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The final results in the New York primary, and a few numbers ahead: Donald Trump won New York, with 60.4% of the votes, and 89-91 delegates. The one county place he didn’t win was where he lived: Manhattan, or New York county, where he was beat by John Kasich, haha. That result and a couple of other county results gave Kasich four delegates, with a couple of others to go. Ted Cruz got no delegates, but never expected to. He hoped at least to whittle down Trump’s lead in some districts in order to get a stray vote, or give a few to Kasich.

Had he bitten the bullet and run dead in NY, advocated a vote for Kasich, that might have pushed Kasich’s vote in a few counties, and damaged the Donald, got him down to the low 80s in delegates. But the Death Race 2000 character of this election militates against that. And yet it might be those 10 delegates that are vital at the convention. For the moment, Trump is sitting pretty, as has has bragging rights on a majority win. There’s now no mathematical possibility — there was never a real possibility — that Cruz can get the nomination.

On the Democratic side, Hillary Clinton won 58% to 42%, grabbing 176 delegates to Bernie Sanders’ 106. Sanders was never likely to win, chiefly because it’s a closed primary; Bernie bros and hos would have had to register before his campaign had even started, last year, in order to vote for him. The result could have been better; if Bernie had managed to get above 45%, that would have been, image-wise, a loss for Hillary. But it was a bit of a beat-up, because Sanders would always fall short.

A glance at the map shows it clearly: Sanders won about 80% of the counties in NY states — all of them upstate and west-state, and omitting the crucial city counties of Buffalo, Rochester and other dumps. Clinton won all of New York City and commuter counties, and most of the other cities as well. But most of the upstate rural Democrats are lawyers-turned-ice cream makers, and apprentice luthiers with a stalled cultural studies PhD; those areas vote Republican.

Sanders’ real chance for a rally lies with the “Acela corridor” primaries next week. Acela is the express train service which runs between Boston, Philadelphia and Washington DC, via NYC, and priced to be prohibitive, save for anyone en route to a business meeting. Connecticut, Rhode Island, Maryland, Delaware and Pennsylvania are up, and it’s the last of these that may be a rallying point for Bernie.

You can register up to 30 days before the primary in Pennsylvania, and if the Sanders machine has been getting out the rego they may do better. Furthermore, Pennsylvania is a perpetual next-marginal state — the one Republicans always think they can bring into play if they can find the right formula, or the Democrats screw up. With two big cities at either side of the state, it has a rust-belt in the middle, and the tip of the bible belt in its south, where the Appalachians begin. If Sanders were to win that, he would get bragging rights about which candidate could shore up the boundaries of their vote. The Democrats are only winning if Pennsylvania isn’t even slightly in play.

For the Republicans, the long, bitter struggle to deny Trump the 1237 pre-convention maximum now has three clear battles remaining: the Acela primary next week with about 175 winner-take-all delegates, and another 50 or so proportional delegates; the Indiana primary on May 3 which has 57 winner-take-all delegates; and the June 7 big kahuna, California and New Jersey and some others, with 300 delegates on offer, 270 winner-take-all.

Trump currently has 845, so Indiana begins the next surprise yuuuuuge primary. If Cruz can win that very religious hybrid state — industrial/agricultural/suburban — then it will come down to who wins this or that district in California, and the mood in South Dakota.

Onwards, and onwards, and onwards … the side effect is the disease …

Peter Fray

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