Chance Seales, Media General National Correspondent – WASHINGTON (MEDIA GENERAL) - Hillary Clinton and Donald Trump lead the 2016 pack, but came up short in Wisconsin. Now they look ahead to what they hope will be their primary promised land – New York.
Most of Wisconsin's 42 Republican delegates will go to Sen. Ted Cruz (R-Texas), who bested Trump after the billionaire fumbled through a two-week-long obstacle course of questions involving abortion, national security and disrespecting women.
Third-place Republican finisher, Ohio Gov. John Kasich, won't see much – if any – in the way of delegates.
On the Democratic side, Sen. Bernie Sanders (I-Vt.) continued his trend of bagging heavily-white northern states. Sanders overcame long odds to win Wisconsin. Only six months ago, Clinton was beating the self-proclaimed Democratic Socialist by 53 points in the Badger State.
Democrats divide pledged delegates proportionally, so Sanders and Clinton both walk away with a healthy chunk of their party's 86 Wisconsin delegates.
Next up: New York
Several of the candidates have deep ties to New York voters. Clinton was the state's U.S. senator for eight years. Sanders grew up in Brooklyn. And Trump has gilded the city in gold-plated buildings bearing his name.
Will it help them in the April 19 primary? They sure hope so.
Trump leads GOP polls by a wide margin – on the order of 32 points, according to the latest RCP average.
The Empire State's Republican primary is winner-take-most, meaning it's possible for one candidate to walk away with almost all of its 95 delegates if they top 50-percent in the state's congressional districts.
At the moment, Clinton leads Sanders on the Democratic side. She even left Wisconsin several days before its primary to get an early start in her adopted home state.
With Dems' proportional delegate rules, if Sanders can inch up in the polls, he could capture a respectable portion of the New York's 247 pledged delegates. The state's superdelegates, on the other hand, appear to be squarely in the Clinton camp, reports The Green Papers.
One potential complicating factor for Sanders is New York's closed Democratic primary system, which limits voters to preregistered Democrats. So if a young college student gets inspired tomorrow by Sanders's "yuge" vision for America, they've already missed the party's registration cutoff of March 25. For the Sanders campaign, which relies on late-deciders and Millennials, the state's primary rules are less than ideal.
Every delegate counts
Democrats need 2,373 to clinch their party's nomination, and Clinton is getting pretty darn close.
Going into Tuesday, Clinton boasted 1,712 delegates (671 short) to Sanders's 1,011 delegates (1,372 short), according to The Associated Press' delegate tracker, which is continually updated.
Debate continues whether any GOP candidate can realistically capture the 1,237 delegates required to automatically capture their party's nomination, but Trump is undoubtedly the closest.
AP reports that Trump started Tuesday with 737 delegates (500 short), Cruz claimed 475 delegates (762 shorts) and Kasich had earned 143 delegates (1,094 short).
With every delegate now critical to avoiding a drawn out convention fight come July, you can bet each campaign is dead set on scoring big wins in New York.
Follow Chance Seales on Twitter: @ChanceSeales