Today, Democrats and Republicans in New York vote for their nominee at polling locations across the state. Up for grabs are 95 delegates on the Republican side and 247 for the Democrats.
Pundits are expecting the New York primary vote to be one of the most important in decades and among those most significant in the nomination process.
While Bernie Sanders has done well to close the gap between himself and former New York Sen. Hillary Clinton in recent polling, the former Secretary of State still holds a 12-point lead in RealClearPolitics’ average. In mid-March, there was an Emerson College poll showing Clinton 48 points ahead.
The Sanders campaign argues that the Senator does not need to win in the state, as long as he picks up a hefty number of pledged delegates. The delegate math the Sanders campaign seems to be using, however, is looking increasingly like wishful thinking.
Bernie created pandemonium in Manhattan yesterday when he walked around 14 blocks amid scores of supporters and onlookers. The New York branch of the campaign has also developed a formidable ground operation.
Sanders’ claim that polls are underestimating support for the Senator hold a little more weight considering the 20,000+ crowds he’s attracted over the past week, and the robust army of volunteers deployed across the state. Monday, Sanders elaborated: “The bottom line is, let’s look at the real poll tomorrow. Generally speaking, polling has underestimated how we do in elections.”
Clinton has done her fair share of tough campaigning, too. As a former U.S. Senator from New York after being first lady, it would seem impossible to reach her level of name recognition in the Empire State, despite Bernie Sanders being Brooklyn born.
While Sanders has held enormous rallies in Prospect Park and Washington Square Park, Clinton focused on communities where she holds strong leads over Sanders, targeting minority voters, which have been integral to her success so far this cycle.
CNN released footage of Clinton campaigning in Washington Heights, where she “danced on stage to Latin music with State Sen. Adriano Espaillat and State Assemblyman Keith Wright.”
It looks unlikely that Sanders, despite the excitement he's created nationally, will pick up a win today. Following a strong set of recent results, a poor showing today could spell the beginning of the end for his nomination hopes.