Clinton Protects Big Lead Over Sanders in NY: NBC4/WSJ/Marist Poll

Clinton's backers are more heavily concentrated in the New York City area, the poll finds

Democratic front-runner Hillary Clinton maintains a double-digit lead over rival Bernie Sanders in New York as both candidates aggressively campaign around the state ahead of Tuesday’s primary, a NBC 4 New York/Wall Street Journal/Marist poll has found.

Clinton had the support of 57 percent of likely Democratic voters in the poll released Thursday, while Sanders held 40 percent. Those numbers mirror a NBCNews/Wall Street Journal/Marist Poll released Monday, in which Clinton was supported by more than half of the respondents and had a 14-point lead over the U.S. senator from Vermont.

“As the primary approaches, the back-and-forth of the candidates has not dramatically changed the New York contest,” said Lee M. Miringoff, the director of the Marist College Institute for Public Opinion, in a statement.

As with prior polls, support for the two candidates appears to run along generational lines. Sanders was up by 13 points on Clinton with voters younger than 45, while Clinton enjoyed a 38-point lead with voters older than 45. Seventy-six percent of polled voters under 30 supported Sanders.

Thursday’s poll, which has a 4 percent margin of error and included 591 likely voters, also found a geographic divide between the two candidates.

Clinton's backers are more heavily concentrated in the New York City area, where Sanders has been campaigning recently, the poll found; she had the support of 61 percent of polled voters in New York City, 60 percent in the nearby suburbs and 49 percent in upstate New York. 

Meanwhile, half of the likely voters polled upstate said they planned to vote for Sanders. The Brooklyn-born politician had the support of 35 percent of likely voters in New York City and 36 percent in the suburbs.

The release of the poll came hours before a Democratic debate at the Brooklyn Navy Yard's Duggal Greenhouse at 9 p.m.

Sanders and Clinton have been campaigning in New York this week in advance of the primary.

On Wednesday, Sanders walked a picket line with striking Verizon workers in Brooklyn, then held a huge rally in Greenwich Village's Washington Square Park. But he came under fire Thursday morning for a supporter who called some elected officials "corporate Democratic whores" for taking money from corporations.

Clinton on Wednesday held rallies in the Bronx. She was criticized earlier in the week for being part of a skit at a political gala, along with New York Mayor Bill de Blasio, that made use of a stereotype about black people.

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