US presidential hopefuls battle for New York on eve of primaries

Clinton and Sanders crisscross New York on eve of primary

NEW YORK (Reuters) -- U.S. Democratic and Republican candidates engaged in a final frenzy of campaigning on Monday, one day before New York state voters render their verdict and potentially bring some order to the chaotic 2016 presidential race.

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Democrat Hillary Clinton and Republican Donald Trump, the national front-runners, were favored to win their respective primaries in the state that both call home.

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US presidential hopefuls battle for New York on eve of primaries
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Corey Lewandowski, (R), campaign manager for U.S. Republican presidential candidate Donald Trump, stands in the press pen at a campaign rally in Hartford, Connecticut April 15, 2016. REUTERS/Brian Snyder
U.S. Republican presidential candidate Donald Trump signs an audience member's shirt at a campaign rally in Hartford, Connecticut April 15, 2016. REUTERS/Brian Snyder
U.S. Republican presidential candidate Donald Trump reacts to the cheers from the crowd at a campaign rally in Hartford, Connecticut April 15, 2016. REUTERS/Brian Snyder
U.S. Republican presidential candidate Donald Trump speaks at a campaign rally in Hartford, Connecticut April 15, 2016. REUTERS/Brian Snyder
HARTFORD, CT - APRIL 15: Republican presidential candidate Donald Trump greets supporters after speaking at a rally at the Connecticut Convention Center on April 15, 2016 in Hartford, Connecticut. The 2016 Connecticut Republican Primary is scheduled for April 26, 2016. (Photo by Matthew Cavanaugh/Getty Images)
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Victories would be a tonic for both of them following a series of losses. In recent weeks, U.S. Senator Bernie Sanders of Vermont has outclassed Clinton in nominating contests. On the Republican side, U.S. Senator Ted Cruz of Texas, Trump's closest challenger, has outmaneuvered the billionaire businessman in the fight for delegates to the Republican National Convention that will pick the party's nominee.

By the end of Monday -- the last official day of campaigning before voting in the primaries begins -- tens of thousands of New Yorkers will have heard the candidates' closing pitches.

At St. John's Riverside Hospital in Yonkers just north of New York City, Clinton spoke to doctors, nurses and others at a hospital cafeteria, asking for their votes and taking a jab at Cruz's dismissal earlier in the campaign of "New York values."

"I think New York's values are America's values," she told the crowd.

Trump has 744 delegates to 559 for Cruz and 144 for Ohio Governor John Kasich, according to the Associated Press. That count includes endorsements from several delegates who are free to support the candidate of their choice.

New York's contest comes after Cruz was awarded all 14 delegates in Wyoming's nominating contest, the latest state-by-state delegate battle, according to a party official on Saturday.

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US presidential hopefuls battle for New York on eve of primaries
Republican 2016 U.S. presidential candidate U.S. Senator Ted Cruz hugs his young daughters Catherine (L) and Caroline (R) onstage at the end of the first official Republican presidential candidates debate of the 2016 U.S. presidential campaign in Cleveland, Ohio, August 6, 2015. REUTERS/Aaron Josefczyk
STAFFORD, TX - MARCH 1: Heidi Cruz laughs as her daughters, Catherine (L) and Caroline autograph two Dr. Seuss books during a Super Tuesday watch party for husband, Republican presidential candidate, Sen. Ted Cruz (R-TX), at the Redneck Country Club March 1, 2016 in Stafford, Texas. Cruz won the Texas, Oklahoma, and Alaska primaries. (Photo by Erich Schlegel/Getty Images)
U.S. Senator Ted Cruz (R-TX) stands on stage with his wife Heidi and their daughters Catherine and Caroline, as he announces his candidacy for president during an event at Liberty College in Lynchburg, Virginia, March 23, 2015. Cruz, a conservative firebrand who frequently clashes with leaders of his Republican Party, became the first major figure from either party to jump into the 2016 presidential election race on Monday. REUTERS/Chris Keane
Republican U.S. presidential candidate Senator Ted Cruz is accompanied by his wife Heidi and daughter Caroline as he speaks about the primary election results in Florida, Ohio and Illinois during a campaign rally in Houston, Texas March 15, 2016. REUTERS/Trish Badger EDITORIAL USE ONLY. NO ARCHIVES. NO RESALES
U.S. Republican presidential candidate Ted Cruz arrives with his wife Heidi and daughter Caroline for a campaign stop at the Glorioso's Italian Market in Milwaukee April 4, 2016. REUTERS/Kamil Krzaczynski
U.S. Republican presidential candidate Ted Cruz arrives with his wife Heidi and daughters Catherine and Caroline during An American Rally at the Hyatt Regency in Green Bay April 3, 2016. REUTERS/Kamil Krzaczynski
Republican U.S. presidential candidate Senator Ted Cruz, with his daughter Catherine (2nd L), wife Heidi (C), daughter Caroline (2nd R) and supporter and former rival Carly Fiorina (R) at his side, reacts to the primary election results in Florida, Ohio and Illinois during a campaign rally in Houston, Texas March 15, 2016. REUTERS/Trish Badger EDITORIAL USE ONLY. NO ARCHIVES. NO RESALES.
Republican 2016 U.S. presidential candidate and U.S. Senator Ted Cruz hugs his young daughters Catherine and Caroline (R) at the edge of the stage during a commercial break at the first official Republican presidential candidates debate of the 2016 U.S. presidential campaign in Cleveland, Ohio, August 6, 2015. REUTERS/Brian Snyder
STAFFORD, TX - MARCH 1: Republican presidential candidate, Sen. Ted Cruz (R-TX) celebrates holding his daughter Catherine with his wife Heidi and daughter Caroline during a Super Tuesday watch party at the Redneck Country Club March 1, 2016 in Stafford, Texas. Cruz won the Texas, Oklahoma, and Alaska primaries. (Photo by Erich Schlegel/Getty Images)
Republican presidential candidate Ted Cruz and wife Heidi wave to supporters during his Keep The Promise rally at the zMax Dragway in Concord, N.C., on Sunday, March 13, 2016. (David T. Foster III/Charlotte Observer/TNS via Getty Images)
COLUMBIA, SC - FEBRUARY 20: Republican presidential candidate Sen. Ted Cruz (R-TX), his wife Heidi and daughter Catherine observe a moment of silence for the late U.S. Supreme Court Justice Antonin Scalia during a primary night party at the South Carolina State Fairgrounds February 20, 2016 in Columbia, South Carolina. Cruz and Sen. Marco Rubio (R-FL) are locked in a tight race for finishing second in the South Carolina GOP primary. (Photo by Alex Wong/Getty Images)
COLUMBIA, SC - FEBRUARY 20: Heidi Cruz (R), wife of Republican presidential candidate Sen. Ted Cruz (R-TX), waves with daughters Caroline (2nd R) and Catherine (L) during a primary night party at the South Carolina State Fairgrounds February 20, 2016 in Columbia, South Carolina. Cruz and Sen. Marco Rubio (R-FL) are locked in a tight race for finishing second in the South Carolina GOP primary. (Photo by Alex Wong/Getty Images)
Heidi Cruz, right, wife of Senator Ted Cruz, a Republican from Texas and 2016 presidential candidate, left, grabs her husband's chin after kissing him on stage during his campaign's caucus night celebration at the Elwell Center on the Iowa State Fairgrounds in Des Moines, Iowa, U.S., on Monday, Feb. 1, 2016. Cruz won the Iowa Republican caucuses in an upset over billionaire Donald Trump, while Democrat Hillary Clinton was clinging to the narrowest edge over Senator Bernie Sanders of Vermont. Photographer: Luke Sharrett/Bloomberg via Getty Images
WINDHAM, NH - FEBRUARY 02: Heidi Cruz (R), wife of Republican presidential candidate Sen. Ted Cruz (R-TX), talks with their daughter Caroline, 7, before a campaign town hall meeting at the Crossing Life Church February 2, 2016 in Windham, New Hampshire. Cruz emerged at the top of a crowded GOP presidential field after winning Monday's Iowa caucuses. (Photo by Chip Somodevilla/Getty Images)
DES MOINES, IA - FEBRUARY 01: Republican presidential candidate Sen. Ted Cruz (R-TX) stands with his wife Heidi as he addresses supporters after winning at the caucus night gathering at the Iowa State Fairgrounds on February 1, 2016 in Des Moines, Iowa. Cruz beat out frontrunner Donald Trump and Marco Rubio (R-FL) to win the Iowa caucuses. (Photo by Christopher Furlong/Getty Images)
DES MOINES, IA - FEBRUARY 01: Republican presidential candidate Sen. Ted Cruz (R-TX) embraces his wife Heidi in front of supporters at the caucus night gathering at the Iowa State Fairgrounds on February 1, 2016 in Des Moines, Iowa. Cruz beat out frontrunner Donald Trump and Marco Rubio (R-FL) to win the Iowa caucuses. (Photo by Christopher Furlong/Getty Images)
WASHINGTON, USA - JANUARY 31: Wife of Republican Presidential Candidate Ted Cruz, Heidi Cruz, speaks during a campaign rally in Iowa City, Iowa, USA on January 31, 2016. Both Democratic and Republican candidates are campaigning in Iowa this weekend before the Iowa Caucus on Monday. (Photo by Samuel Corum/Anadolu Agency/Getty Images)
FENTON, IA - JANUARY 29 : Republican presidential candidate Ted Cruz, center, listens as his wife Heidi Cruz, left, speaks during a campaign event at North Star Restaurant and Lounge Shop January 29, 2016 in Fenton, Iowa. Cruz, who is seeking the nomination for the Republican Party is on the presidential campaign trail across Iowa ahead of the Iowa Caucus taking place February 1, a week before the New Hampshire Primaries. Joshua Lott for The Washington Post via Getty Images
DES MOINES, IA - AUGUST 21: Heidi Nelson Cruz, the wife of Republican presidential candidate Sen. Ted Cruz (R-TX), and thier daughter Catherine listen as Ted Cruz speaks to supporters at his Religious Liberty Rally on August 21, 2015 in Des Moines, Iowa. Earlier in the day Republican presidential candidate Sen. Ted Cruz (R-TX) visited and spoke to guests at the Iowa State Fair. (Photo by Scott Olson/Getty Images)
Catherine Cruz, left, waves to her dad, Ted Cruz, a Republican from Texas and 2016 presidential candidate, as she sits on the lap of her mom Heidi Nelson Cruz at the Rally for Religious Liberty in Des Moines, Iowa, U.S., on Friday, Aug. 21, 2015. A day after Jimmy Carter appeared on national television to talk about the cancer that's ravaging his body, Republican presidential candidate Cruz criticized the former president's administration in a speech in Iowa. Photographer: Daniel Acker/Bloomberg via Getty Images
U.S. Senator Ted Cruz, a Republican from Texas, stands with his wife Heidi Nelson Cruz and daughters Catherine Cruz, left, and Caroline Cruz, right, as he marks the start of his presidential campaign by giving the convocation address at Liberty University in Lynchburg, Virginia, U.S., on Monday, March 23, 2015. By kicking off his campaign at the Virginia Christian college founded by the late evangelist Jerry Falwell, rather than a venue in his home state, Cruz is signaling hell court religious conservatives as well as small-government tea-party activists as he competes to become the lead anti-establishment candidate in the party contest. Photographer: Jay Paul/Bloomberg via Getty Images
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"Lyin' Ted Cruz can't win with the voters so he has to sell himself to the bosses-I am millions of VOTES ahead! Hillary would destroy him & K," Trump tweeted on Monday, also referring to Kasich.

Cruz, speaking on ABC's "Good Morning America" in Times Square, responded to Trump by saying his rival was throwing a fit because he has lost several recent state contests.

"The stakes are too high to hand the election to Hillary Clinton, which is what nominating Donald Trump (would do)," he told ABC.

Cruz also defended his "New York values" remark, which he had used in an attack on Trump months ago. He said on Monday that New Yorkers had "suffered under the left-wing Democratic policies" of New York City Mayor Bill de Blasio and Governor Andrew Cuomo.

While Cruz campaigned in New York City, Trump was to hold a rally in Buffalo, Cruz will campaign in New York City. Kasich will be in Syracuse and Schenectady, two upstate New York cities.

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US presidential hopefuls battle for New York on eve of primaries
NEW YORK, NEW YORK - APRIL 13: Attendees await the start of a campaign event for Democratic presidential candidate U.S. Senator Bernie Sanders (not pictured) at Washington Square Park on April 13, 2016 in New York City. (Photo by D Dipasupil/WireImage)
NEW YORK, NEW YORK - APRIL 13: Attendees await the start of a campaign event for Democratic presidential candidate U.S. Senator Bernie Sanders (not pictured) at Washington Square Park on April 13, 2016 in New York City. (Photo by D Dipasupil/WireImage)
Attendees hold signs in support of Senator Bernie Sanders, an independent from Vermont and 2016 Democratic presidential candidate, not pictured, at a campaign event in New York, U.S., on Wednesday, April 13, 2016. Sanders stepped up his feud with General Electric Co., denouncing the manufacturer as 'greedy' and accusing Chief Executive Officer Jeffrey Immelt of not being truthful in responding to the attacks. Photographer: Victor J. Blue/Bloomberg via Getty Images
Natalia Plaza (L) and Suzanne Tufan, with their faces painted, wait for a campaign rally with U.S. Democratic presidential candidate and U.S. Senator Bernie Sanders in Washington Square Park in the Greenwich Village neighborhood of New York, New York April 13, 2016. REUTERS/Brian Snyder
An attendee wears a t-shirt in support of Senator Bernie Sanders, an independent from Vermont and 2016 Democratic presidential candidate, not pictured, at a campaign event in New York, U.S., on Wednesday, April 13, 2016. Sanders stepped up his feud with General Electric Co., denouncing the manufacturer as 'greedy' and accusing Chief Executive Officer Jeffrey Immelt of not being truthful in responding to the attacks. Photographer: Victor J. Blue/Bloomberg via Getty Images
An attendee holds a sign in support of Senator Bernie Sanders, an independent from Vermont and 2016 Democratic presidential candidate, not pictured, at a campaign event in New York, U.S., on Wednesday, April 13, 2016. Sanders stepped up his feud with General Electric Co., denouncing the manufacturer as 'greedy' and accusing Chief Executive Officer Jeffrey Immelt of not being truthful in responding to the attacks. Photographer: Victor J. Blue/Bloomberg via Getty Images
NEW YORK, NEW YORK - APRIL 13: Rosario Dawson speaks onstage at a campaign event for Democratic presidential candidate U.S. Senator Bernie Sanders (not pictured) at Washington Square Park on April 13, 2016 in New York City. (Photo by D Dipasupil/WireImage)
NEW YORK, NY - APRIL 13: Film director Spike Lee attends the Bernie Sanders rally in Washington Square Park on April 13, 2016 in New York City. (Photo by Mireya Acierto/FilmMagic)
MANHATTAN, NY - APRIL 13: U.S. Presidential candidate Bernie Sanders (I-VT) campaigns at Washington Square Park in Manhattan, NY, on April 13, 2016. (Photo by Yana Paskova/For The Washington Post via Getty Images)
U.S. Democratic presidential candidate Bernie Sanders addresses supporters at his campaign rally in Washington Square Park in the Greenwich Village neighborhood of New York City, April 13, 2016. REUTERS/Brendan McDermid
U.S. Democratic presidential candidate Bernie Sanders addresses supporters at his campaign rally in Washington Square Park in the Greenwich Village neighborhood of New York City, April 13, 2016. REUTERS/Brian Snyder
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Sanders needs to defy expectations with a strong victory in the state if he is to overtake Clinton. In New York, 291 convention delegates are at stake.

Clinton, who needs 2,383 delegates to win the Democratic nomination, has 1,758 to Sanders' 1,076, according to AP. That total includes unpledged superdelegates who are free to back the candidates of their choice but told the news service whom they support.

Clinton, a U.S. senator from New York for eight years, initially held a 30-percentage-point lead in opinion polls over Sanders, a Brooklyn native. But Sanders has cut that advantage by about two-thirds after an unbroken string of victories in the last eight state nominating contests.

On Monday, Sanders acknowledged that polls still showed him behind Clinton but told NBC's "Today" program: "Let's look at the real poll tomorrow."

Sanders drew about 28,000 people to Brooklyn's Prospect Park on Sunday, according to his campaign. He is hoping for more crowds at a concert and rally at a park alongside the East River in the New York City borough of Queens on Monday evening.

In addition to Yonkers, Clinton will campaign in Manhattan on Monday. Her husband, former President Bill Clinton, will head upstate to Buffalo and Rochester.

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