Trump, Clinton tipped to win as New Yorkers vote in key primary

  • Yashwant Raj, Hindustan Times, New York
  • Updated: Apr 29, 2016 18:09 IST
A combination photograph of US presidential election frontrunners Hilary Clinton and Donald Trump (Agencies)

Helen Ramasaran became a Hillary Clinton supporter just the day after Barack Obama was elected President in 2008. She started by sending her money to pay off her campaign debt, and has been a supporter since.

An African-American who gets her last name from her Trinidadian ex-husband, Ramasaran is convinced Clinton is ready for the White House. “There is no doubt in my mind about it or that she will win,” Ramasaran said leaving a Clinton campaign event in midtown Manhattan on Monday.

Clinton leads the Democratic race in delegate count — 1,289 to Bernie Sanders’s 1,045 (their threshold is 2,382) — and in polls, massively in New York but with a shrinking lead nationally.

“New York has had my back always and I have had New York’s,” Clinton told supporters at the event, taking the stage to Rachel Platten’s “Fight Song”, a current campaign favourite.

Clinton will win New York, which votes on the primary on Tuesday, but experts say she needs to win big, perhaps with a double-digit margin, to not only end Sanders’s recent winning streak, but also send a message.

“There’s this perception that the people want Sanders but the party wants Clinton,” David Birdsell, dean of a Manhattan school of public affairs, told Politico news-site.

“If she wins by a margin of six figures, high five figures in New York, you have a significant rebuttal to that,” he added. That should set her up nicely for the race for now and later.

But Sanders is determined to not make it easy for Clinton.

And an upset win, however unlikely, is his target. But he may be happy, experts said, if he loses by less than 10 points.

Clinton leads Sanders 53.1% to 41.4% in the RealClearPolitics average of polls for New York, holding off the surging senator from Vermont who was trailing by over 30 points a month ago.

But she is ahead still on polling day. “She will take an important step tomorrow,” Robby Mook, her campaign manager, stated confidently on a conference call with reporters Monday.

New York is Clinton’s adoptive home, where she and her husband settled down after eight years in the White House. She went on to represent the state in US Senate for one term.

Sanders lives in Vermont and represents the state in the Senate, but was born in Brooklyn, New York, and is thus as much a New Yorker as any other in the race.

9/11, 7-Eleven and the Republican race

It’s a no-contest across the line in the Republican party, also.

New York is frontrunner Donald Trump’s home state and he leads the polls by a massive margin — 53.1% to 22.8% for John Kasich, who is placed second.

At 18.1%, Ted Cruz, Trump’s main challenger nationally, is barely noticeable. He seems to have given up on New York already and is focusing on the next bunch of primaries.

At a campaign event in Buffalo, New York state, Trump slipped up a bit using “7-Eleven”, a countrywide network of convenience stores, when referring to “9/11,” the September 11, 2001 terrorists attacks.

Trump brought up 9/11 to attack Cruz, who spoke disparagingly about “New York values” at a presidential debate and continues to suffer because of it, specially in New York, where he is toast.

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