In order to maintain the slim, infinitesimal hope that he might be able to clinch the Republican nomination by winning pledged delegates, Ted Cruz needed to win at least a handful of delegates in New York. He didn’t. He now joins John Kasich (and every other Republican who once ran) in the category of “people who can’t clinch the nomination on pledged delegates.” Of the 17 Republicans that started the race, only one candidate isn’t in that box: Donald Trump.
Trump’s challenge hasn't been Kasich or Cruz for a while; he’s battling against 1,237, the number of pledged delegates he needs to clinch before the convention. And in that race, every delegate counts.
Meaning that we’re going to be watching the margins in each and every one of New York’s 27 congressional districts. Trump already clinched the state’s 14 at-large delegates by getting more than 50 percent of the vote in the state. But in each district, he needs 50 percent of the vote to get three delegates. If he drops below that mark, he has to give up one delegate to whomever is in second. (In this case, it’s always Kasich.)
Here’s where things stand: Each congressional district is shown, with the darker section of the pie indicating Trump’s vote in the district.
Trump will almost certainly end the night shy of a full, 95-delegate sweep. But he’ll come awfully close. His team will be crossing its fingers that he doesn’t end the voting on June 7 with 1,236 of the 1,237 delegates he needs.
How bad was Cruz’s night? He’s losing to Ben Carson in some places — a guy who hasn’t been in the race in weeks.
Cruz can still win the nomination on the first convention ballot, mind you, but he needs to win about 88.5 percent of the outstanding delegates, bound or unbound, per Daniel Nichanian’s excellent calculations. That's not likely to happen either.
Trump isn’t the only big winner tonight! Congratulations to John Kasich, who will almost certainly end up with his first delegate in more than a month. Can Kasich pull off a come-from-behind victory? No. The end.
Update 11:12 a.m.: Trump is now over 50 percent in 22 districts -- one fewer than earlier this morning -- and getting 89 of 95 delegates. The below chart is from The Post's graphics team: