Clinton, Trump aim for big wins as polls open in New York primary

Update: April, 19/2016 - 18:10
Democratic presidential hopeful Hillary Clinton (left) and Republican hopeful Donald Trump are hoping to secure big wins in the New York presidential primary.— VNA/AFP Photo
Viet Nam News -

NEW YORK — New York was to go to the polls o April 19 in a pivotal presidential primary tipped to hand Hillary Clinton and Donald Trump victories in the race to clinch the Democratic and Republican tickets to the White House.

The former secretary of state, first lady and New York senator leads the polls by double digits over her Brooklyn-born challenger, Bernie Sanders, even if nationwide surveys put them neck and neck.

Trump, the brash Manhattan billionaire whose controversial campaign has appalled the Republican establishment, is streets ahead of his evangelical rival Ted Cruz and Ohio Governor John Kasich.

The tycoon is banking on a big home state victory in his quest to sew up the nomination before Republican grandees can deny him the ticket and anoint another candidate at the party convention in July.

The polls would open at 6am and close at 9pm when Clinton and Trump have scheduled what they hope will be victory parties in Manhattan.

To the disadvantage of Vermont senator Sanders, only New York’s 5.8 million registered Democrats and 2.7 million registered Republicans are eligible to vote. Independents are barred from participating.

With both races for the White House nomination so competitive, it is the most consequential New York primary in decades in the country’s fourth largest state that is home to an incredibly diverse electorate.

"Please came out!"

Uniquely, three of the candidates lay claim to calling New York home: Trump, who has never lived anywhere else, Clinton who was twice elected the state’s US senator, and Sanders who was raised in Brooklyn.

"Please, come out! Vote tomorrow," Clinton said on Monday in an impassioned plea to become the country’s first woman president.

She spent the day pressing the flesh in a whirlwind of campaign stops that included greeting nurses, stopping by a car wash, chatting to kitchen workers and eating ice cream.

In the evening, she made a joint appearance with her husband, former president Bill Clinton, at a Manhattan rally for Irish Americans.

A big victory in the state, which elected her over Barack Obama in 2008, would stall the momentum generated by her self-styled Democratic socialist rival who has won seven out of the last eight state votes.

Clinton holds 1,790 delegates compared to 1,113 for Sanders, putting her on course to scoop the 2,383 needed to secure the party’s ticket.

Only California has more than the 247 Democratic delegates and 44 superdelegates up for grabs in New York.

Sanders, 74, who has galvanised a youth movement with his call for healthcare as a right, free college education and campaign finance reform, needs a win to keep alive his hopes of winning the presidency.

"If we get a larger voter turnout again tomorrow we’re going to win again in New York," he told a rally in Queens late on Monday.

But earlier in the day he signalled he could be willing to swing behind Clinton, should she win the nomination, provided she move further to the left on causes that he has highlighted.

On the Republican side, Trump hopes that winning the majority of New York’s 95 Republican delegates can lessen his chances of facing a contested nomination at the party convention in Cleveland. — AFP