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

Connecticut, Rhode Island, Maryland, Pennsylvania and Delaware vote next.

— -- 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.

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


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.

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.”


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.


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.

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.