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US presidential hopefuls battle for New York on eve of primaries

Updated: 2016-04-19 10:15

US presidential hopefuls battle for New York on eve of primaries

Democratic US presidential candidate Hillary Clinton waves with former US Representative Gabby Giffords on stage at a "Women for Hillary" campaign rally in the Manhattan borough of New York City, US, April 18, 2016. [Photo/Agencies]

NEW YORK - US Democratic and Republican candidates engaged in a final frenzy of campaigning on Monday, one day before New York state voters render their verdict and potentially bring some order to the chaotic 2016 presidential race.

Democrat Hillary Clinton and Republican Donald Trump, the national front-runners, were favored to win their respective primaries in the state that both call home.

Victories would be a tonic for both of them following a series of losses. In recent weeks, US Senator Bernie Sanders of Vermont has outclassed Clinton in nominating contests. On the Republican side, US Senator Ted Cruz of Texas, Trump's closest challenger, has outmaneuvered the billionaire businessman in the fight for delegates to the Republican National Convention that will pick the party's nominee.

By the end of Monday - the last official day of campaigning before voting in the primaries begins - tens of thousands of New Yorkers will have heard the candidates' closing pitches.

At St. John's Riverside Hospital in Yonkers just north of New York City, Clinton spoke to doctors, nurses and others at a hospital cafeteria, asking for their votes and taking a jab at Cruz's dismissal earlier in the campaign of "New York values."

"I think New York's values are America's values," she told the crowd.

New York's primaries are expected to be the most decisive in decades in the selection of the Republican and Democratic candidates for November's general election.

The question for Trump is whether he will make a clean sweep of all 95 Republican delegates at stake by earning the majority of votes in all 27 congressional districts in the state.

Total victory in New York would help the real estate magnate avoid the prospect of seeing the nomination wrested from him at the party's July 18-21 convention in Cleveland if he arrives without a clear majority of at least 1,237 delegates. In that scenario, another candidate could win on a second or subsequent ballot.

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