When you are the candidate of the party insiders you expect to win the endorsements of the big counties. When nominating a candidate for statewide office, all the parties use weighted voting...with the counties that perform best for the party in elections getting the most votes.
In the Democratic Party, that means the boroughs of New York, and Senator Kirsten Gillibrand has grabbed the backing of New York County (Manhattan) and that amounts to about 10% of the votes at the party's convention this spring. Earlier the Bronx weighed in for Gilly.
Unless she stumbles badly, Senator Gillibrand will be the party designee, meaning she had over 50% of the vote at Convention....If potential rival Harold Ford gets 25%, then there is a primary. Many times there is an arrangement to make sure the lesser candidate gets on the ballot, particularly when minority voter considerations are in play. If Mr. Ford fails to get the 25%, he can still force a primary by circulating nominating petitions in June and July.
For Gillibrand the goal is to have the party leaders stampede the counties early and force Ford to fold. Obviously, he wants them to hold off in hopes folks get skittish about her.
In any event, at some point Ford will have to cross the Rubicon and that's a tough call going against the poobahs....But it is a year when establishment candidates may not fare so well.
Ford Loses Manhattan (Updated)