NEW YORK (CBSNewYork/AP) — The New York state primary is coming up next week, and the big delegate prize has the presidential candidates fighting for every vote in the state.
With New York proving to be a critical battleground state this primary season, the candidates are now airing campaign commercials and making multiple stops across the state, trying to clinch as many delegates as they can. There are 95 delegates up for grabs for the Republicans and 291 on the Democratic side.
On Monday night, Donald Trump held a huge rally at the Times Union Center in Albany.
PHOTOS: Donald Trump Rallies In Albany
As CBS2’s Tony Aiello reported, Trump talked about “winning” as he addressed the huge crowd.
“We’re going to win so much, you may even get tired of winning!” Trump told the crowd.
But the frontrunner also got in some whining about the weekend’s results in Colorado, where U.S. Sen. Ted Cruz (R-Texas) won a sweep of the Republican delegates.
“It’s a rigged, disgusting, dirty system,” Trump said. “It’s a dirty system.”
Cruz won all 34 delegates at local conventions in the Centennial State. It was frontpage news eight months ago when Republicans in Colorado decided to cancel voting in a traditional presidential preference poll.
Cruz organized his people in time, but the Trump camp seemed to have been taken by surprise.
“It’s a fix, because we thought we were having an election,” Trump said.
Cruz was dismissive of Trump as he spoke in California Monday.
“Donald has been yelling, and screaming,” Cruz said.
Cruz’s Golden State campaign there also claimed to have the jump on Trump.
“He’s supposed to be someone who can create these huge amazingly effective organizations,” said Cruz co-chair Michael Schroeder. “He doesn’t even have a campaign manager yet in California.”
Cruz has said there will be a fight at the Republican convention.
“It’s going to be a battle in Cleveland to see who can earn a majority of the delegates,” Cruz said over the weekend.
While Cruz was in California, his wife Heidi Cruz, picked up campaigning duties Monday on Long Island.
She greeted supporters in Melville, taking photos and signing autographs. It seems she was trying to smooth over some of her husband’s rough edges and spoke about him doting on his daughters, WCBS 880’s Peter Haskell reported.
“What people don’t see is Ted’s favorite thing to do is to sit on the floor and play Bingo with them” she said.
Ohio Gov. John Kasich was also in New York state Monday, holding a rally in Saratoga Springs.
Kasich, who is third among GOP delegates but second in New York primary polls, is still hanging on to clinch as many delegates as he can.
“Don’t be trying to predict how many I’ll have cause I’m not gonna try and predict it, but I’ll have more than I have right now and we’ll be viable,” Kasich told “Face the Nation.”
During a rally in Albany, Kasich said Cruz’s campaign was up to no good in Michigan.
“The Cruz campaign tried to strong arm and bully people and they lost everything and we did extremely well,” Kasich said. “We were very pleased with the outcome. You know you got to go out and hunt delegates.”
Trump leads Cruz by just over 200 pledged delegates and while he’s favored to win in New York, he won’t be getting the vote of his son Eric or daughter Ivanka because neither registered in time for next Tuesday’s primary.
According to CBS News, Trump has 743 delegates, compared to Cruz’s 540 and Kasich’s 143.
Meanwhile, Hillary Clinton first appeared at a restaurant in Jackson Heights, Queens, and went on to appear for a discussion on gun violence in Port Washington, Long Island. Her husband stumped on her behalf in Manhattan, Brooklyn and Queens.
CBS2’s Dick Brennan reported that while in Jackson Heights, the former secretary of state criticized Trump over immigration.
“I’m deeply concerned about the incitement of hatred and even violence,” Hillary Clinton told supporters.
Clinton may be facing off against U.S. Sen. Bernie Sanders (D-Vermont) on next week’s primary ballot, but it’s Trump she’s firing at in a new 30-second campaign ad released Monday. The spot takes aim at Trump’s recent assertion that women should be punished for getting abortions, a position he quickly reversed. It also highlights Trump’s harsh rhetoric about some Mexicans coming to the U.S. and his call for blocking Muslims from the country because of terror threats.
Clinton promised to continue speaking out against Trump, saying “his words are hurting our country.” The Democratic presidential candidate noted that Trump is from the area, “yet he seems not to respect diversity.”
Clinton also spoke in Holbrook, promising to address concerns the concerns of suburbanites.
“To deal with rising property taxes, congested transportation, overcrowded schools” were among the goals she discussed.
Clinton added that she is looking forward to her debate Thursday with Sanders.
“I think it will be lively and I have noticed that under the bright spotlight and scrutiny here in New York, Sen. Sanders has had trouble answering questions,” Clinton said.
A recent Monmouth University poll shows Clinton leading the Vermont senator in New York state 51 to 39 percent.
Sanders, however, feels he’s closing in on Clinton throughout the country. He drew huge crowds as he made a whistle stop rally tour upstate Monday — with stops first in Binghamton, then in Albany, and finally in Buffalo.
“When it began, we were nationally 60 points behind. Last week, two polls had us ahead of her,” Sanders said.
Lisa Flike of a Park Slope volunteers for the Sanders campaign and said the biggest obstacle is people’s unfamiliarity with the Vermont senator.
“His recognition was about 4 percent when he announced, but people find out who he is, what he has done, what he stood for, that he has maintained these same principles throughout his career, that he has taken a lot of very unpopular and lonely stances, he’ll change your mind,” Flike told WCBS 880’s Marla Diamond.
“We’ve been closing the gap between ourselves and secretary Clinton in the sort of delegate game and we hope and expect that will continue in the weeks and months to come,” said Karthik Ganapathy, a spokesman for the Sanders campaign.
Although Sanders is behind in the latest polls in New York, he was ever the optimist as he appeared in Binghamton.
“We have won eight out of the last nine caucuses and primaries,” Sanders told supporters on Monday morning. “Turns out that if we have a large voter turnout a week from tomorrow we’re gonna win here in New York state.”
Sanders later told the Buffalo crowd he hopes to pull off an Empire State surprise.
“We can run a winning national campaign without being dependent on Wall Street and the big money interests,” he said.
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