New York Primaries Loom; Clinton, Trump hang on to delegate lead

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Critical tests are ahead for Hillary Clinton and Donald Trump.

Democrat Bernie Sanders is coming off victories in Idaho, Alaska, Washington, Wyoming, and Utah. Ted Cruz defeated front runner Donald Trump in Utah and Wisconsin.

New York holds its primary tomorrow. Polls show Trump with a comfortable lead. Hillary Clinton is also leading in the polls in her home state; however, Sanders is hoping for an upset.

Trump is hanging on to a 744-559  delegate lead over Ted Cruz, while John Kasich has 144.

Clinton has won 1289 pledged delegates, while Bernie Sanders has won 1045. When superdelegates are factored in, Clinton’s lead widens considerably (1758-1076).

In New York, 247 delegates are at stake for the Democrats, while 95 are at stake for the Republicans.

April 26 is the next big contest. Connecticut, Delaware, Maryland, Pennsylvania, and Rhode Island will be holding primaries or caucuses.

To become the Republican nominee, a candidate has to win 1237 delegates nationwide. If no one wins the required number, a contested convention may take place. In such a situation, the chairman of the convention is required to conduct a roll call of the states and repeats the calling of the roll until a candidate receives the majority of the votes.

The last time this happened was 1976, when President Gerald Ford had a slight lead in delegates but did not have the required number of votes.

Democratic rules are slightly different.

Superdelegates were established in part to limit conflicts and continued voting on the convention floor before the convention itself. However, the rules call for balloting to continue until a nominee is selected.

Democrats last had a contested convention in 1984, when Walter Mondale fell 40 delegates short of securing the nomination outright. 2383 delegates are needed to capture the Democratic nomination.

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