By the end of Monday - the last official day of campaigning before
voting in the state's Democratic and Republican primary elections
begins - thousands of New Yorkers will have heard the candidates'
New York's primary is set to be the most decisive such election in
the state in decades in terms of picking the nominees for November's
general election. The date for the contests was shifted back this
year so they are no longer crowded out by the raft of other states
that voted on so-called Super Tuesday last month.
Barring an upset on the Republican side, Trump, whose name in giant
letters adorns condominiums and hotels across New York City, is
expected to win handily in his native state.
"You're going to look back and say, 'That was the greatest vote I've
ever cast, ever, ever, ever,'" the billionaire businessman promised
a crowd of cheering supporters at a campaign event on Staten Island,
one of New York City's five boroughs and its most solidly Republican
The question is whether Trump will make a clean sweep of all 95
Republican delegates at stake by earning the majority of votes in
all 27 congressional districts in the state.
Total victory in New York may help Trump avoid the prospect of
seeing the nomination wrested from him at the party's July 18-21
convention in Cleveland if he arrives without a clear majority of at
least 1,237 delegates. In that scenario, another candid date could
win on a second or subsequent convention ballot.
Trump's Republican rivals, Ted Cruz, a U.S. senator from Texas, and
Ohio Governor John Kasich, have no strong ties to New York, though
they have gamely showed up at campaign events to be seen relishing
local delicacies: pizza, pickles, matzo.
Cruz, Trump's closest rival, has been given a particularly hard time
by some voters for speaking disdainfully of "New York values"
earlier this year in an attempt to discredit Trump.
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While Trump holds his rally in Buffalo, Cruz will be campaigning in
New York City. Kasich will make appearances in Syracuse and
Schenectady, two upstate New York cities.
On the Democratic side, former U.S. Secretary of State Hillary
Clinton, who represented New York for eight years in the U.S. Senate
and whose main home is just north of New York City, remains the
favorite to win her party's nomination.
Still, recent polls have shown Sanders, a U.S. senator from Vermont
whose distinctive accent is that of a native Brooklynite, cutting
her earlier 30-percentage-point lead by about two-thirds after an
unbroken string of victories in the last eight nominating contests.
Sanders drew 28,000 people to hear him speak at a Brooklyn park on
Sunday, according to his campaign's tally. He is hoping for more
crowds at his concert-cum-rally at a park alongside the East River
in Queens on Monday evening.
But Sanders needs to defy expectations with a strong victory if he
is ever to overtake Clinton.
Clinton will be campaigning in Manhattan on Monday while her
husband, former President Bill Clinton, will be heading upstate, to
Buffalo and Rochester.
(Reporting by Jonathan Allen; Editing by Jonathan Oatis)
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