Over the course of the past two weeks, businessman and 2016 presidential candidate Donald Trump has consistently been polling at more than 50% in the run up to the New York Republican presidential primary, scheduled for next Tuesday, April 19, 2016. Ohio Governor John Kasich has consistently been polling second with about 21%, and Texas Senator Ted Cruz is in the cellar at about 19%. What is not being revealed in these numbers is that those who have already chosen a candidate and will vote for them on Tuesday, come in at about 85% for Trump, with Kasich and Cruz polling much smaller percentages of committed voters.
While Ted Cruz is focusing on what he believes will be a contested convention, Trump continues to steamroll right along and focusing on the campaign at hand. If the voting turns out the way that it is being polled right now, Trump has an excellent chance to take all 95 of the state’s delegates, and in doing so, would set back Ted Cruz following Cruz’s wins in Colorado and Wisconsin. A blowout win by Trump would build all important momentum for upcoming contests in Pennsylvania, as an example, and could deliver a knockout blow to Ted Cruz, mathematically preventing Cruz from amassing the 1,237 delegates necessary to win the Republican nomination for president prior to the G.O.P. party convention in July.
If Cruz fails to pick up any delegates in New York, this will signal a big weakness in the Cruz campaign, as the road to the presidency runs straight through the Empire State, and could be a signal to the G.O.P. establishment that perhaps Cruz is not the guy you thought he was when the R.N.C. approved of the Cruz second ballot strategy. A third place finish in New York shows us a lot of the shortcomings of the Cruz campaign. His unfavorable numbers are not as high as Donald Trump, but Trump can win large battleground states that must be won during the full presidential campaign.
Without winning Maryland, New Jersey, Ohio, Pennsylvania and West Virginia, no Republican candidate can capture the White House and lose both New York and California. Cruz’s performance on Tuesday is going to tell us a lot about just how truly competitive he can be in the East and Northeastern corridor.
Pennsylvania Republicans will vote just one week after New York on April 26, 2016, along with Connecticut, Delaware, Maryland, and Rhode Island. Trump continues to maintain about a 15 point lead over both Cruz and Kasich. Like New Yorkers, Pennsylvanians are fired up over Trump’s candidacy, and if Trump manages to win Pennsylvania and the other four states voting on April 26, it will be seen as a significant setback to the campaigns of both Cruz and Kasich.