Victorious Donald Trump: 'We don't have much of a race any more'
Published 20/04/2016 | 06:24
Donald Trump and Hillary Clinton have emerged victorious in party primary contests in their home state of New York.
Billionaire businessman Mr Trump had been widely expected to beat his Republican rivals Ted Cruz and John Kasich in the election.
Mrs Clinton beat closest rival Bernie Sanders in the state she represented in the US Senate for eight years, further extending her lead in the delegates needed to win the Democratic nomination.
Most Democratic primary voters see Mrs Clinton as the best candidate to face Mr Trump if he is the Republican nominee in November, and seven in 10 see her as the most likely eventual nominee.
Before Tuesday, Mrs Clinton led Mr Sanders 1,292 to 1,042 in the delegate count. When including superdelegates, the AP count had Mrs Clinton at 1,761 and Mr Sanders at 1,073.
Most of New York's Democratic delegates are awarded on a proportional basis by the outcome in each congressional district. New York has 247 pledged delegates at stake.
Mr Trump suggested he may soon have the race in hand.
Speaking in Trump Tower in New York City, he said Mr Cruz "is just about mathematically eliminated" from clinching the delegates needed to win outright before the national convention.
"We don't have much of a race any more," he said, declaring that his campaign was "really rocking" and he could have the nomination sown up before the party convention in Cleveland.
Mr Trump said "the people who know me best" gave him the resounding victory in New York.
He appeared in the lobby of Trump Tower to the strains of Frank Sinatra's New York, New York, then walked a red carpet with an American flag as a backdrop, the whole scene bathed in red, white and blue lights.
He saluted his family and campaign staff, saying it had been "an incredible night, an incredible week".
But Mr Cruz downplayed Mr Trump's win as little more than "a politician winning his home state".
He left New York before the polls closed, turning his attention to Pennsylvania, where he delivered a speech calling on Americans to join together to move the country forward.
"Let us unite on the things that have always made us great," Mr Cruz said.
Even before the results were in, top Clinton campaign aides were casting her as the near-certain nominee and urging Mr Sanders to tone down his attacks on the former US secretary of state.
Mr Sanders campaigned aggressively in New York, playing up his own local roots in Brooklyn, but he, too, headed to Pennsylvania before the voting wrapped up.
For her part, Mrs Clinton all but declared victory in the Democratic primaries, telling raucous New York supporters that the race for the nomination "is in the home stretch and victory is in sight".
In a nod to her role as a New York senator a decade ago, she told supporters they helped prove "once again, there's no place like home".
Mrs Clinton is reaching out to supporters of Mr Sanders, telling them she believes "there is much more that unites us than divides us".