New York delivers Hillary Clinton a much-needed win

Hillary Clinton speaks at a victory rally after winning New York’s Democratic primary, April 19, 2016. After defeating Sen. Bernie Sanders in her adopted home state, Clinton reached out to his supporters in her speech. "There is much more that unites us than divides us,” she said. (Chang W. Lee/The New York Times)

Hillary Clinton speaks at a victory rally after winning New York’’s Democratic primary. AJC wire

New York – Hillary Clinton won a commanding victory Tuesday in New York, earning an essential win on her home turf that her campaign hopes to use as a springboard to put away Bernie Sanders in upcoming contests.

The Clinton campaign hoped to deliver a crippling blow to Sanders, who had won eight of the last contests but faces more precarious terrain in upcoming votes along the East Coast. She was poised to take the brunt of the 247 delegates up for grabs Tuesday.

Her victory, though, did little to slam the door shut on Sanders. Although he trails the former secretary of state by a nearly insurmountable deficit in the delegate count, the Vermont U.S. senator remains a formidable contender who has drawn huge crowds around the nation with his populist appeal.

Clinton spent the final stretch of the campaign trying to energize women and minority supporters, the same blocs of voters who helped her build a delegate lead with a string of victories in the South and West.

The race is in the homestretch, she told a cheering crowd at a Midtown Manhattan hotel, “and victory is in sight.”

“Under the bright lights of New York, we have seen it’s not enough to diagnose the problems,” she added of her adopted home state. “We have to solve the problems.”

With little hope of an outright win, Sanders aimed for a symbolic victory by carrying one of New York’s boroughs and winning over more minority voters. Like Clinton, he zeroed in on Brooklyn, the home to nearly 1 million registered Democrats, in hopes of rallying the party’s liberal base to his side.

Sanders, meanwhile, has already moved on to the next coveted prize. As voters in New York cast their ballots, he staged a rally in Pennsylvania ahead of that state’s April 26 primary.

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