Donald Trump breaks 50 percent mark in New York; Ted Cruz in third place

Trump breaks 50 percent mark in New York; Cruz in third place:

Donald Trump has a more than two-to-one lead over his closest rival, John Kasich, in the Republican presidential front-runner’s home state of New York, a new poll finds.

A Monmouth University survey released Wednesday shows Trump taking 52 percent support, followed by Kasich at 25 percent. Ted Cruz has 17 percent.

The April 19 primary in New York will go a long way toward determining whether Trump can reach the 1,237 delegates he needs to win the GOP nomination outright and avoid a contested convention.

At Trump’s current level of support, he’s on pace to take a strong majority of the state’s 95 delegates, and it appears that he may run the board.

“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.

A majority of New York Republicans — 57 percent — said Trump’s myriad controversial remarks, from musing about punishing women who get abortions should they be made illegal to encouraging a nuclear arms race in Asia, will have no impact on how they vote in the primary.

Twenty-nine percent said Trump’s controversial remarks make them less likely to support him, while 7 percent said they’re more likely to support Trump because of his comments.

Seventy-two percent of Republicans in New York say that sharing their home state with Trump will have no bearing on whether they support him or not. Fourteen percent said they’re proud to hail from the same state as Trump, while 13 percent said they’re embarrassed.

Kasich is the Republican candidate who does best in a head-to-head match-up against Democratic front-runner Hillary Clinton, according to pollsters.

If the Ohio governor were the GOP nominee, 80 percent of Republican primary voters said they’d cast a ballot for him over Clinton. Only 70 percent said the same of Trump, and 66 percent of Cruz.

“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.”

Kasich has no chance to win the nomination outright, but is staying in the race in hopes of an open convention. He’s argued that he’ll run stronger than Cruz as the anti-Trump alternative in upcoming contests in the northeast.

There is still an opening, however, for Kasich and Cruz to make gains on Trump, the poll found.

Forty percent of New York Republicans said they are unlikely to change their minds from the candidate they currently support, but 34 percent said they’re willing to consider a different candidate. Twelve percent said they’re hardly committed to their candidate at all, and 14 percent are undecided.

The Monmouth survey of 302 likely New York GOP primary voters was conducted between April 3 and April 5 and has 5.6-percentage-point margin of error.


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