Donald Trump is still licking his wounds from the trouncing he took at the hands of Sen. Ted Cruz in Tuesday’s GOP presidential primary in Wisconsin.
Cruz wasted little time heading for New York to begin campaigning ahead of the April 19 primary there. But the senator from Texas could be in for a rude awakening there – and might end up with few if any of the 95 delegates at stake -- if Trump manages to run the table in his home state.
A new survey by Monmouth University survey released on Wednesday shows Trump garnering 52 percent of the likely GOP vote in New York, followed by Ohio Gov. John Kasich with 25 percent and just 17 percent for Cruz. Trump will launch his New York campaign Wednesday evening with a rally on Long Island.
Cruz crushed Trump in Wisconsin by 48 percent to 35 percent and carried the day in three other previous races -- Utah, Colorado and North Dakota. “He [Trump] gets very angry when the voters reject him,” Cruz said today during an appearance in the Bronx, where he boasted of picking up momentum in his bid for the nomination.
For his part, Trump calls Cruz “Lying Ted” and said after his loss last night that Cruz was a “Trojan horse” for the party establishment and “party bosses” to steal the nomination.
While Wisconsin’s political terrain of establishment Republicans and grass-roots conservatives proved hostile to Trump’s brash, hyperbolic and down-right nasty style, that apparently won’t be a problem for him in many parts of New York State, according to the new poll. Fifty-seven percent of registered Republicans said that Trump’s controversial remarks about abortion and nuclear proliferation – among others -- would have no effect on how they vote in the primary.
Nearly 30 percent said that Trump’s controversial comments makes them less likely to vote for him, while seven percent say his comments make them more inclined to support the real estate mogul.
By contrast, Cruz will likely have a hard time breaking the 20 percent threshold of voters required for a candidate to qualify for any of the available delegates under GOP rules.
If Trump is able to preserve his support in New York City, Long Island and throughout upstate New York, he will be on target to claim the vast majority of the state’s 95 delegates. Only Kasich appears capable of cutting into Trump’s GOP support, but he currently lags far behind Trump.
“If this result holds in every single congressional district, Trump will walk away with nearly all of New York State’s delegates,” said Monmouth University pollster Patrick Murray in a statement.
Kasich has won only one primary this year, and that was in his home state of Ohio. Yet he is convinced that neither Trump nor Cruz will be able to amass the minimum of 1,237 delegates that will be needed to capture the GOP presidential nomination this summer, and is counting on an open convention in Cleveland to make his play for the nomination.
Trump so far has collected 743 delegates to 517 for Cruz and just 143 for Kasich. While the Ohio governor bides his time before then, he has high hopes of performing well in New York, Pennsylvania and other northeastern states that are more receptive to his relatively moderate policies and rhetoric.
Recent polling suggests that Kasich would do better in the general election than Trump, and today’s Monmouth poll confirms that. If Kasich were the GOP nominee this fall, 80 percent of New York Republican primary voters said they would support him over Democratic presidential frontrunner Hillary Rodham Clinton. Just 70 percent said they would support Trump over Clinton, and only 66 percent would back Cruz this fall.
“It is interesting that Kasich would be a stronger nominee in Trump’s home state, but it is purely academic,” said Murray. “There is almost no probability that any Republican would be able to win New York’s electoral votes.”