US polls: Ted Cruz, Bernie Sanders shock frontrunners ahead of crucial New York primary

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Cheyenne | Published: April 10, 2016 3:14:36 PM

Democrat presidential hopeful Bernie Sanders today continued his winning streak against frontrunner Hillary Clinton in Wyoming as Republican Ted Cruz swept all delegates in Colorado against Donald Trump just days before the all-important New York primary.

Democrat presidential hopeful Bernie Sanders today continued his winning streak against frontrunner Hillary Clinton in Wyoming as Republican Ted Cruz swept all delegates in Colorado against Donald Trump just days before the all-important New York primary.

The 74-year-old Vermont senator registered his stunning eighth win out of the last nine contests – including one that counted the votes of Democrats living abroad.

“All right. News bulletin. We just won Wyoming,” Sanders told supporters in New York amid cheers.

He finished 12 points ahead of the former secretary of state with 56-44 per cent of the vote in Wyoming, the smallest state in the Democratic nomination race.

The state – which is overwhelmingly Republican – only awards 14 delegates, meaning Sanders barely puts a dent in Clinton’s more than 200-delegate lead.

Today’s primary gives each candidate seven delegates. That helps Clinton maintain her lead over Sanders.

The former secretary of state has 1,287 delegates based on primaries and caucuses to Sanders’ 1,037. When including superdelegates, or party officials who can back any candidate, Clinton has 1,756, or 74 per cent of the number needed to clinch the nomination. Sanders has 1,068.

Speaking later, Sanders – who locked horns with Clinton over trade and the so-called Panama Papers scandal this week – said: “I think it’s fair to say that when we began this campaign we were considered to be a fringe candidate.

“I think that it is very fair to say that we were way, way behind during the first half of this contest, but we are having – to say the least – a very strong second half, and we are closing very fast.”

Sanders has been consistently trying to chip away at Clinton’s big lead in the number of delegates needed to secure the party’s nomination.

The eventual margin of victory was slimmer than what some experts had anticipated but represented a convincing victory for the democratic socialist in one of the most conservative states in the country.

Meanwhile in the Republican camp, Cruz, the 45-year-old senator from Texas, finished Colorado’s delegate fight with overwhelming victory, picking all 13 of the final delegates up for grabs to complete a clean sweep of the state as reward for a carefully organised campaign.

“Thank you Colorado for another resounding victory!” Cruz tweeted.

“Today was another resounding victory for conservatives, Republicans, and Americans who care about the future of our country,” the Cruz campaign said in a statement.

Cruz has now won all 34 delegates up for grabs in the state and is now fewer than 200 delegates behind Trump in the race to the 1,237 needed to clinch the Republican nomination.

The latest victory of both Sanders and Cruz is seen as a big morale booster heading into the crucial New York primary on April 19.

US-LD POLLS 2 LAST

Following the Colorado results, the CBS News delegate scoreboard stands at Trump 743, Cruz 540, and John Kasich 143. Marco Rubio, who suspended his campaign, has 167 delegates.

Cruz told his supporters in Colorado that it is easy to talk about making America great again – “you can even print that on a baseball cap”, in a jibe at Trump.

But that the more important question is, he said, which candidate understands “the principles and values that made America great in the first place”.

In a report, CNBC called Trump’s campaign as “disorganised and frustrated”.

“Ted Cruz finished Colorado’s delegate fight the way he started it: With overwhelming victory. Donald Trump finished it the way he started as well: With a disorganised and frustrated campaign plagued by mistakes,” it said.

The report added that Trump’s aides set expectations at rock bottom heading into the contest, citing the state’s unfavorable demographics and a complicated process that empowers local party activists to vote on delegates.

It was clear in both the camps that the hopefuls have set eyes on big trove of delegates in New York, America’s largest city and one of its most diverse.

There are 95 delegates up for grabs for Republicans and 291 for Democrats.

A raucous cheer went up as Sanders got word of his Wyoming win from his wife, Jane, midway through a rally in Queens.

Calling Wyoming “a beautiful, beautiful state”, Sanders said: “Now that we are in the second half of this campaign, we are going to state after state which I think have a more progressive outlook.

“We are in this race to win.”

In Brooklyn, Clinton said she needs to “win big” in New York’s primary to become the Democratic presidential nominee and “go after Republicans full-time.”

Speaking in the loft space in a heavily Hispanic neighborhood just hours after losing to Sanders in the Wyoming presidential caucus, she said that she wants to “send a strong message” in the New York primary and start unifying the Democratic Party.

Clinton also found a rare point of agreement with Trump on the matter of New York values but criticised Republicans for making anti-immigration statements a “core of their campaign”.

She said election of Democrats will protect the US economy.

“It’s a fact that our economy does better when we have a Democrat in the White House,” she said.

Meanwhie, Cruz warned Jewish donors that Trump could trigger a general election “bloodbath” for the Republican Party.

“If Donald Trump is the nominee, it is an absolute disaster for Republicans, for conservatives and for the country,” he said, adding that Trump would jeopardise control of the House and the Senate and tilt the balance of power at the Supreme Court away from conservatives.

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