State of the Race: How the Candidates Are Doing in April 26 Primary States

PHOTO: Pictured (L-R) are Ted Cruz in Coral Gables, Fla., March 10, 2016, John Kasich in North Canton, Ohio, March 14, 2016, Donald Trump in Cleveland, March 12, 2016 and both Hillary clinton and Bernie Sanders in Miami, March 9, 2016.PlayAP Photo
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After their spirited primary in New York, the presidential candidates are now focusing their attention on five eastern states -- Connecticut, Delaware, Maryland, Pennsylvania and Rhode Island – that hold nominating contests on April 26.

Pennsylvania is the biggest prize with the most delegates at stake for both political parties: 210 for the Democrats (includes delegates and superdelegates) and 71 for the GOP (bound and unbound delegates).

Here’s a look at the state of the race in next Tuesday’s contests:


A win for Sen. Bernie Sanders in the Constitution State seems unlikely. He trails Hillary Clinton in the latest Quinnipiac University poll released Wednesday, 51 to 24 percent.

Like New York’s primary, which he lost to Clinton, Connecticut is a closed primary. Sanders tends not to do well in closed primaries because they limit the number of political independents, a group he’s won a majority of in past contests.

There’s also the issue of gun control.

In an April 1 New York Daily News interview, Sanders said he didn't think families of gun violence victims should be able to sue gun manufacturers as the Sandy Hook families did. Then, appearing on ABC News’ “This Week” April 10, Sanders declined to apologize for the comments.

The Daily News published a cover slamming “Bernie’s Sandy Hook shame,” while Connecticut Sen. Chris Murphy, a Democrat who endorsed Clinton, tweeted, “Dems can't nominate a candidate who supports gun manufacturer immunity.”

Sanders’ campaign spokesman Michael Briggs hit back in a statement: "The senator [Murphy] has a well-deserved D-rating from the NRA while Secretary Clinton takes campaign cash from NRA lobbyists.”

On the Republican side, Connecticut looks like fertile ground for Donald Trump. A poll Quinnipiac University poll released April 20 has Trump leading with 48 points, Ohio Gov. John Kasich following at 28, and Texas Sen. Ted Cruz with 19 points.


While no polling is available in Delaware, numbers in the neighboring states of Pennsylvania and Maryland show party front-runners Trump and Clinton in the lead, which could be an indication of the outcome here.

Although the state has not been a major battleground, Ben Cohen and Jerry Greenfield, co-founders of Ben and Jerry’s Ice Cream, recently served their sweet treat to Sanders’ supporters in Wilmington, Delaware, in hopes of scooping him the 21 pledged delegates up for grabs, for the Democrats.

Vice President Joe Biden, who is popular in the state, which he calls home, has not endorsed a candidate.


There are 118 delegates at stake for the Democrats and 38 for the Republicans in the Old Line State.

In an NBC News-Marist poll released April 13, Trump is ahead with 41 percent support, while Cruz is running behind with 29 percent and Kasich with 24 percent.

In that same poll on the Democratic side, Clinton holds a nearly 18 point lead over Sanders, 58 to 36 percent.

GOP presidential candidates Trump and Kasich hit the trail in Maryland this week and Kasich’s chief strategist sent out a memo Wednesday asserting that “Our data show that Trump could lose to Kasich in almost any district but MD-1.”

The Sanders campaign launched a television ad in Maryland earlier this month, making it the first presidential campaign to air in the state, according The Baltimore Sun. Clinton later released an ad here, too, narrated by actor Morgan Freeman.


Pennsylvania is April 26’s biggest prize with 210 delegates at stake for the Democrats and 71 for Republicans.

The pressure is especially high for the GOP hopefuls because 17 of the 71 delegates at stake will go to the statewide contest and the other 54 will be elected directly on the GOP primary ballots in each congressional district without being bound to a candidate.

After a disappointing loss to Trump in the New York primary, Cruz said this week that he is confident in his chances in the Keystone State. “You know what? I got a lot more faith in the people of Pennsylvania,” Cruz said at a rally in rally in Hershey, Pennsylvania Wednesday. “There are 71 delegates that are going to be elected here in Pennsylvania. We’re going to take them.”

In an April 6 Quinnipiac University, Trump was leading with 39 percent, with Cruz and Kasich behind at 30 and 24 points, respectively.

On the Democratic side, the same poll has Clinton at 50 percent and Sanders at 44 percent.

Rhode Island

There has been no public polling in the Ocean State, however Rhode Island is demographically similar to Massachusetts, where Clinton and Trump scooped up wins earlier in the primary season.

Clinton leads Sanders in pledged delegates and in superdelegates, and all nine of the superdelegates in Rhode Island have said they would support Clinton.

Rhode Island is also reportedly closing one-third of its polling locations to cut costs, but adding more staff and polling booths in anticipation of long lines.

Clinton and Kasich will campaign in Rhode Island Saturday.

ABC News’ MaryAlice Parks and Ben Gittleson contributed to this report.