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Polls show Clinton, Trump poised to roll through mid-Atlantic primaries

By
Eric DuVall
Republican candidate for President Donald Trump speaks at an NBC Town Hall on the Today Show in New York City on April 21, 2016. Donald Trump is still the GOP front-runner coming off a decisive victory in the New York Primary. Photo by John Angelillo/UPI
Republican candidate for President Donald Trump speaks at an NBC Town Hall on the "Today Show" in New York City on April 21, 2016. Donald Trump is still the GOP front-runner coming off a decisive victory in the New York Primary. Photo by John Angelillo/UPI | License Photo

WASHINGTON, April 21 (UPI) -- If Super Tuesday was the SEC primary — a series of southern states that send college football teams to the Southeastern Conference, then call this Tuesday the 'Atlantic 10' primary.

Except, there are only five states voting. All are in New England or the mid-Atlantic. And after a month of western or Midwest states that posed unique challenges to front-runners Donald Trump and Hillary Clinton, the past several weeks have seen them playing to hometown crowds.

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All five of the states voting Tuesday — Pennsylvania, Delaware, Maryland, Rhode Island and Connecticut — appear poised to hand Trump and Clinton big victories and added momentum for them after landslide victories in Tuesday's New York primary.

Here is a look at polling in four of the five states voting next week. There have not been any polls released from Rhode Island, though campaign advisers expect it will closely mirror results from neighboring Connecticut due to the similarities between the two states.

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-- Pennsylvania: The most recent poll on the Democratic side shows Clinton with a 13-percentage-point lead over her opponent, Vermont Sen. Bernie Sanders.

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The Republican side shows Trump with a lead of 14 points over Sen. Ted Cruz, his next closest rival.

Pennsylvania represents a quirk in the GOP delegate allocation landscape. The state will send a huge contingent of delegates to the GOP convention in Cleveland — 71 in all. But thanks to a state party rule, the vast majority of those delegates, 54, are free to vote for whomever they wish and are not bound by the result of Tuesday's vote.

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Those 54 delegates will be chosen directly by voters in each of the state's congressional districts, not the party itself. Another 17 at-large delegates are comprised of hand-picked party officials and other GOP activists. Those delegates will be bound to the winner of the state's primary at least on the first ballot at the convention.

That means the result of Tuesday's Pennsylvania primary is mostly for bragging rights, though the winner will have his hand strengthened in an argument to the uncommitted delegates over whom they should support.

-- Maryland: Terrapin country could hand Clinton her biggest victory of the night. A Monmouth University poll gave Clinton a 25-point lead over Sanders. The state is well suited demographically to Clinton, with the vast majority of Democratic voters living in racially diverse Baltimore County. The city of Baltimore's large black population figures to be decisive in the statewide vote and Clinton has outpaced Sanders considerably among black voters in other states.

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Monmouth also polled the GOP race, with Trump holding a 28-point lead over Cruz and Ohio Gov. John Kasich.

-- Delaware: This is where the front-runners' paths diverge. Polling has been scant in Delaware, but the lone survey, conducted by Gravis, put Trump up by a whopping 37 percentage points. The poll shows Trump winning an outright majority, with 55 percent of the vote. If that happens, it would be just the second state where Trump has topped 50 percent, the other being New York on Tuesday.

Gravis also found Clinton leading Sanders, but by a comparatively modest 7 percentage points.

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-- Connecticut: The Nutmeg State looks like another sweet spot for Trump. A Quinnipiac poll put him up by 20 points. Clinton's lead over Sanders in the same survey was 9 points.

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