Hillary Clinton shouldn’t have much trouble winning the New York Democratic primary on April 19th. In the 2008 version of this contest, when she was running as a two-term, home-state U.S. senator, she got more than fifty-seven per cent of the vote and defeated Barack Obama by about seventeen percentage points. This time around, Clinton again has a big lead in the polls. A Fox News survey that was released on Sunday showed her getting fifty-three per cent of the vote, and Sanders getting just thirty-seven per cent.
Despite this, the Sanders campaign is confident that it can generate substantial turnout among young voters and progressives. In the Fox poll, the Vermont senator was leading Clinton by eleven points among people under the age of forty-five. But Sanders knows that he needs to narrow Clinton’s lead among minority voters, and that is where he is concentrating a lot of his efforts. On Saturday evening, he, too, appeared at the Apollo, for a panel discussion that also featured Spike Lee, Harry Belafonte, and Erica Garner, whose father Eric died, in 2014, after being placed in a choke hold by an officer from the New York City Police Department. Lee has also produced a new television ad for Sanders, which features testimonials from Belafonte, Garner, and Shaun King, the writer and activist.
There are still nine days until the vote. Given Clinton’s local ties, her strength among women and minorities, and the level of institutional support behind her, the odds heavily favor her winning. (According to PredictIt, an online prediction site, the probability of Clinton finishing ahead of Sanders is eighty-nine per cent.) But Sanders’s supporters believe that they have momentum on their side. “Who would you want to be: the establishment candidate or the candidate of youth and change?” Lipton said. “Anything can happen here.”