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The New Arab & agencies

Trump, Clinton win crucial New York primary

Hillary Clinton beat Bernie Sanders on her home turf [AFP]

Date of publication: 20 April, 2016

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Donald Trump and Hillary Clinton swept to victory in Tuesday's pivotal New York primary, with both candidates edging closer to securing their party's nomination.

Front-runners Donald Trump and Hillary Clinton swept to victory with ease in Tuesday's New York primary, with Trump bouncing back from a difficult stretch in the Republican campaign and Clinton pushing closer to securing the Democratic nomination.

Trump seemed headed to capture more than 50 percent of the vote, putting him in a strong position to win most of New York's 95 delegates.

A confident Trump declared that it was "impossible" for his rivals to catch him.

"We don't have much of a race anymore," he said during a victory rally in the lobby of the Manhattan tower bearing his name.

He peppered his brash remarks with more references to the economy and other policy proposals than normal, reflecting the influence of a new team of advisers seeking to professionalise his campaign.

Clinton's triumph padded her delegate lead over rival Bernie Sanders and strengthened her claim to the Democratic nomination that eluded her eight years ago.

Clinton's campaign is eager to turn toward the general election and heal wounds with Sanders' enthusiastic supporters.

With 247 delegates at stake, Clinton picked up at least 104 while Sanders gained at least 85. Many remained to be allocated, pending final vote tallies.

We have come a very long way in the last 11 months, and we are going to fight this out until the end of the process.
- Bernie Sanders

Exit polls suggested Democrats were ready to rally around whoever the party nominates. Nearly 7 in 10 Sanders supporters in New York said that they would definitely or probably vote for Clinton if she is the party's pick.

Sanders energized young people and liberals in New York, as he has across the country, but it wasn't enough to pull off the upset victory he desperately needed to change the trajectory of the Democratic race.

Still, the Vermont senator vowed to keep competing.

"We've got a shot to victory," Sanders said in an interview with The Associated Press. "We have come a very long way in the last 11 months, and we are going to fight this out until the end of the process."

The nominating contests will stay centered in the Northeast in the coming days, with Connecticut, Delaware, Maryland and Pennsylvania all holding contests next week.

Sanders spent Tuesday in Pennsylvania, as did Republican Sen. Ted Cruz, Trump's closest rival.

Trump leads the Republican race with 756 delegates, ahead of Cruz with 559 and Ohio governor John Kasich with 144. Securing the GOP nomination requires 1,237.

Among Democrats, Clinton now has 1,862 delegates to Sanders' 1,161.

Those totals include both pledged delegates from primaries and caucuses and superdelegates, the party insiders who can back the candidate of their choice regardless of how their state votes. It takes 2,383 to win the Democratic nomination.

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