What You Need to Know Before Next Week’s Primary

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Hillary Clinton will take her sizable lead over Bernie Sanders to New York next week, where 291 delegates are up for grabs.

By Lexi Faunce and Anne Cruz

Political candidates from both sides of the aisle continued to aggressively canvass New York State this week, signaling the impending presidential primary. Whether you feel the Bern or want to make America great again, here’s what you need to know before heading to the polls.

1. The New York State Primary election will be held Tuesday, April 19. The deadline for registering to vote was March 25, so you if you forgot to register (like Donald Trump’s children), you’re out of luck.

2. New York State is a closed primary, which means voters can only place ballots for candidates within their declared party. This may hurt Bernie Sanders, whose voter base includes many independents not affiliated with Democratic or Republican parties.  

3. For the GOP, 95 delegates are up for grabs, with 81 allocated in a winner-take-all manner by district. Eleven delegates are known as “at-large delegates,” who are all awarded to the statewide winner along with the remaining three “automatic” delegates if the candidate wins a statewide majority.

Meanwhile, 291 delegates are available to the Democratic Party candidates. A total of 163 delegates will be allocated by district winner, while an additional 84 will be granted to the overall state winner. The remaining 44 delegates are known as “superdelegates,” and they endorse a specific candidate regardless of the primary outcome.

4. Donald Trump is the clear front-runner in the Republican field, with a total of 743 delegates going into the New York primary. As 1,237 are needed to secure the nomination, Trump is in a strategic position to continue pulling away from the other two candidates if he does well in his home state. As New York offers the second-largest delegate share of the remaining 16 states to hold primaries, securing as many delegates as possible will be paramount for Ted Cruz’s and John Kasich’s campaigns.

The Democratic candidates are locked in a tighter race, as Sanders’ delegate count is holding steady at 1,037 compared to Hillary Clinton’s 1,287. However, Clinton has already secured the majority of superdelegates with 469 and counting, out of the possible 712. As 2,382 delegates are needed to secure the Democratic nomination, Sanders may have a shot at closing the delegate gap in the upcoming primary.

5. Candidates from both parties have drawn criticism in their attempts to appeal to New Yorkers. Ted Cruz’s previous comments dismissing “New York values” seem to be coming back to bite him, while Sanders and Clinton had blunders of their own last week.Trump will host two more events in New York in Albany and Rome before heading to Pennsylvania, while Sanders will come to Washington Square Park on Wednesday afternoon.

Email Anne Cruz and Lexi Faunce at [email protected]