How Presidential Candidates Spent New York Primary Eve Trying To Win Over The Empire State
The way presidential candidates campaign before primaries and caucuses has typically remained the same — some combination of rallies, town halls, and controversial comments or attacks against their opponents to garner support from the state. With three presidential candidates with ties to New York competing for the state's affection (and votes) this election cycle, the Empire State's primary is more important than ever before. The presidential candidates' New York primary events showed how they prepared to win over the Big Apple and gain momentum in the months leading up to the general election in November.
On the day before the April 19 primary, polls showed Donald Trump leading by 30 percentage points and Hillary Clinton leading by 12 percentage points. All of the candidates have courted New York state, making visits to suburban areas and, of course, eating local food like it's their job.
Many New Yorkers have been unhappy with the state's closed voting system, which only allows registered voters to partake in the primary. With less than 24 hours until the New York primary, an emergency lawsuit emerged asking the state to open its primary and give more voters a chance to participate in the political election. The laws are unlikely to change with such short notice, but the candidates have not given up hope on trying to gain last minute support. Here's how the remaining presidential candidates spent the day before the primary.
Donald Trump Vowed To Make America Great Again
Unsurprisingly, on New York primary eve, Trump focused his campaign on his infamous slogan: "Make America Great Again." In an Instagram video, Trump pleaded to voters to head to the polls and cast their vote for him in the primary. This was one of Trump's only direct messages to supporters via social media on the day before the primary, and it garnered more than 22,000 likes after just one hour.
On Twitter, Trump sounded more like himself as he tweeted attacks on his opponents. From a tweet about "Lyin' Ted Cruz" to arguing that John Kasich only looks good in the polls against Clinton because nobody views him as a threat, Trump's pre-NY primary strategy was to, well, be himself. All of his tweets were essentially an attempt to prove to his Twitter followers that he would be the only Republican candidate to beat Clinton in the general election. Offline, Trump planned to hold a last minute rally in Buffalo, New York, on the evening before the primary.
John Kasich Visited Central New York For A Second Time
After holding a town hall at Le Moyne College in Syracuse on April 8, Kasich returned to central New York on the day before the primary. Kasich held a town hall at a community youth center in Syracuse, where he tried to persuade voters to support him in the primary, as he has maintained a second-place position behind Trump in early polls.
Theodore Roosevelt IV, former-President Theodore Roosevelt's great-grandson, endorsed Kasich with less than 24 hours before the New York primary. Roosevelt is currently a managing director in investment banking at Barclays, which is based in New York, so this endorsement could help Kasich win over voters at the primary.
Ted Cruz Criticized Obama
On the day before the primary, the Supreme Court heard a case in United States v. Texas, which sought to challenge Obama's immigration amnesty plan, the Deferred Action for Parents of Americans and Lawful Permanent Residents (DAPA). Under DAPA, Obama granted "lawful presence," access to government benefits, and work authorizations to undocumented immigrants living in the U.S. Now, as the Supreme Court hears this case, Cruz and other Republican officials have been outspoken in their criticisms against Obama's decision.
On Twitter, Cruz used his time before the ever-important New York primary to express pride for his home state of Texas and to say Obama doesn't have the power to rewrite federal immigration laws. Oddly, Cruz didn't focus his campaign strategy on New York in the hours leading up to the primary; instead, he criticized Obama and held an event in Maryland, presumably gearing up for the state's primary on April 26.
Bernie Sanders Walked The New York Streets
Sanders was born and raised in Brooklyn, so it was no surprise that he spent the day before the New York primary strolling the New York streets. Sanders shook supporters' hands and connected with people outside in an effort to spread his campaign message just hours before voters headed to the polls.
When he wasn't greeting people in the Bronx, Sanders headed to Manhattan to continue his message of the $15 per hour minimum wage. Similarly, on Twitter, Sanders spent most of the day before the primary tweeting about income inequality, immigration reform, and other topics relevant to his campaign as a way to secure votes in the primary.
Hillary Clinton Rallied In Manhattan
Although polls have shown Clinton with a nearly 13 percentage point lead over Sanders ahead of the New York primary, she remained dedicated to connecting with voters on primary eve. At a rally in midtown Manhattan, Clinton and former Arizona Congresswoman Gabby Giffords talked to a room full of voters as a way to secure their vote before the primary.
Clinton also embarked on an "ethnic tour" of NYC, where she ate... a lot, because the way to NY voters' hearts is obviously through their stomachs.