As I’ve posted previously, the state-wide polling in New York is disinformation. First, most delegates are awarded based on Congressional District. So there are actually 28 separate races going on in New York, one at state level and 27 district races. This means that winning a mere handful of votes in The Bronx, where 11,000 can put you over 50%, is actually better than winning 90,000 votes in a large district that gets you 40+% of the vote. Secondly, Trump’s usual base of voters, conservative-ish Democrats and independents, are functionally barred from voting unless they changed their voter registration before October 9.
To make matters worse, Trump needs to pull about 85 delegates out of New York to have a prayer of avoiding a contested convention. That requires him to break 50% in all but six of New York’s congressional districts and win the remainder. The Trump campaign knows that and they know that they aren’t in great shape to make that happen. In the past two days, Trump has cancelled an appearance at the Colorado State GOP convention and he has cancelled campaign stops in California, all to focus on New York.
Now George Pataki is agreeing that while Trump will probably win the overall vote in New York, Ted Cruz is coming on strong and could make Trump’s victory turn into Dead Sea fruit.
That may be, but George Pataki, the three-term New York governor and the last Republican to hold that office, is starting to sound like a Cruz Republican.
“I think Ted Cruz has a real shot of surprising and doing really well,” he says. Pataki, who dropped out of the presidential race earlier this year and later endorsed Marco Rubio, adds that he’s not ready to endorse a new candidate yet but that Cruz, not Kasich, has the “best chance” of defeating Trump for the nomination. He agrees with Astorino that Cruz’s apparent strategy of targeting minority-heavy districts in New York City could help minimize the success Trump will otherwise enjoy in his home state.
If Donald Trump doesn’t win a majority in his home state and doesn’t take away the delegates he needs to get back on track for a first ballot win, then the question becomes one of how Trump leaves the race. Personally, I can’t see him staying around to be beaten in Cleveland.