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Special Report

Where does the 2016 race stand after the New York primary?

This is a rush transcript from "Special Report," April 20, 2016. This copy may not be in its final form and may be updated.

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIPS)

DONALD TRUMP, REPUBLICAN PRESIDENTIAL CANDIDATE: The people of New York, when they give us this kind of a vote, and it's just incredible. And I guess we're close to 70 percent and we're going to end at a very high level and get a lot more delegates than anybody projected even in their wildest imagination.

GOV. JOHN KASICH, REPUBLICAN PRESIDENTIAL CANDIDATE: I understand we won Manhattan, Manhattan Island. That's about as cool as it gets. But it sure demonstrates, we basically crushed Cruz, so it demonstrates that as we move to this part of the campaign that we're more viable.

SEN. TED CRUZ, REPUBLICAN PRESIDENTIAL CANDIDATE: Let me tell you what Donald and the media want to convince everyone. That Pennsylvania is a suburb of Manhattan. That's their telling. That's their telling. Manhattan has spoken and Pennsylvania will quietly file into obedience. I've got a lot more faith in the people of Pennsylvania.

(APPLAUSE)

(END VIDEO CLIPS)

BRET BAIER, ANCHOR: Ted Cruz obviously in Pennsylvania making that comment. Here's a look at the New York results last night. And this was as of almost everybody in the precincts. And there you see Donald Trump as he mentioned, a big win there. But the delegate count is really what matters now, and we kind of went through it before, but that's the delegate count as of tonight.

As you look towards the next big states, one of them being Pennsylvania, the Real Clear Politics average of polls has Donald Trump up. Just to be clear about Pennsylvania. There are 71 delegates up in Pennsylvania. I mentioned on the board that 17 was the number because 17 are really the only delegates that are being voted on that night. And 54 delegates in Pennsylvania are those unbound delegates that I talked about at the end of that presentation.

So let's bring in our panel, Jonah Goldberg, senior editor -- actually, that's Charley hurt. We went backwards, Charles hurt, welcome, political columnist for The Washington Times, then we have A.B. Stoddard, associate editor of The Hill, and Jonah Goldberg, senior editor of National Review. Charles isn't here, it all falls apart. All right, Jonah, yours thought on where we stand and kind of the math?

JONAH GOLDBERG, NATIONAL REVIEW: Yes, so it was obviously not only just a good night for Donald Trump, it was a better-than-expected night for Donald Trump. He got, you know, five, 10 more delegates than anyone thought he was going to -- expected him to get, and that's good for him.

At the same time, he's really not that much closer to 1,237, according to most of the forecasts because this victory was priced in, as is basically the Pennsylvania and most of these northeast corridor contests are priced in to almost everybody's forecast for what he needs to go forward. And that's why everyone is looking at Indiana, because Indiana, if Ted Cruz wins it, very difficult if not impossible for Donald Trump to get to 1237. If Donald Trump wins it, he's on not quite a glide path, but a much more comfortable path to 1,237.

I do just want to say that I am -- I am personally outraged that the way the system is rigged. That Donald Trump only got 60 percent of the popular vote but he gets 90 percent of the delegates. That is a lot of people whose votes were just simply canceled out. I thought we believed in democracy.

(LAUGHTER)

BAIER: Jonah is tongue in cheek. But Donald Trump is making this case again and again and again. They are obviously seeing a lot of response from this, A.B., where he's talking about the system being rigged. The tough part is it takes a while to explain. The delegate system has been around for a long time. They have precinct conventions, county conventions, state conventions to elect delegates, the people on the floor in Cleveland, and it's complex.

A.B. STODDARD, THE HILL: Right. And Trump never tells his supporters, when he talks about how rigged it is, that it's rigged in his favor, actually, that he has 46 percent of the delegates with now and as of this morning 38 percent of the share of the vote.

The thing is that you're right, Bret. When we sit here and look at delegate trackers all day, the day after our primary, we can say, well, if there's -- if this happens in Pennsylvania, this happens in Delaware. But really it's what's going on behind the scenes with delegates who are being chosen at these conventions, who they're being approached by, how they're being approached, and what they're willing to commit to.

Also rules for the convention from past years don't hold from past cycles, may not hold up in this -- at this convention. Rules for this convention will be decided weeks if not in late June, two months from now.

And so we're grasping at straws here unless and until we see Donald Trump with 1,237 on June 7th or before. If I were his campaign manager I couldn't promise him he's on the glide path. He's the best-positioned, he's the most likely. It's very likely he wins it outright. But it's the Wild West. If we're sitting here months if now and we find out the whole thing exploded, I won't be surprised.

BAIER: On that map that I did earlier, the reason we did Donald Trump, Charlie, is because it's all about whether he gets there or doesn't. It's all about first ballot, because now mathematically Ted Cruz cannot get to
1,237 on the first ballot, neither could and neither can John Kasich.

CHARLES HURT, WASHINGTON TIMES: And I think that that is a very major thing that came out of last night, the fact that Ted Cruz passed the Rubicon where it is mathematically impossible without the unbound delegates for him to get to 1,237, which is kind of interesting because one month ago before the Utah contest Ted Cruz was using the argument for why John Kasich should get out, because it was at that point mathematically impossible for him to win it. I don't think that Ted Cruz is going to follow his own advice at this point.

But I think that, you know, what Donald Trump is really kind of doing right now, is he is setting up the negotiations for the fight between June 7th and July 18th. And he knows -- he's a master salesman. He knows if the Republicans are talking about convention rules and talking about all this, you know, the unbound and bound and all this stuff, people hate it. They don't want to hear about it. And it makes them mad because it seems -- it sounds rigged. When you, even when you give a legitimate explanation of what's going on.

And so smartly, I think, even if you don't particularly like it, what he's doing is he is sort of setting up the field for either we can be talking about this or we can be talking about all the issues that I have raised that we wouldn't be talking about if it weren't for me. And those are winning issues I think for Republicans. And so by giving them the choice between those two conversations, he's hoping that the Republicans will say, you know, let's talk about illegal immigration and terrorism.

BAIER: So the pitch in those 41 days, Ted Cruz is obviously working this delegate system really effectively state to state. He's got people who are on Trump-bound ballots on the first ballot who could be Cruz people on the second ballot. He's got it in the mix. But what's the pitch Trump makes to the delegates, as Charlie talks about, in those 41 days, that gets 68 of them in our scenario to come over?

GOLDBERG: Have you ever seen the rooms at the Mar-a-Lago Hotel? They're beautiful, the best in the world. I think when Donald Trump was saying how he doesn't want to bribe delegates and he doesn't think that's right, he was basically reading off a menu of the things he said he is going to offer some delegates.

At the end of the day I think it's just going to be a no holds barred fight delegate by delegate about what do you want, what can I give you? Even though I don't think Trump helped himself that much in New York, I think Ted Cruz hurt himself because he did so badly that you could see going in -
- it's much more difficult for Ted Cruz to say I should get all the delegates and I should win on the second ballot if he hasn't had a lot of wins. If he doesn't look like a winner --

BAIER: If it's tough for Ted Cruz, how tough is it for John Kasich?

GOLDBERG: John Kasich is like the black knight in Monty Python. He gets his arm cut off, and it's a flesh wound. I can still win.

(LAUGHTER)

GOLDBERG: John Kasich makes no sense whatsoever. But the whole point of a party is to find a candidate that unifies the party. And if Donald Trump doesn't unify the party, and I don't think he does, and Ted Cruz can't, then you've got a big problem.

BAIER: Quickly, A.B.?

STODDARD: I think that the problem again is you're persuadable for Trump or you're not. And so he's going to find the delegate who are persuadable.
So much of the party won't be persuaded, and they'll be double agents if they turn on him on the second ballot.

BAIER: That is the case that the people voted for me, I have the most votes, the most states heading to the convention. You need to do this for the good of the party.

STODDARD: That's a very persuasive argument, and Reince Priebus, the head of the RNC, continues to say the man with the plurality doesn't win when the field has a majority. Those people are not going to break the rules. If they change them in the late days of June, they can.

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