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What's Next for Ted Cruz After New York?

Ted Cruz
Ted Cruz, despite becoming mathematically eliminated from winning a delegate majority ahead of the Republican National Convention, gave a rousing speech to rally conservatives to his cause. (Reuters photo)

After the New York Primary on Tuesday, U.S. Sen. Ted Cruz (R-Texas) now has just one way to win the Republican presidential nomination: by winning a second or third ballot at a contested convention.

GOP front-runner businessman Donald Trump won nearly all of the delegates in his home state Tuesday, remaining on what his campaign has called a "glide path" to the nomination. But until he secures 1,237 bound delegates for the national convention, it's still very much anyone's race to win.

Trump took just over 60 percent of the vote Tuesday, while Ohio Gov. John Kasich—who also is mathematically eliminated from winning an outright delegate majority before the convention—got slightly more than 25 percent. Cruz came in third with less than 15 percent of the vote, under-performing his polling numbers for the first time in the course of the 2016 campaign.

Trump won all but one of the state's 62 counties, losing Manhattan County to Kasich by about 850 votes. Trump also won 26 of the state's 27 congressional districts in the unofficial results released early Wednesday morning by the New York Election Commission.

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Kasich won the 12th Congressional District by just 59 votes, according to the unofficial results. He also forced Trump below 50 percent in the 10th, 20th and 24th congressional districts. If all of those hold, he will have picked up five of the state's delegates.

The remaining 90 will go to Trump, giving him a total of 849 as of this writing. He will need just 388—about 58 percent—of the remaining 674 delegates to secure the nomination ahead of the national convention in July.

Cruz had difficulty connecting with New Yorkers, even those who self-identified as born-again evangelicals. They turned out in record numbers, but the Texas senator picked up just 22 percent of their vote.

He also struggled with voters who identified as conservative or very conservative; two-thirds of those voters picked Trump. And among the nearly 9-in-10 voters who said they were dissatisfied or angry with the federal government, nearly two-thirds voted for the businessman.

But Cruz, who wasn't expected to do well in the Empire State, didn't show any signs of letting up Tuesday night. Just before the polls closed in New York, he gave a rousing speech in Pennsylvania, where voters will decide next Tuesday.

America, he said, is at a "moment of choosing":

I am so excited to share with you what America has learned over the past few months. And it has nothing to do with a politician tonight winning his home state. It has everything to do with what we've seen in the towns and faces that have been weathered with trouble, joblessness, and fear. It is what we learned looking at the factories that have been shuttered and the hearts that are closing.

We have learned that America is at a point of choosing. The media will say it is about choosing a president. But it really isn't. Our real choice is personal, and every generation must make the same choice.

Will we continue to live in the past with what we know no longer works, or will we move forward to a new and better place?

The people in state after state have made it clear. They cry out for a new path. This is the year of the outsider. I am an outsider. Bernie Sanders is an outsider. Both with the same diagnosis, but both with very different paths to healing.

Millions of Americans have chosen one of these outsiders. Our campaigns don't find our fuel in bundlers and special interests, but rather directly from the people. The wide-eyed youth of any age that haven't given up on the hope that tomorrow can and will be better.

Ronald Reagan and Jack Kennedy were outsiders. They both represented a whole new vision and vibrancy. A new generation of ideas.

Jack Kennedy looked forward instead of back to the first half-century of world war. He knew that America could dream and build if we were set free. Not tanks for war, but rockets for exploration. 

Reagan looked out—to us—the most powerful force for innovation that the world has ever known. There we found the new tech pioneers like Bill Gates and a young Steve Jobs. They had vision and the freedom to build a new world that that at the time only they saw and because they were free.

They challenged the way and changed the way all of us live, work, and interact. Now it is our turn. This generation must first look inward to see who we really are, after years of being beaten down. Years of being told we couldn't, shouldn't, or wouldn't.

This generation needs to answer a new set of questions. Can we? Should we? Will we? Are we still those people? Those dreamers and doers? Are America's greatest generations in our past?

Or are our best days yet ahead?

We must unite the Republican Party because doing so is the first step toward uniting all Americans. The question is not whether all Americans can or will agree on a majority of issues all of the time. The question is whether a majority of Americans are hungry to rally around a set of principles larger than any single issue that a politician may use to divide us.

Tonight, I'm speaking to you from Philadelphia. It's natural, when we talk about our Nation's earliest days, that we focus our attention on the Declaration of Independence and the Constitution. And we can learn a great deal about a path forward by focusing on the passionate disputes and disagreements among our founding fathers—differences that were put aside only because of the weight and consequence of the foundational principles they sought to proclaim and the price to be paid if they failed to rise to the task.

Today, as Republicans, we agree on a lot. And, sure, areas of lesser agreement exist as well. But on the fundamental question: are we satisfied with the current direction of our country; we speak with one voice.

I call on you, as JFK did in the '60s—and as Reagan did in the '80s—to chart a new American journey forward. One that isn't led by me or anyone in Washington, but by you. And millions of others just like you.

One where we still have differences, yet we choose to concentrate on what we have in common. One that lifts others up and believes in the rights, responsibilities, goodness, and strength of all mankind.

We have so much that binds us together: our families, our work ethic, our ability to dream and build unlike any people in history. But most of all our charity, our love for our fellow men and women and our willingness to sacrifice for those in need.

Let us unite...on the things that have always made us great.

We are great because we are good. Because over and over again we have chosen courage in the moments of crisis; freedom in the face of compromise; and hope in the face of challenges that everyone told us could not be overcome.

Our sitting president ran on a slogan that should have been a great first step. It promised us, "Yes we can." Now is the time to take that slogan and put it into action. "Yes we can" was a recognition of the hope that we can and should recover. The problem was that Barack Obama's prescriptions only led to more elitist control from Washington. Less freedom for the People.

But now is the time, as Americans, to once again reclaim that hope. To take another giant leap for mankind. To speak the words with all the power and might that we can muster and use the words that have changed the world time and again.

The words that the slaves yearned to hear from the American people and Abraham Lincoln when they cried out for freedom. The words, that Europe and Britain heard when they cried out for help defeating totalitarian evil in the 1940s. The words that led two men in North Carolina to be the first in flight, and half a century later, the first man to reach the moon. And decades later, two men in their garage to come up with Apple.

They are the words that will repair our tattered spirit, lift up our economy and those who are barely making it, they are the words that will vanquish the evil of ISIS. and return the rule of law. They are the words that when Americans come together and say with conviction - they change the world.

They are the vision of this campaign. Not yes we can, but now: Yes we will.

We will restore our spirit;

We will free our minds and imagination;

We will create a new and better world;

We will bring back jobs, freedom, and security;

We will find new ways to ignite an energy revolution with more jobs and greater choices;

We will defeat the evil of Islamists and ISIS;

We will live as neighbors, friends, and family in peace once again;

We will heal the sick, feed the poor, and defend the defenseless;

We will restore our rightful place in the world.

We will do what Americans do best. 

We will live for others—we will change the world through the hope of freedom's enduring promise, and our unrelenting spirit.

You can be empowered, and in a digital age it is all the easier for your voice to be heard. Your choices to govern your work, your education, your future. If only Washington will get out of the way.

Join me on this journey of less talk and more action because I know you. You may have been knocked down, but America has always been best when she is lying down with her back on the mat and the crowd has given the final count.  It is time for us to get up, shake it off and be who we were destined to be.

Don't let anyone try to convince you otherwise.

Here is the truth: You don't need me or any politician. But we do need each other, all of us, coming together as one, as We the People, because not only do we say—yes we can, beginning here and now we pledge to each and every one of us, yes we will.

And now my friends, onward to victory.

In addition to Pennsylvania, voters in Connecticut, Delaware, Maryland, and Rhode Island will all go to the polls next Tuesday. Another 172 delegates will be at stake in mostly winner-take-all or winner-take-most contests.

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