Voters in New York City weighed in on the presidential candidates on Monday, the last official day of campaigning before voting in the state's Democratic and Republican primary elections begin.
"Bernie Sanders. I think he's the most in tune with what the people actually want, not just what his constituents want," said voter Woody Poulard.
"Hillary Clinton, if she gets the presidency, I think it's going to destruct, too. Everybody's leaning toward Bernie, I think. I hear everybody going 'Bernie, Bernie, Bernie'," said Osbourne Manson.
"The fight is definitely between Trump and Hillary. They're like neck and neck, like you could see the fists," said Aerie Fuentes.
New York's primary is expected to be the most decisive in decades in terms of determining the nominees for November's general election. The date for the contests was shifted later this year so they are no longer crowded out by the raft of other states that voted on so-called Super Tuesday last month.
Democratic presidential hopeful Bernie Sanders is throwing a concert in a park with a dramatic view of Manhattan's skyscrapers on Monday. In upstate New York, Republican front-runner Donald Trump will hold a rally in Buffalo, a Rust Belt city recovering from economic decline.
The Democratic front-runner, former U.S. Secretary of State Hillary Clinton, who representedNew York for eight years in the U.S. Senate and whose main home is in a New York City suburb, remains the favorite to win the nomination.
"Hillary's been around a long time, anyone who's seen her from the beginning knows she just doesn't have the character to be president. And Bernie Sanders is, to put things in perspective, he was a fringe character throughout his career and suddenly he's considered mainstream or acceptable. I just don't buy it, I don't think that's what the country needs," said a voter in New York City.
"I love Bernie's platforms, I'm just not sure realistically if they can be applied nationwide, and I've always been a fan of Hillary's so I'm just very torn. Hopefully I'll decide the moment I walk in to vote," said Marguerite Stimpson.
Barring an upset on the Republican side, Trump, whose name adorns condominiums and hotels across New York City, is expected to win handily in his native state.
The question is whether Trump will make a clean sweep of all 95 Republican delegates at stake by earning the majority of votes in all 27 congressional districts in the state.
Total victory in New York would help Trump avoid the prospect of seeing the nomination wrested from him at the party's July 18-21 convention in Cleveland if he arrives without a clear majority of at least 1,237 delegates. In that scenario, another candidate could win on a second or subsequent ballot. New York's contest comes after Sen. Ted Cruz was awarded all 14 delegates in Wyoming's nominating contest, according to a party official on Saturday in the latest state-by-state delegate battle.
Trump's Republican rivals, Cruz and Ohio Governor John Kasich, have no strong ties to New York, though they have gamely showed up at campaign events to relish local delicacies.
Cruz, Trump's closest rival, has been criticized by some voters for speaking disdainfully of "New York values" earlier this year in an attempt to discredit Trump.
"I will not let someone like Donald Trump or Ted Cruz say what he is saying about the people, the hardworking people, including immigrants, but everyone who works hard in New York. And contrary to Senator Cruz, I think New York values are America's values, and we want to stand up for those here in New York and across the country," Clinton told supporters on Monday in Yonkers, New York.
While Trump holds a rally in Buffalo, Cruz will campaign in New York City. Kasich will be in Syracuse and Schenectady, two upstate New York cities.
Still, recent polls show Sanders, a U.S. senator from Vermont and native of Brooklyn, cutting Clinton's earlier 30-percentage-point lead by about two-thirds after an unbroken string of victories in the last eight nominating contests.
Sanders drew about 28,000 people to a Brooklyn park on Sunday, according to his campaign. He is hoping for more crowds at his concert and rally at a park alongside the East River in the New York City borough of Queens on Monday evening.
Sanders needs to defy expectations with a strong victory if he is to overtake Clinton.
Clinton will campaign in Manhattan on Monday while her husband, former President Bill Clinton, will head upstate to Buffalo and Rochester.