Call it the Acela Corridor Primary.
The accents are different from the SEC Primary, but the results are expected to be similar today: A big day for Donald Trump and Hillary Clinton. How big will help determine whether the billionaire can clinch the GOP nomination before a contested convention, and whether the former Secretary of State can finally put away Bernie Sanders.
Pennsylvania — 71 Republican delegates, 210 for Democrats
Trump is way up in the polls and likely to win, but the delegate math could favor someone else. Why? Because only 17 of Pennsylvania’s delegates are bound to the winner on the first ballot in Cleveland, and the rest are elected individually by the voters. The ballot gives no indication which candidate those delegates support, and Trump has struggled with getting loyalists placed as delegates in Georgia and elsewhere. Still, many potential delegates have said they will back the candidate who won their state or congressional district.
Clinton has played up her Scranton roots and, in an indication of how seriously she’s taking the race, even allowed herself to be photographed chowing down on a french-fry-stuffed Primanti Brothers sandwich in Pittsburgh. A Sanders victory here would be an upset about on par with his Michigan stunner.
Public Policy Polling (April 22-24): Trump 51, Ted Cruz 25, John Kasich 22; Clinton 51, Sanders 41. Fox 29/Opinion Savvy (April 22-24): Trump 48, Cruz 28, Kasich 19; Clinton 52, Sanders 41. CBS News/YouGov (April 20-22): Trump 49, Cruz 26, Kasich 22; Clinton 51, Sanders 43. NBC/Wall Street Journal/Marist (April 18-20): Trump 45, Cruz 27, Kasich 24; Clinton 55, Sanders 40. Franklin & Marshall (April 11-18): Trump 40, Cruz 26, Kasich 24; Clinton 58, Sanders 31.
Trump was in West Chester and Wilkes-Barre on Monday. Cruz was in Scranton and Williamsport on Friday; and Monroeville on Saturday. Kasich was in McKees Rocks on Monday.
Sanders was in Philadelphia, Gettysburg and Millersville on Friday; and Pittsburgh and Philadelphia on Monday. Clinton was in Jenkintown and Scranton on Friday; and Youngwood and Philadelphia on Monday. She will hold an election night event in Philadelphia tonight.
How Pa. delegates could be a wild card at GOP convention (Philadelphia Inquirer)
Clinton has worked Philadelphia hard, while Sanders hopes to peel away white working class in Pittsburgh area (Allentown Morning Call)
Maryland — 38 Republican delegates, 118 for Democrats
Trump could sweep the delegates here, as it is winner-take-all statewide and by congressional district. Kasich’s best shot is to run up the score in the wealthy, highly educated Washington suburbs and try to pick off a district or two there.
With big African-American populations in Baltimore and Prince George’s County, outside D.C., Clinton is set up for a romp to stretch her overall delegate advantage.
Gravis (April 21): Trump 53, Kasich 24, Cruz 22. Monmouth (April 18-20): Clinton 57, Sanders 32. Public Policy Polling (April 15-17): Trump 43, Kasich 29, Cruz 24; Clinton 58, Sanders 33. NBC 4/Marist (April 4-9): Trump 47, Kasich 27, Cruz 19; Clinton 58, Sanders 36.
Trump was in Hagerstown on Sunday. Kasich was in Rockville on Monday.
Sanders was in Baltimore on Saturday.
Bill Clinton played up the one-year anniversary of the Freddie Gray unrest at Baltimore black churches on Sunday (Baltimore Sun)
Connecticut — 28 Republican delegates, 70 for Democrats
Based on the polling, Trump could come away with a delegate sweep by taking 50 percent of the vote statewide and winning each congressional district. It sets up similar to New York, where the mogul has been a star for decades and notched a huge victory last week. His biggest competition here is Kasich, who appeals well to Connecticut’s substantial wealthier, higher educated population — and could stifle Trump in the fourth congressional district, bordering New York.
Caught between New York – where Clinton won big – and Sanders’ native New England, Connecticut could be a tight one on the Democratic side.
Public Policy Polling (April 22-24): Trump 59, Kasich 25, Cruz 13; Clinton 48, Sanders 46. Quinnipiac (April 12-18): Trump 48, Kasich 28, Cruz 19; Clinton 51, Sanders 42. Emerson (April 10-11): Trump 50, Kasich 26, Cruz 17; Clinton 49, Sanders 43.
Trump was in Waterbury and Bridgeport on Saturday. Kasich was in Glastonbury on Friday.
Sanders was in New Haven on Sunday and Hartford on Monday. Clinton was in New Haven on Saturday and Bridgeport on Sunday.
The contested primary saw a big voter registration surge, particularly among Democrats (Hartford Courant)
Rhode Island — 19 Republican delegates, 33 for Democrats
This liberal, mostly white New England outpost is Sanders’ best chance for a win today, while Trump expects to romp again.
A benefit for both Trump and Sanders is Rhode Island’s open primary, allowing non party members to vote. But neither can expect to net many delegates if they do win.
Even if Trump tops 50 percent, Rhode Island has unusually favorable rules for second- and third-place finishers, meaning Trump is likely to emerge with less than half of the Ocean State’s delegates.
Public Policy Polling (April 22-24): Trump 61, Kasich 23, Cruz 13; Sanders 49, Clinton 45. Gravis (April 21): Trump 58, Kasich 21, Cruz 10. Brown University (April 19-21): Trump 38, Kasich 25, Cruz 14; Clinton 43, Sanders 34.
Trump was in Warwick on Monday. Kasich was in Smithfield on Saturday.
Sanders was in Providence on Sunday. Clinton was in Central Falls on Saturday.
GOP rules limit upside for Trump in R.I. victory (WPRI)
‘Leave Tom Brady alone’ Trump says in R.I. (Boston Globe)
Delaware — 16 Republican delegates, 31 for Democrats
The GOP base in this mostly Democratic state is rural and lower-income, which bodes well for Trump to sweep this winner-take-all state. Remember that Christine “I am not a witch” O’Donnell won a GOP primary here not long ago.
Democrats, crowded in suburban Philadelphia at the state’s northern tip, have been sought after by both campaigns. Look for a close race and delegate split.
Gravis (April 17-18): Trump 55, Kasich 18, Cruz 15; Clinton 45, Sanders 38.
Trump was in Harrington on Friday.
Sanders was in Wilmington on Saturday. Clinton was in Wilmington on Monday.
Delaware favorite son and Vice President Joe Biden voted early, but would not say whether he backed Sanders or Clinton (CNN)
The rest of the state’s Democratic establishment lined up behind Clinton at an election eve rally, including the governor and both U.S. senators (Wilmington News Journal)