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Hillary Clinton Campaigns In Pennsylvania After Big Win In New York

KELLY MCEVERS, HOST:

Fresh off of a big night in New York, there was no rest for Republican presidential front-runner Donald Trump and the Democratic front-runner, Hillary Clinton. The candidates both had major victories in a state they both call home. And they're feeling good about the road ahead. Right now, we're going to talk about the Democrats. NPR's Tamara Keith is on the campaign trail in Pennsylvania, one of the five East Coast states that's voting next week. Hi there, Tam.

TAMARA KEITH, BYLINE: Hi.

MCEVERS: So you're in Philadelphia, where Hillary Clinton planned two events today. What's she doing?

KEITH: She's holding an event about gun violence. It's an intimate event. And then, she also has a rally happening in Philadelphia. She also today released a new ad in Connecticut about gun violence featuring the daughter of the principle at the Sandy Hook school. And she's not slowing down, in short. She's moving ahead to these next states, and she's continuing to campaign.

MCEVERS: And, Tamara, Bernie Sanders is not campaigning today. He went home to Vermont. Does this mean he is slowing down?

KEITH: Well, he's slowing down at least for 24 hours. His campaign insists that this was just a day to recharge and it's been on the books for a while and that he will have more events very soon, including - they've announced three events tomorrow. But there's no denying that the loss in New York and the size of the loss in New York is a devastating hit to his campaign. His spokesman, Michael Briggs, though, says they are soldiering on; they're moving on. And he said in an e-mail, quote, "voters in these states have a right to be part of the presidential nominating process."

MCEVERS: OK, so he's continuing to campaign, but what's the big strategy here? What's the endgame for Bernie Sanders?

KEITH: It's not 100 percent clear because various campaign advisers are describing the path ahead in slightly different ways. Tad Devine is a senior advisor, and he's been quoted as saying that they will reassess after the primaries next Tuesday. Meanwhile, Campaign Manager Jeff Weaver says they're taking this all the way to the convention, and even if Sanders is not ahead in pledged delegates or in the popular vote - and that does seem like the most likely scenario at this point - that they will, at the convention, try to convince superdelegates that Bernie Sanders is actually the most electable candidate and that they should support him. This is somewhat of a difficult argument to make, though, because that would be asking superdelegates to overturn the will of the voters. And also, superdelegates are the establishment. These are Democratic Party establishment figures, and Bernie Sanders is campaigning against the establishment. Also, at this moment, they overwhelmingly support Hillary Clinton.

MCEVERS: Looking into the short-term, next week, how are things looking?

KEITH: Well, Hillary Clinton is ahead in many polls. There's a new one out of Pennsylvania today that shows her significantly ahead. There are other states where Bernie Sanders would - looks to be competitive. The challenge for Sanders at this point is that he doesn't just need to win, but he needs to win big. And by our calculations, he would need to win every state that remains to vote by a 20 point margin, which is a huge margin...

MCEVERS: That's NPR's Tamara Keith.

KEITH: ...And a real challenge.

MCEVERS: Thanks so much, Tam.

KEITH: You're welcome. Transcript provided by NPR, Copyright NPR.