After sweeping the Alaska, Hawaii, and Washington state caucuses on Saturday, Bernie Sanders is looking ahead to what could be a decisive battle in New York state. The delegate-rich state holds its Democratic primary on April 19, and the Brooklyn-born Sanders plans a major push to defeat Hillary Clinton in the state she once represented, the Washington Post reports. "We'll be the underdog, but being the underdog in New York is not the worst situation in politics," says Tad Devine, Sanders' chief strategist. "We're going to make a real run for it." Sanders plans an upbeat campaign stressing his "New York values," Devine says, though he'll also target Clinton for her ties to Wall Street.
The next state to vote is Wisconsin on April 5, and Devine says Sanders hopes victory there will give him a boost heading into New York. CBS News reports that Sanders has challenged Clinton to debate him in New York in April—"New York City, upstate, wherever." Whichever Democrat wins the nomination will be facing a New Yorker in the general election if Donald Trump wins the GOP race, though the state hasn't voted Republican in a presidential election since 1984, and polls suggest there's little chance of it flipping this year, the Hill reports. A political science professor at Syracuse University says he would be tempted to bet his house that Clinton would beat Trump in a general election, especially since the nomination race has pushed her to the left, which "makes her even more appealing in a state like New York."