There was not much drama in New York’s presidential primary this year since Joe Biden already locked up the Democratic nomination on Super Tuesday, but he still looked poised to walk away the winner — just by how much remained unanswered Tuesday evening.
As of 11 p.m., Biden amassed 66 percent of the vote total from early voting and day-of ballots. The thousands of absentee ballots sent out to New York voters have yet to be counted.
The presidential primary almost didn't happen. The state Board of Elections, under Governor Cuomo, tried canceling the primary because no matter how New Yorkers vote, Biden still has the delegates to win the nomination.
But in response to that cancelation, a federal judge said “not so fast,” and ruled that the primary must take place after presidential contenders Bernie Sanders and Andrew Yang protested.
So why do the primary results matter if Sanders and Yang already suspended their campaigns? The answer is delegates.
Even though these candidates have dropped out, they can still win delegates, and those delegates would have sway over the party’s platform at the nominating convention in July.
New York has 320 delegates. Of those, 274 are pledged and 46 are super delegates or automatic delegates. Automatic delegates are people like Cuomo and Sen. Chuck Schumer, leaders of the state’s party. Pledged delegates are allocated on the basis of the results of Tuesday’s primary election.
For example, if a lot of Democrats in the 20th Congressional District cast their votes for Bernie Sanders, then a lot of Sanders’ delegates from the Albany area will be heading to the nominating convention in August, and presumably they would help push the party’s platform to the left.
There was no Republican presidential primary this year because incumbent President Donald Trump already has the backing of the Republican Party.