Bernie Sanders has taken seven of the past eight voting states in the heated Democratic primary, but as the map turns to the Northeast, Hillary Clinton is poised for primary domination.
The more diverse Northeast is a map that is very favorable to former Secretary of State and Democratic front-runner Clinton. New York, Pennsylvania, and Maryland are the three most “delegate-rich” states left in April’s primaries, and all three are polling strongly in favor of Clinton.
There are a combined 531 delegates up for grab in those three states alone. To put it into perspective, the number of delegates at stake in the last seven states recently won by Bernie Sanders is 231. Sanders netted 155 of the 231 delegates available.
There are an additional 100 delegates up for grabs in April, scattered throughout Rhode Island, Connecticut, and Delaware. Business Insider reports that there is no recent polling to be had for these three states, but polls from within the last six months show Clinton holding leads in Rhode Island and Connecticut.
If Clinton dominates in the Northeast during April, as she is poised to do, the collection of these delegates will all but finalize the Democratic nomination for her. Although Bernie Sanders remains popular with the youth vote and has had a strong of success far surpassing expectation, Clinton still remains clearly in the lead in unpledged superdelegates, pledged delegates, and the popular vote.
Tensions between Sanders and Clinton have taken a sharp rise as of late, reflecting upon the tightened nature of the race. Both Democratic candidates have taken sharp, open jabs at each other as they both campaign in New York, which is Sanders’ birthplace and the adopted home of Clinton, who served the state of New York in the Senate for eight years.
In an interview with MSNBC’s Joe Scarborough, Clinton, when pressed to say whether or not Bernie Sanders was unqualified, said that Sanders’ interview with the New York Daily News “raised a lot of really serious questions.” In the interview, Sanders seemed unable to provide details on how he would implement some of the proposals that are central to his campaign, such as breaking up big banks.
“So is he qualified?” Scarborough asked Clinton.
Clinton still refused to answer the leading question but did say that she believed Sanders hadn’t done his homework and “that does raise a lot of questions.”
Sanders went on an immediate attack, saying openly that Hillary Clinton is “not qualified” to become President of the United States. During a rally he held on April 6 at Temple University in Philadelphia, Sanders said that his Wisconsin win had left Clinton “a little nervous.” He then stated that Clinton had “been saying lately” that Sanders was not qualified to be president, although Clinton never stated that.
Sanders then said, “I don’t believe that she is qualified if she is, through her super PAC, taking tens of millions of dollars in special interest funds. I don’t think that you are qualified if you get $15 million from Wall Street through your Super PAC. I don’t think you are qualified if you have voted for the disastrous war in Iraq. I don’t think you are qualified if you’ve supported virtually every disastrous trade agreement, which has cost us millions of decent-paying jobs.”
Sanders questioned “what kind of president” Clinton would make on CNN’s State of the Union and said Clinton’s judgment is “clearly lacking” on Meet the Press. In turn, Clinton dismissed Sanders’ attacks, saying that she has been called a lot of things, but “unqualified” was not one of them and inferred that the attacks were because of a “growing level of anxiety” within the Sanders camp.
Sanders has vowed to upset expectations in New York despite polls showing Clinton ahead there by double digits. The two are set to debate in New York on Thursday.
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