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New York to Ted Cruz: Drop Dead

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Reprinted from The Nation

The Texan tried to make the state's Republican primary a referendum on Mayor Bill de Blasio. It didn't work.

Ted Cruz
Ted Cruz
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Ted Cruz had a bad introduction to New York, as the candidate who tried to score points in other states by ripping humane and community-oriented "New York values" as somehow unappealing.

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So much worse, that the conservative candidate who was all the rage as the New York competition ramped up two weeks ago, finished out of the running Tuesday night. Republican primary voters responded to Cruz's New York (and New Yorker) bashing by absolutely rejecting the Texan. Billionaire Donald Trump was declared the winner of his home state just moments after the polls closed.

With almost all of the New York Republican primary votes counted, Trump was winning over 60 percent, assuring that he would win the vast majority of the state's 95 delegates. Finishing in second was Ohio Governor John Kasich, with about 25 percent. Cruz was at just 14.8 percent statewide -- a devastatingly weak finish for a candidate who has billed himself as the only viable alternative to Trump.

It was even worse for Cruz in key New York City boroughs where the Texan had campaigned and spent heavily in hopes of breaking conservative voters loose from Trump. On Staten Island, Cruz was at just 7.9 percent. Manhattan voters gave Cruz just 13 percent, while providing Kasich with a narrow lead over Trump (and the prospect of a few delegates for the Ohioan).

Cruz was never going to win New York City. But the candidate who bashed "New York values" did not just lose. He collapsed. New York City gave the Texan no quarter.

With a little humor and self-deprecation, Cruz might have been able to talk his way out of his "New York values" swipe at Trump by explaining that, hey, he was appealing to voters in South Carolina back in January. How could he have known that his ridiculously extreme and mean-spirited candidacy would survive long enough to compete in a New York primary in April? But Cruz had never been good at humor and self-deprecation.

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