Will New York Primary Really Change Anything? Probably Not

By | April 18, 2016

New York is the third most populated state in America, it’s home to the most populated city in America, and it’s got direct ties to all of the main presidential candidates: Trump and Bernie are from there. Hillary was a Senator there. And Ted Cruz directly insulted them even as he also took money from Wall Street backers. There’s not a single poll that says Trump or Hillary will lose, and the only real question is how big they’ll win by (I don’t even know why Ted “New York Values” Cruz is bothering to campaign there).

“If it’s such a huge state, then how can it possibly not change anything?” Because Bernie Sanders lost this race a month ago, yet he’s not going anywhere. Ted Cruz is no longer a viable candidate to get the most delegates, yet he’s not going anywhere. And John Kasich is frequently greeted with “Who?” at campaign stops, yet even he is not going anywhere.

We have now entered a bizarre, parallel universe where political candidates don’t feel compelled to actually win to keep running. Yes, I know technically Bernie and Ted have plenty of victories, but they’re also not running in a world where math matters. They’re both idealogues hoping to spread their dueling philosophies and even more importantly the message that they are the only ones who can deliver them. Both frequently brag about how unpopular they are in their own parties, and even though they’re both hoping for convention chaos they can take advantage of to steal the nomination, it’s doubtful either is popular enough in their own party to do that.

Yet there’s almost no doubt that Bernie isn’t going anywhere until Hillary takes every last damn one of the delegates she needs to beat him, and even then might just keep running for the hell of it. Same for Ted Cruz, and John Kasich who has so far won only his home state and seems unlikely to win another one. There’s little doubt Trump and Hillary will win New York, and probably win it big since Trump is beating the other two by no less than 20 points in every poll, and sometimes as high as a monstrous 40 points.

So what does it say that Hillary and Trump are almost certainly headed for a big night on Tuesday, and will sweep up huge delegate wins, and yet it still won’t be enough to get rid of any of their rivals? It says something kind-of horrible yet increasingly clear about this never-ending, “please God kill me” primary season: any pretense about it being about the issues, the people, or America is long gone, and now it’s just about men who don’t know when to go home.

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