- REUTERS/Lucas Jackson
Hillary Clinton is poised for a winning streak of her own in the Democratic primaries after Bernie Sanders finished Saturday’s Wyoming caucuses having won in seven of the past eight voting states.
With the remaining April primaries returning to the Northeast, the map is suddenly becoming very favorable to Clinton, the former secretary of state and the Democratic frontrunner.
The RealClearPolitics average of recent state polls showed Clinton with a 14-point lead in New York, a 16-point lead in Pennsylvania, and a 24-point lead in Maryland. Those three contests are the most delegate-rich states remaining this month.
A combined 531 delegates are at stake in just those three states. In contrast, the number of delegates up for grabs in the seven states most recently won by Sanders was just 231; Sanders won 155 of them.
An additional 100 delegates are on the line in the other three remaining April states: Rhode Island, Connecticut, and Delaware. No recent polling has been conducted in that trio, but polls from within the past six months showed Clinton holding leads in both Rhode Island and Connecticut.
Rolling through the April states would all but clinch the Democratic nomination for Clinton, who holds a big lead in unpledged superdelegates, pledged delegates, and the popular vote.
The primary calendar flip from pro-Sanders states to pro-Clinton states comes as the tensions in the Democratic race reached their highest point yet. Both candidates have traded sharp attacks as they’ve campaigned around New York, which votes next Tuesday.
Sanders has vowed to upset expectations in the Empire State, despite polls showing Clinton, who once represented New York in the Senate, ahead there.
- Photo by Justin Sullivan/Getty Images
Last week, Clinton said Sanders “hadn’t done his homework” on financial regulations and other issues after the Vermont senator fumbled an interview with the Daily News. Sanders responded by suggesting that Clinton might not be “qualified” for the presidency.
On Sunday, Sanders also suggested on NBC’s “Meet the Press” that Clinton’s judgment was “clearly lacking.”
“The point that I was making, which is absolutely correct, is that if you look at where she is getting the money from Wall Street, another powerful special interest, she voted for the war, she cited Henry Kissinger, in a sense, as a model for her,” Sanders said. “I think those issues will tell the American people that in many respects, she may have the experience – no one can argue that – but in terms of her judgment, something is clearly lacking to be president of the United States.”
In another Sunday interview, this one on CNN’s “State of the Union,” Sanders further said he had “doubts about what kind of president she would make.”
Clinton fired back on Monday, saying there was a “growing level of anxiety” within the Sanders campaign. She also blasted the senator for past votes on immigration and on guns.
“Most of the guns that are used in crimes and violence and killings in New York come from out of state,” she said during a gun-violence panel on Monday in Port Washington, New York, per Politico. “And the state that has the highest per capita number of those guns that end up committing crimes in New York come from Vermont.”
Clinton’s husband, former President Bill Clinton, joined in on the attack as well. He accused Sanders of running harder against him, his wife, and President Barack Obama than against the legacy of former President George W. Bush’s administration.
“After he’s been a Democrat a little while longer, he’ll get used to it, and he’ll realize that our party is the best hope this country’s got,” he said during a Brooklyn rally on Monday, Politico reported.
The next big date on the calendar is Thursday’s Democratic debate in Brooklyn, where the candidates are likely to exchange yet more blows.