FOX News First: April 19
By Chris Stirewalt
PRESENTING YOUR NEW YORK FIELD GUIDE
It’s been 72 years since a New Yorker was last elected president. And it’s been 60 years since either party nominated a New Yorker. But as the wild and wooly 2016 primaries roll into the nation’s third-most populous state, New Yorkers stand atop both the Democratic and Republican ranks.
While home-state wins for Hillary Clinton and Donald Trump are to be expected – certainly for Trump, who faces a still-divided GOP – how they win, and by how much could prove very important for the closing weeks of both parties’ nominating processes. And if Clinton were to lose? Well, hold on to your Birkenstocks.
Polls close at 9 p.m. ET, and there’s plenty to know. So grab a crisp empire or any of the more than 40 varieties of apples grown in New York, kick back and enjoy the grand tour of the Excelsior State’s political geography.
HIGH STAKES AT HOME FOR HILLARY
Eight years ago, then-Sen. Clinton won her home state by a whopping 17 points and carried away almost half of the delegates. But the Real Clear Politics average of polls shows her on track to do a bit worse than that, and against a substantially weaker opponent.
Could some of the surprisingly close margin in New York be attributable to the fact that her rival, Sen. Bernie Sanders, is a New York native? Sure. But it is also reflective of the listlessness that has marked her frontrunners’ march to the nomination all year.
Most alarming for Clinton is that Sanders has dramatically outperformed pre-election polling in states like Michigan and Wisconsin, which makes an upset possible. A loss in her home state would not permanently ruin Clinton’s chances, but it would be a devastating setback.
The state’s closed primary does help her, since the independents and fringe-party members that might naturally support Sanders can’t play. She can also count on the astonishing diversity of the New York metro area, and the voters of the many wealthy enclaves beyond the subway lines.
But Sanders can find lots of reason to hope in a city that elected Bill de Blasio as its mayor and in a state that has seen a leftward lurch in its politics over the past decade. The Vermont senator only started actively seeking votes in New York at the end of March, but has been pouring it on since then.
A whopping 247 delegates will be awarded on the basis of today’s election on the Democratic side. Of those, 84 will be divided proportionately between Clinton and Sanders on the statewide level. But the real delegate haul is at the congressional-district level where the state’s 27 districts will award a total 163 delegates, also proportionately based on the popular vote by district.
The candidates have been looking high and low for potential voters, but where should you be looking for the keys to victory on the Democratic side?
[Dem delegate count: Clinton 1758; Sanders 1076 (2,383 needed to win)]
THE CITY SPLIT
Both Clinton and Sanders can claim New York City as a place to shine today, but for very different reasons. Clinton will expect to do well in places like the Bronx, where non-Hispanic white voters are a tiny sliver of the electorate, while Sanders will be aiming for the hipster youth and older liberals in places like Brooklyn.
Kings County: Brooklyn
–7th, 8th, 9th congressional districts
–Median household income: $46,958
–Race: Caucasian (non-Hispanic), 39 percent; Hispanic, 20 percent; black, 35 percent
–Adults with bachelor’s degrees: 32 percent
–2012 election: Obama 82 percent
–Residents 65 and older: 12 percent
–Originally its own separate city, Brooklyn did not become part of the City of New York until the turn of the century dubbed the “Great Mistake of 1898” by many in Brooklyn at the time.
–15th, 16th Congressional District
–Median household income: $70,794
–Race: Caucasian “non-Hispanic,” 11 percent; Hispanic, 55 percent; black, 44 percent
–Adults with bachelor’s degrees: 18 percent
–2012 election: Obama 91 percent
–Residents 65 and older: 11 percent
—Edgar Allen Poe wrote several famous poems in his Bronx home, including Annabel Lee.
If Sanders and his supporters could build a world all of their own, it might look a lot like Central New York: farms, college towns and staunchly liberal politics.
This is the Sanders breadbasket this year. Central New York included some of Clinton’s weakest spots in the 2008 primary and promises to do so again. Syracuse University, Ithaca College, Cornell University and the white rural voters who reflect Sanders’ home state of Vermont should deliver bigly for him.
Tompkins County: Ithaca
–Median household income: $52,836
–Race: Caucasian, 82 percent; black, 4 percent
–Adults with bachelor’s degrees: 50 percent
–2012 election: Obama 52 percent
–Residents 65 and older: 12 percent
–Ithaca has its own local currency called, HOUR, started in 1991 to keep money in the local economy. HOUR is equal to roughly $10 and is widely accepted in the town.
[Watch Fox: Megyn Kelly and Bret Baier team up to bring special coverage of the New York primary tonight starting with “Special Report” at6 p.m. ET]