Politics

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In substance, the ninth Democratic debate was essentially a recap of previous ones. In style, it was new — sharp and contentious, as Clinton and Sanders clashed on guns, Wall Street, minimum wage and "judgment." Clinton hit Sanders hard for being long on ideals but short on practicality. "It's easy to diagnose the problem," she said. "It's harder to do something about the problem." Sanders attacked Clinton for proposing incremental policies. "Incrementalism and those little steps are not enough," he said. Clinton apologized for the consequences of the 1994 crime bill.

This was supposed to be a quiet week for Mike Rendino. He manages Stan's, the bar across the street from Yankee Stadium, and the Yankees are in Toronto.

Instead, it's been bedlam.

Rendino said he's "been inundated with phone calls, emails, contacts on Facebook from the strangers, most random people. The New York Times, the Washington Post."

Just how far could Republicans go to deny Donald Trump the party's nomination?

A delegate to this summer's convention in Cleveland asserts that the GOP gathering could do anything it wants.

Vermont Sen. Bernie Sanders has focused much of his presidential campaign on economic issues. He describes income inequality as the great economic and political issue of our time.

Less has been written about Sanders' approach to foreign policy. Here's a quick summary:

1. He was against the Iraq War (but he is not a pacifist)

Sanders has highlighted his opposition to the war in Iraq throughout the campaign as a way to draw a distinction with his Democratic rival, Hillary Clinton.

Oregon Sen. Jeff Merkley has endorsed Bernie Sanders for president, the first of Sanders' fellow members of the U.S. Senate to do so.

In a New York Times op-ed, Merkley wrote that Sanders is "boldly and fiercely addressing the biggest challenges facing our country." Merkley praised the Vermont senator for opposition to international trade deals, his push for renewable energy, his calls to crack down on big banks, and his fight to address campaign finance laws.

John Kasich says the nation has a choice between "two paths." On one path is "fear" and "darkness." On the other path is — guess who? — a President Kasich.

In a speech on Tuesday, Kasich presented a stark choice between pessimism and optimism. The "path to darkness," he said, is a "political strategy based on exploiting Americans instead of lifting them up [that] inevitably leads to divisions, paranoia, isolation, and promises that can never, ever be fulfilled."

Three of the five candidates on both sides of the aisle hail from New York in some way or another, so which candidate truly has a home court advantage is questionable.

But, demographics might offer a clue.

Historical and current U.S. Census data suggest that New York's demographics are unusual compared with other states that have already voted this primary season. No doubt, New Yorkers have their own state of mind, but, a few demographic trends help us understand the electorate.

A few things to watch:

1. Urban

If Republican Party delegates are looking for an alternative to Donald Trump, Ted Cruz or John Kasich, it won't be Paul Ryan.

"I want to put this to rest once and for all," Ryan said of speculation that he could be chosen as the Republican presidential nominee this summer in a multiballot convention.

Wyoming is sometimes called the Equality State — it had the nation's first female governor and was the first territory to give women the right to vote. But that legacy isn't visible on the floor of the state Senate. Just one of the 30 state senators is a woman.

"I am the queen of the Senate. I have my own little tiara," jokes Bernadine Craft, a Democrat who represents the mining town of Rock Springs.

To Bernie Sanders supporters, the idea that Democratic superdelegates — elected officials and other party elites who can vote however they wish at the convention — could tip the nomination to Hillary Clinton seems terribly undemocratic.

And so, they're trying to convince superdelegates, officially known as unpledged party leaders and elected officials, to change their allegiance.

Bernie Sanders will be taking a few days off the campaign trail to attend a Vatican conference about social, economic and environmental issues.

The day after a debate in New York next week, Sanders will travel to Rome for the event.

In an interview on MSNBC's Morning Joe, Sanders said he was "a big, big fan of the pope."

"He has played an unbelievable role, unbelievable role in injecting a moral consequence into the economy," Sanders said. "He's talking about the idolatry of money, the worship of money, the greed that's out there."

It has been a turbulent week for Mexico's diplomats in the U.S. The reason for the shakeup can be summed up in two words: Donald Trump.

This week, the Republican presidential front-runner released details of one of his oft-repeated campaign promises — to make Mexico pay for construction of a border wall.

The plan, which involves blocking billions of dollars that Mexicans working in the U.S. send back home, seemed to shake up Mexico's top officials and cause a break in their months of relative silence about Trump's anti-Mexican comments.

The race for the Democratic nomination had been fairly polite compared with the spouse-sparring and name-calling across the aisle, but it looks like those polite days are over.

Ahead of the New York primary (April 19), Bernie Sanders and Hillary Clinton are doubling down on jabs over who is more "qualified" to be president.

Ted Cruz has made no secret of his dislike of what he calls "New York values." But now Cruz needs the support of New York voters if he is to stop Donald Trump from winning the Republican presidential nomination.

After "Make America Great Again," it is perhaps the most common refrain of the Donald Trump campaign.

"I will build a wall!"

And, every time, it's followed by an ironclad guarantee from the candidate:

"And I will make Mexico pay for it."

When asked how, Trump has always been short on details. He cites leverage the U.S. has over Mexico, which needs access to the U.S. market. He has also suggested steep tariffs on Mexican-made goods.

There's a lot on the line for both parties in Tuesday's Wisconsin contest. For Texas Sen. Ted Cruz, the state is a prime chance to stop Donald Trump and complicate the GOP front-runner's path to the nomination. For Bernie Sanders, a win over Hillary Clinton helps close his delegate deficit and gives the Vermont senator new momentum heading into the next stretch of the primary calendar.

Ted Cruz and Donald Trump don't agree on much lately, but the two GOP presidential candidates are in accord on one thing — it's time for Ohio Gov. John Kasich to get out of the race.

When Bernie Sanders took the stage Sunday night in Madison, Wis., the crowd of about 5,000 went wild. One of the biggest applause lines came when Sanders talked about his campaign taking on the establishment.

"These guys may have unlimited sums of money," the Vermont senator said. "They may control the media, they may control the economy, they may control the political system. But when millions of people stand up together united and demand change, we will not be stopped."

Scott Walker never got the chance to officially face off with Donald Trump at the ballot box — but if the GOP front-runner loses on the Wisconsin governor's home turf, it still could be a victory of sorts for the former presidential candidate.

Like so many Americans approaching retirement, Virginia Republican Rep. Scott Rigell dreams about spending a little more time on the water.

"I have a little rowboat called Miss Nelly. She's 13 feet long, and there's not a motor on it. There's no radio on it. And I'm so looking forward to being on that rowboat," says Rigell.

Rigell is retiring after just six years in Congress. He was one of the 87 Republicans who rode the Tea Party wave to a pivotal GOP takeover of the House.

For months, the two leading Republican candidates have tried to prove they're tough on Muslims. Donald Trump famously introduced the idea of a temporary ban on Muslim immigration, and then, last month, the businessman-turned-politician said he believes "Islam hates us." Texas Sen.

Bernie Sanders and his supporters don't consider moving Hillary Clinton to the left a goal or even really a victory of any kind. They want to change America, not the stated positions of another candidate. And while he may not be beating her in the delegate race at the moment, there's an argument that Sanders has already won by getting the issues he cares about into the political blood stream.

The Washington Legislature has adjourned. And now the campaign season has begun. Within hours of the final gavels falling Tuesday night, fundraising pleas went out.

Donald Trump said women who undergo abortions should be punished if the procedure is made illegal. In an interview for a town hall meeting to air on MSNBC Wednesday night, Trump said "there has to be some form of punishment" for women.

While most Republican officeholders and candidates oppose abortion rights, few have publicly stated positions on whether there should be legal penalties for women who have abortions. Most believe it is the physicians who perform them who should be prosecuted.

Calling Donald Trump "the only candidate who actually threatens the established powers that have betrayed this county," the National Border Patrol Council endorsed the New York businessman for president on Wednesday.

Wisconsin Gov. Scott Walker has endorsed Ted Cruz ahead of the state's presidential primary next week.

Walker, a former leading presidential candidate, called Cruz a constitutional conservative who can win in the fall.

"I just fundamentally believe if you look at the facts, if you look at the numbers, that Ted Cruz is the best-positioned by far to both win the nomination of the Republican Party and to then go on and defeat Hillary Clinton in the fall this year," Walker said Tuesday morning on WTMJ radio in Milwaukee.

President Obama delivered a stern rebuke to the media, for their role in the 2016 campaign and, as he sees it, not holding candidates accountable for "unworkable plans."

On Sunday, after Bernie Sanders' commanding wins in the Alaska, Hawaii and Washington state Democratic presidential caucuses, Leslie Lee III, an American freelance writer living in Japan, tweeted, "I knew it. I knew if Bernie won Hawaii it would magically become a white state."

And then he tweeted again: "Ever since I voted for Bernie, I've been bingewatching Friends. #BernieMadeMeWhite."

Lee said he wrote that to contradict a narrative he sees playing out in the race for the Democratic nomination.

Elaine Thompson / AP Images

Bernie Sanders has won Washington's Democratic presidential caucuses after tens of thousands of people met at schools, libraries and community centers across the state.

There are 118 delegates at stake in Washington, with 101 to ultimately be awarded proportionally based on the results of Saturday's caucuses. The remaining 17 are technically unpledged party and elected leaders, though a majority of them — including Gov. Jay Inslee and the state's Congressional delegation — have already said they support frontrunner Hillary Clinton.

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