NEW YORK (AP) — Donald Trump celebrated his overwhelming home-state primary victory in the glitzy Manhattan skyscraper that bears his name, he strode onstage to tune of “New York, New York,” and the Empire State Building even marked the moment by lighting its spire in shimmering Republican red.
All of which masked an undeniably embarrassing fact for the GOP front-runner: The one county he lost in the state was his home borough of Manhattan.
Trump’s 45 percent to 42 percent loss to John Kasich on the island stood in contrast to his dominance across the rest of the state, where he won 61 of 62 counties and regained momentum in the Republican race after a stinging loss in Wisconsin earlier this month.
The celebrity businessman didn’t mention the Manhattan setback in his speech Tuesday night at Trump Tower, saying it was rewarding to be given such a massive victory by “the people who know me best.”
“We’ve been all over New York state,” he said. “The people of this state truly are great and amazing people.”
Trump, who made defending “New York values” the centerpiece of his campaign, racked up massive margins in the city’s other four boroughs, including posting more than 80 percent of the vote on the GOP stronghold of Staten Island.
But the loss in Manhattan highlighted a weakness Trump has shown among the more moderate, business-class “Rockefeller Republicans” who often populate big cities and their suburbs. He lost to Marco Rubio in Washington, D.C., while Kasich recorded wins in the affluent areas around Chicago.
A Trump campaign spokeswoman did not immediately respond to a request for comment Wednesday.
The Manhattan results also highlighted the massive disparity between Republican and Democratic voters in the state and city. Democrats outnumber Republicans 2-to-1 in the state and 10-to-1 in Manhattan. Kasich’s victory in the borough came out of a total of 24,887 Republican votes cast, compared to 267,723 total Democratic votes in the borough.
The night’s other winner, Hillary Clinton, did not suffer a similar hometown defeat. Clinton, who cruised to victory in the Democratic primary, represented New York for eight years in the Senate and keeps a home in Westchester County, just north of New York City. She defeated rival Bernie Sanders 67 percent to 33 percent in Westchester, according to unofficial and incomplete rivals.
She also triumphed in Brooklyn, where both Democrats have ties: Sanders was born in the borough, while Clinton headquartered her national campaign there.
By Jonathan Lemire