The battle of New York is over. After two weeks of speeches, articles, murals and intensified negative campaigning, the winners were no surprise: Donald Trump and Hillary Clinton. But each victory left the victor with a similar problem: the Republican and Democratic parties have become furiously divided.
Some supporters of Sen. Bernie Sanders have declared that they would not vote for Clinton in the November general election (and vice versa), and supporters of Sen. Ted Cruz vowed not to vote for Trump (and vice versa). The frontrunners are coming from opposite situations — Trump, the Republican Party outsider, and Clinton, the Democratic Party itself — but the problem they must now solve is the same. How to unite voters split by a populist revolution?
Trump won Tuesday’s vote by 35 points over the centrist governor of Ohio, John Kasich, and 45 points ahead of Cruz, who, after minor victories in states like Colorado and Wyoming, aspired to position himself as a “reasonable alternative” to the exuberant billionaire. Instead, Cruz, the theo-conservative reactionary from Texas, left New York without a single delegate. Though Trump lost Manhattan itself, he celebrated with a speech in the city repeating his promises of grandeur before a cheering audience.
It was different for Sanders, who was set back by rules that bar independent voters, who aren’t registered Democrats, from casting a ballot. The parties — and individual states — have the right to establish their own election rules. In states that select their nominee by caucus, where electors can decide the same day to sign up for the Democratic ticket, Sanders has won repeatedly. In New York, however, the system excludes all those who joined the movement in recent weeks.