Hillary Clinton wins New York Democratic presidential primary

Democratic presidential candidate Hillary Clinton points to members in the audience after speaking at the 2016 Legislative Conference of North America's Building Trades Unions in Washington, Tuesday, April 19, 2016. (AP Photo/Pablo Martinez Monsivais)

NEW YORK (AP) — Hillary Clinton wins the Democratic presidential primary in New York, which she represented for eight years in the United States Senate.

Clinton’s triumph padded her delegate lead over rival Bernie Sanders and strengthened her claim to the Democratic nomination that eluded her eight years ago. Clinton’s campaign is eager to turn toward the general election and heal wounds with Sanders’ enthusiastic supporters.

With 247 delegates at stake, Clinton picked up at least 104 while Sanders gained at least 85. Many remained to be allocated, pending final vote tallies

Exit polls suggested Democrats were ready to rally around whoever the party nominates. Nearly 7 in 10 Sanders supporters in New York said that they would definitely or probably vote for Clinton if she is the party’s pick.

Sanders energized young people and liberals in New York, as he has across the country, but it wasn’t enough to pull off the upset victory he desperately needed to change the trajectory of the Democratic race. Still, the Vermont senator vowed to keep competing.

“We’ve got a shot to victory,” Sanders said in an interview with The Associated Press. “We have come a very long way in the last 11 months, and we are going to fight this out until the end of the process.”

The fight for New York’s delegate haul consumed the presidential contenders for two weeks, an eternity in the fast-moving White House race. Candidates blanketed every corner of New York, bidding for votes from Manhattan and the surrounding boroughs to the working class cities and rural enclaves that dot the rest of the state.

The nominating contests will stay centered in the Northeast in the coming days, with Connecticut, Delaware, Maryland and Pennsylvania all holding contests next week.

Among Democrats, Clinton now has 1,862 delegates to Sanders’ 1,161. Those totals include both pledged delegates from primaries and caucuses and superdelegates, the party insiders who can back the candidate of their choice regardless of how their state votes. It takes 2,383 to win the Democratic nomination.

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