Voters Head to the Polls in the New York Primary

Hot contests from both parties were driving turnout

Voters across New York cast their ballots in the Empire State's primary Tuesday, with many in the city of Plattsburgh expressing a sense that in this primary, their vote really matters, because both parties' nomination processes are still undecided from a delegate standpoint.

Bernie Sanders, a U.S. Senator who represents Vermont, just across Lake Champlain from Plattsburgh, appeared to enjoy strong support in the Lake City for his focus on income inequality, the environment, and his attacks on how money may impact politics. 

"Bernie was able to address, and get the things that really mattered to me as a person that I was longing to hear a presidential candidate talk about," said Plattsburgh voter Erika Clement.

"He's the only honest man out there," added Sanders supporter Jim Conley of Plattsburgh. "The others? Forget it." 

But Hillary Clinton was elected twice to the U.S. Senate in New York, and many here value her long resume, including her service as U.S. Secretary of State.

"With the world the way it is now, we need someone who's ready on day one," said Clinton supporter Theresa Bennett of Plattsburgh. "We can't have a lapse or a learning curve."

Bennett, who said she has three granddaughters, said Clinton's candidacy has another appeal to her. "It's really important for us in the United States to see women in leadership roles," she added.

Among Republicans, Donald Trump rallied supporters in Plattsburgh Friday, and many in the community referred to him as a natural leader.

"Maybe we need some fresh people in there, somebody's that's not a politician," said Trump supporter Lynda Bond of Plattsburgh. "And he definitely is not a politician." 

But John Kasich was the pick of Plattsburgh Republican Bill Wellman. "I think he's done a great job for Ohio and I look forward to him doing the same great job as president," Wellman told necn.

At the Blue Collar Bistro in downtown Plattsburgh, owner Cindy Snow has a very non-scientific polling method.

"We're not endorsing anyone," Snow said, smiling. "We just like to have to have fun with our food!" 

She's pitting a "Bernie sandwich," with Vermont cheddar cheese and jalapeño mayo to "feel the Bern," against a "Trump burger." The Trump burger has onion straws on it to represent the candidate's distinctive hair, the restaurant explained.

As of lunchtime on New York's primary day, the Sanders sandwich was narrowly ahead in the sales tally, Snow said. 

But as for the poll that really matters, the one being taken inside New York's voting booths, locations are open until 9 p.m. Tuesday. 

Snow said plenty of customers have asked her why she's not selling sandwiches representing John Kasich, Ted Cruz, or Hillary Clinton. She explained she focused on the candidates who had the largest presences in Plattsburgh in terms of public rallies.

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