Trump basked in his New York primary victory from Trump Tower on Tuesday night, declaring that the GOP nominating process is all but over.
“We don’t have much of a race anymore,” Trump said. Sen. Cruz is just about mathematically eliminated.”
Trump is expected to top the 50-percent mark statewide, taking all 14 at-large delegates up for grabs.
The remaining 81 delegates will be allocated based on the share of the vote in each of the state’s 27 congressional districts.
With 98 percent of the vote counted, Trump holds a commanding lead over his closest rival, John Kasich, 60.5 to 20.1 percent. Ted CruzRafael (Ted) Edward CruzInstagram chief gets bipartisan grilling over harm to teens McConnell faces GOP pushback on debt deal Democrats seek to avoid internal disputes over Russia and China MORE has 14.5 percent. Trump would take 89 New York delegates to Kasich's three. Cruz would be shut out.
While he is ahead in every county reporting results so far, Trump trails Kasich in Manhattan by about 400 votes.
"We’ve won millions more votes than Sen. Cruz, millions and millions more than Gov. [John] Kasich," Trump said. "We’re really, really rocking and we expect we’ll have an amazing number of weeks.”
Kasich had been making a play for Republican moderates in the state and has been projected to come in second.
Cruz had largely confined himself to trying to ramp up support in some of the congressional districts with the fewest GOP voters. The conservative Texan’s campaign stop in the incongruous surroundings of the South Bronx earlier this month attracted considerable media attention. His efforts yielded disappointing results.
Trump's delegate haul will give him a much-needed victory after several weeks of campaign turmoil and losses to Cruz.
Cruz had claimed momentum heading into New York, running the table on delegates at state conventions in Wyoming and Colorado, where the elections take place over months and test a campaign’s operational strength.
Furthermore, Cruz appears to be beating Trump badly in the inside game of getting his supporters elected as delegates in states like Georgia, North Dakota and South Carolina.
But Trump essentially planted himself in New York for the two weeks leading up to the primary, intent on securing a banner victory at home.
He held events in or near New York City — including in Staten Island, the only one of the city’s five boroughs that typically votes Republican — but he devoted at least as much time to rallies beyond the metropolis in cities including Poughkeepsie and Buffalo.
Those campaign decisions were seen as evidence of his focus on running up his delegate haul. It was also an acknowledgement that those cities were more fertile ground for Trump’s message than the overwhelmingly liberal streets of Manhattan and Brooklyn.
The New York primary provided more color on the Democratic side, where front-runner Hillary ClintonHillary Diane Rodham ClintonBiden nominates Meg Whitman as ambassador to Kenya Hillary Clinton shares part of her 2016 victory speech for the first time Ben Affleck: Republicans 'want to dodge the consequences for their actions' through gerrymandering MORE and left-wing rival Bernie SandersBernie SandersBriahna Joy Gray discusses US's handling of COVID-19 testing Senate rejects attempt to block Biden's Saudi arms sale Overnight Defense & National Security — Lawmakers clinch deal on defense bill MORE engaged in a fierce struggle for votes.
Sanders held major rallies in Brooklyn and Queens in the days leading up to the primary. Clinton emphasized her connections to the state she represented for eight years in the U.S. Senate, and sought to consolidate her strong support among African-American voters.
The lower-profile nature of the Republican race allowed Trump to take a few days off from the trail, using his time at headquarters to reshuffle his campaign organization with an eye on the convention in Cleveland in July.
Over the past several weeks, Trump has hired several veteran GOP operatives, including Paul Manafort, who will act as his convention manager; Stephen Miller, who formerly served as spokesman for Sen. Jeff SessionsJefferson (Jeff) Beauregard SessionsPress: For Trump endorsement: The more sordid, the better Those predicting Facebook's demise are blowing smoke If bitcoin is 'digital gold,' it should be taxed like gold MORE (R-Ala.); and Rick Wiley, who was Scott Walker’s presidential campaign manager.
Trump’s victory in New York kicks off what should be a strong week for the front-runner that will culminate in other elections along the East Coast next Tuesday.
There are 172 bound delegates up for grabs in the next round of primaries in Connecticut, Delaware, Maryland, Pennsylvania, and Rhode Island.
Trump will be the favorite to win the popular vote in all of those states, although Pennsylvania represents a unique challenge.
The Keystone State only awards 17 of its delegates based on the statewide vote, with the remaining 54 elected directly by voters.
This will be opportunity for Trump to show that the new campaign team he’s assembled can compete with Cruz at the inside game of getting supporters elected as delegates.
But Trump’s first stop after New York is in Indiana, which hosts a May 3 primary.
There are no public polls of Indiana yet, but it is believed to be favorable ground for both Cruz, who has proven appeal in the Midwest as evidenced by a resounding victory in Wisconsin, and Kasich, who is governor of bordering Ohio.
Still, both challengers indicate they intend to play in the Northeast as well.
Cruz’s first campaign stop after New York will be in Pennsylvania on Tuesday, while Kasich will campaign in Maryland, Rhode Island and Pennsylvania in the days ahead.
--This report was updated on April 20 at 6:03 a.m.