NEW YORK (CBSNewYork/AP) — Monday marked the final day of campaigning before New York’s primary, and the candidates were busy all day and through the evening making last-minute pitches for support.
On the Democratic side, Hillary Clinton was in Queens, greeting recently unionized workers at a car wash in Elmhurst, CBS2’s Tony Aiello reported.
Clinton said she’s “excited” about Tuesday’s primary.
“I will work as hard as I can. I’ve got great friends and supporters across the city and the state who are helping me. But we’re not taking anything for granted,” the former secretary of state told the crowd.
Earlier Monday, she stopped at a hospital in Yonkers and urged workers to support her at the polls.
She later joined Sen. Kirsten Gillibrand, D-N.Y., for a rally Monday afternoon.
Meanwhile, rival Bernie Sanders held a rally in Long Island City, Queens Monday evening.
“From coast to coast, this is a movement getting the establishment very, very nervous,” Sanders told the cheering crowd.
Sanders also greeted striking Verizon workers in Midtown earlier in the day.
“Thank all of you for the courage to stand up for justice and against corporate greed. I applaud what you’re doing. We’re going to win this thing,” Sanders told the workers.
For the Republicans, John Kasich made stops in Syracuse and Schenectady.
At one rally, he knocked frontrunner Donald Trump for negativity.
“He feeds into their – feeds into their fears; drives them very negative and says, ‘Don’t worry, just trust me it will all be fixed,’” Kasich said.
Trump himself was first spotted back in Manhattan. He played host at Trump Tower Monday to members of his National Diversity Coalition.
“We have to combat the narrative that people have said that Donald Trump does not have a diverse amount of support,” said Omarosa Manigault, best known from “The Apprentice.”
Trump himself said he would “bring back” the city of Buffalo, its state and its country.
“We are going to bring Buffalo back, we’re going to bring New York back and we’re going to bring the U.S. of America back,” he said.
Still, polls show Trump with a sizable lead over Kasich and Cruz.
Cruz began the day in Manhattan before heading on to Maryland. He talked about the scenario if he became the nominee.
“If I’m the nominee we win the general election,” he said. “We’re beating Hillary in the key swing states.”
“New Yorkers see Donald Trump as authentic and electable in November, but the biggest key is whether or not he can get over 50 percent,” Anthony Salvanto, CBS News elections director, said.
New York is proving to be pivotal in the race. With 95 delegates up for grabs for the Republicans and 247 for the Democrats, the candidates are fighting for every last vote they can earn before Tuesday.
But Sanders admitted that New York state law prohibiting independents from voting in the primaries could hurt him.
“We have won eight out of the last nine caucuses and primaries. We’re on a roll, we’ve cut Secretary Clinton’s lead by about a third in the last month,” he told CBS2’s Janelle Burrell earlier in the day. “But in New York, we’re running not only against somebody whose been elected twice to the Senate here, but we have election laws that really negatively impact us.”
As 1010 WINS Al Jones reported, Sanders supporters said his message was mobilizing them.
“Bernie is just the best candidate if you don’t want a corrupt system. He tells the truth unlike all the corrupt politicians,” Christopher said.
Clinton downplayed the rules in a live interview on WCBS 880.
“Different states have different approaches and I think that’s appropriate,” she said.
Instead, the Democratic front-runner is challenging Sanders and his criticism of her campaign financing by big donors.
“Do I get money from a broad cross section of people? Yes I do,” she said. “Do I raise money to help elect more Democrats? Yes I do.”
In the Republican race, Ted Cruz picked up all 14 delegates in Wyoming’s weekend primary. Speaking Monday on “Good Morning America,” Cruz responded to GOP front-runner Donald Trump’s accusations that the Republican delegate system is rigged.
“We have won five in a row and Donald’s upset, so he’s throwing a fit,” he said.
During a campaign stop in Maryland, the Texas senator called Trump a Republican-come lately.
“Donald Trump has been supporting liberal Democrats for 40 years,” Cruz said.
Kasich also mocked Trump and his complaints about the nominating process.
“I mean, come on, act like you know you’re a professional,” Kasich said. “Be a pro.”
Trump remains well ahead of both in the latest CBS News Battleground Tracker poll, but recognizes he needs every delegate he can get if he stands a chance of clinching the nomination.
“That vote is so vital and we have to win by big numbers because we have a system that’s absolutely rigged,” he said.
Meanwhile, New York primary voters will be able to report problems at the polls through a special hotline.
State Attorney General Eric Schneiderman announced that he has a hotline staffed by attorneys and staff in his Civil Rights Bureau for Tuesday’s primary. The number is 800-771-7755.
Polls open at 6 a.m. Tuesday.
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