Campaign Sunday: Sanders holds Coney Island rally; Clinton visits NYC churches

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Lucy Yang has more.

With nine days left until the New York primary, the presidential candidates continued to focus on the state Sunday, with Democrat Bernie Sanders holding a rally in Coney Island and Hillary Clinton making stops in New York City churches.

The Vermont senator made several campaign stops in New York Saturday, including at the Apollo Theater in Harlem, telling supporters his campaign is moving in the right direction with his recent string of victories.

Hillary Clinton made a surprise appearance Saturday night at the Inner Circle, a comedy charity show put on by the New York media, poking fun at herself for her attempts to use the MetroCard on the subway.

"Do me a favor," Clinton told Mayor Bill de Blasio during the show inside the ballroom of the Hilton Midtown. "Will you just fix these MetroCard slots? It took me like 5 swipes."

Earlier in the day Clinton appeared at Junior's Cheesecake in Brooklyn, discussing her plan to break down barriers which he says are holding back Latino families.

The Democratic and Republican presidential candidates are coming to terms with the cold mathematical reality of chasing delegates ahead of their nominating conventions, with front-runners Clinton and Donald Trump driving for challenge-proof majorities against rivals who won't go away.

For Trump, who remains well short of the 1,237 delegates he needs to clinch the GOP nod, that means his campaign focuses on developing a delegate-centered strategy akin to the one that rival Ted Cruz has pursued for months.

"A more traditional approach is needed and Donald Trump recognizes that," Paul Manafort, Trump's new delegate chief, said Sunday on NBC's "Meet the Press."

For Clinton, who lost Wyoming Saturday night to Sanders, it means maintaining her commanding leads among delegates and popular votes no matter how many states Sanders wins - or how much "momentum" he claims. Key to her drive is a win April 19 in New York, which she represented in the U.S. Senate.

Asked in a CNN interview that aired Sunday whether she's quietly preparing a strategy in the unlikely event of a contested Democratic convention, she replied, "No, I intend to have the number of delegates that are required to be nominated."

After stops in New York City churches, Clinton was headed to Baltimore for her first campaign rally in Maryland.

Maryland, where Clinton is favored, holds its primary on April 26 along with Pennsylvania, Rhode Island, Delaware and Connecticut.

Clinton's campaign is pushing for big wins across the northeast, in an effort to gain what they've termed an "all but insurmountable" lead in the delegate race.

"I was honored to serve as your senator for eight years. I worked hard with so many leaders," Clinton told parishioners at Greater Allen Cathedral in Jamaica, Queens on Sunday mornting. "I'm now running for president to continue the work we've done all those years."

But with neither front-runner strong enough to claim inevitability, their challengers stuck to the hope that by winning more races and cozying up to delegates, they stand a chance of eventually grabbing their respective party nominations.

For Ohio Gov. John Kasich, it's about winning enough delegates to keep all candidates from locking up the majority. And that means sowing doubts about the effect that a Trump or Cruz nomination would have on the party. He said there's "great concern" not just about how each would represent the GOP, but about the prospect of a blowout loss up and down the ticket in November.

"We would lose seats all the way from the statehouse to the courthouse" - meaning races all down the ballot, Kasich told CBS's "Face the Nation."

Sanders, behind Clinton by hundreds of delegates and more than 2.4 million votes, is pointing to statewide wins in seven of the last eight contests. But his latest victory in Wyoming did nothing to help him in the delegate chase: Both Sanders and Clinton got seven delegates.

On CBS, Sanders noted that the contest has moved from the conservative South - "Not a stronghold for me" - into states like New York, Pennsylvania and California where he expects to do well.

"Our plan right now is to win this thing," Sanders said on "Face the Nation." "I think we have a real shot to end up with more delegates."

On the Republican side, Trump continued to try to catch up to Cruz's ground operation, which is months ahead and trying to eat into Trump's home state support in conservative pockets of New York. Manafort said the Cruz campaign was using a "scorched earth" approach in which "they don't care about the party. If they don't get what they want, they blow it up."

"The key, especially for uncommitted delegates, is the electability question," Manafort said on NBC.

They spoke after Cruz completed his sweep of Colorado's 34 delegates by locking up the remaining 13 at the party's state convention in Colorado Springs. He already had collected 21 delegates and visited the state to try to pad his numbers there.

Trump organized late in Colorado and left the state convention up to his organizers, and spent about a half-hour on Saturday touring the National Sept. 11 Memorial and Museum in lower Manhattan.

Clinton has 1,287 delegates based on primaries and caucuses, compared to Sanders' 1,037. When including superdelegates, or party officials who can back any candidate, Clinton has 1,756, or 74 percent of the number needed to clinch the nomination. Sanders has 1,068.

Trump still has a narrow path to nailing down the Republican nomination by the end of the primaries on June 7, but he has little room for error. He would need to win nearly 60 percent of all the remaining delegates to clinch the nomination before the convention. So far, he's winning about 45 percent.

Following Cruz's sweep of Colorado's remaining delegates on Saturday, the Associated Press count stands at Trump 743, Cruz 545, and John Kasich 143. Marco Rubio, who suspended his campaign, has 171 delegates. To clinch the nomination by the end of the primaries, a candidate needs 1,237 delegates.

(The Associated Press contributed to this report.)

Related Topics:
politics2016 electionhillary clintonbernie sandersdemocratsnew york votesConey IslandNew York City
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