(Rich Galen, Mullings.com) – The best thing about last night’s primary in New York is: It’s over and the rest of the country can go back to its daily business without having to be bombarded with New York stuff.
Of course, there were reports of problems in a number of precincts in Brooklyn and other New York City boroughs. One person Tweeted that his polling place had no GOP ballots, so they handed him a Democrat ballot.
Close enough for government work in New York.
The exit polls indicated Donald Trump would have an easy victory and CNN called him the winner within 10 seconds of the polls closing – the earliest that news organizations participating in exit polling can make projections.
The GOP rules in New York say that if a candidate gets 50 percent of the votes they get all the delegates. If a candidate doesn’t get at least 20 percent, they get (as they say in New York) bupkis.
To get all 95 delegates available, Trump not only has to win a clear majority statewide, but has to win with 50 percent-plus-one in each of New York’s 27 Congressional Districts. Those district-by-district calculations will be late coming in, but it seems clear that Trump will come away with the lion’s share of the delegates.
Even at that, as Donald Trump has found out to his horror, the delegate collection process has very little to do with the delegate selection process.
There is an old saying about British monetary policy:
There are only two people who understand it; the Chancellor of the Exchequer and a minor clerk in the Bank of England.
And, they don’t agree.
So it is with the R and D delegate collection process. They are multi-layered, obtuse, confusing, processes that only two people in each state understand. And they don’t agree.
Think I’m kidding? Here’s an explanatory footnote at the bottom of page one of a seven-page document on the delegate selection process in Texas:
Texas has 155 delegates. Under Rule 38 of the Rules of the Republican Party of Texas, as adopted by the 2014 Republican State Convention, 108 delegates will be awarded, three per congressional district in a graduated proportional manner based upon the primary result in each congressional district, the three RNC members from Texas and 6 additional at-large delegates will be awarded by the same method based upon the statewide vote, and an additional 38 at-large delegates, are allocated by the winner-take-all secret ballot at the May 6-8 Texas Republican State Convention for a presidential candidate. However, Section 9(c) of Rule 38 provides that in the event the RNC Chair or RNC Rules Committee determines that the two-step allocation process violates RNC Rules, all 47 at-large delegates will be allocated in a graduated proportional manner based on the statewide primary vote. Texas received notification in May 2015 that the RNC Chair determined that the two-step allocation process, so all delegates will be allocated on the proportional basis of the primary vote.
About 45 minutes after the polls closed, CNN called New York for Hillary Clinton. Every state election on the Democrat side is proportional (as opposed to winner-take-all) so Bernie Sanders will get delegates, but Clinton’s delegate lead will increase.
In the exit polls, 25 percent of Republican voters self-identified as moderates. 47 percent identified as “somewhat conservative” meaning nearly three-quarters of Republican voters in the New York primary were not full-fledged conservatives.
The 23 percent who did identify as “very conservative” would call that other 72 percent “RINOs” – Republicans In Name Only.
Didn’t matter. Trump got 41 percent of the moderates (Kasich got 43%) but he got 66 percent of the “somewhats” and surprisingly 61 percent of the “very conservative” vote.
The parade moves on to five more contests next Tuesday with Pennsylvania as the big prize. Additionally, there will be primaries in Connecticut, Maryland, Delaware, and Rhode Island.
But, it is becoming increasingly clear that stopping either Hillary Clinton or Donald Trump is going to be a very steep hill to climb.
Mr. Galen is a veteran political strategist and communications consultant. He blogs at www.Mullings.com.