of clinching the nomination before the Republican convention in July, though Trump could still end up short of the 1,237 needed to seal victory before the gathering.
With 94 percent of precincts reporting, Trump had garnered 60 percent of the vote, his highest total in any state. He had claimed at least 89 of New York state’s 95 Republican delegates.
Ohio Governor John Kasich finished second in the state with 25 percent of the vote, leaving Cruz to finish third with 15 percent.
As of Tuesday night, Trump had 845 delegates, Cruz 559, and Kasich had 147.
The New York GOP primary confirmed the voter sentiments that have propelled Trump’s remarkable campaign.
According to CNN exit polls, the billionaire businessman was the overwhelming favourite among Republican voters who said the next president should be “outside the establishment”, as well as those who are angry at or dissatisfied with the federal government.
More than nine in 10 Republican voters who said a presidential candidate’s top quality is to “tell it like it is” backed Trump.
In the Democratic Party contest, exit polls showed that Hillary Clinton drew support from demographic groups that helped her in past races.
She won 66 percent of voters of age 45 and older, while Sanders was the favourite among younger voters, 18-44 years.
Clinton also once again dominated among minority voters, winning 75 percent of the African-American vote and 64 percent of the Latino vote.
Across the political aisle, the New York race came after Sanders had won eight of the last nine Democratic contests — a reality that the Vermont senator has repeatedly touted on the campaign trail.