POLITICS

In New York, Cruz hopes to challenge Trump outside the Big Apple

Presidential candidate, Sen. Ted Cruz, at the Sabrosura 2 restaurant in the Bronx, Wednesday, April 6, 2016.

Presidential candidate, Sen. Ted Cruz, at the Sabrosura 2 restaurant in the Bronx, Wednesday, April 6, 2016.  (ap)

Sen. Ted Cruz may have been in hostile territory when he campaigned in New York City, but the rest of New York state is quite a different world.

The suburban stretches of upstate and the more rural stretches of central and northern New York are home to more conservatives than elsewhere in the state, and they offer the Texas firebrand the best shot at winning delegates, according to Politico.

He polls at 22 percent in the region, better than in New York City, where he doesn’t break out of the teens.

By contrast, Trump polls lower in this part of the state, although it is still strong at 50 percent. In New York City and its environs, the mogul polls higher than 60 percent.

Cruz’s campaign appearance in the Bronx recently made headlines for negative reasons – the Texas lawmaker was heckled and booed by the crowd at a Dominican restaurant where the event was held.

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The Bronx Borough president, Ruben Diaz Jr., blasted Cruz for being a hypocrite for having assailed “New York values” during a GOP debate.

“Ted Cruz is a hypocrite. He not only offended New Yorkers, he offended Bronxites, and now he’s here today in New York and in the Bronx looking for money and votes,” Diaz Jr. told reporters. “We in the Bronx know how offensive he’s been. We know the truth about our borough.”

Following his primary win in the Wisconsin, Cruz is hoping for a competitive race in New York – which holds its primary April 19.

But when Cruz arrived at the restaurant, protesters screamed that he should "get out of the Bronx."

He replied only that he was "happy to be here."

Cruz is trying to slow Trump’s march to the 1,237 delegates required to win the GOP nomination on a first ballot. To be sure, Trump is favored to win New York, his home state.

Even though Trump does not receive the kind of reception in the rest of New York that he gets in New York City, Trump is still managing to draw devoted followers in large numbers elsewhere in the state.

Some 7,000 people attended a rally of his in Rome in the Finger Lakes region of the state, Politico reported.

“Trump! Trump! Trump!” the crowd screamed.

The reality TV star tends to find support among white, working-class voters and veterans.

“These are my people. These are my people!” Trump said, according to Politico. He has scheduled several campaign stops in upstate New York leading up to the primary.

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