Asma Khalid | KUOW News and Information

Asma Khalid

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It's essentially impossible to win the Democratic nomination without support from women.

In primaries and caucuses across the country, women make up a solid majority of the Democratic electorate. In fact, according to exit poll data, there's not a state that's voted to date where women made up less than 54 percent of Democratic voters. And, in Mississippi, women made up nearly two-thirds (64 percent) of Democratic primary voters.

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

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."

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.

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.

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Florida may be Sen. Marco Rubio's home turf, but it's also friendly terrain for his rival Donald Trump. On Friday morning, Trump began his day with a press conference at his luxurious Mar-a-Lago club in Palm Beach. Less than four days earlier, he had given a press conference at another one of his Florida properties — the Trump National Golf Club in Jupiter.

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As the presidential race shifted to Nevada with Democratic caucuses last week and Republican caucuses Tuesday night, more young voters had a chance to chime in to the political process. Nevada is a state with a huge young, diverse population.

But there is the perennial question: Do young people matter in politics?

In every recent election, you've probably heard some iteration of the same generational critique: "Young people don't vote."

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Jeb Bush has struggled in the fight for the Republican nomination and now he's asking his big brother — George W. Bush, the 43rd president of the United States — for help.

The two will be together for a rally Monday evening in North Charleston, S.C.

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There are plenty of political punches being thrown around the GOP field these days. Christie knocks Bush. Bush knocks Trump. Trump knocks Cruz ... you get the point.

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Every four years when the Iowa caucuses and New Hampshire primary roll around, the critics and cynics question why such unrepresentative patches of America get to vote first in presidential nominating contests. Why is so much political power, they complain, given to states that are more white and more rural than the rest of the country?

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When you think of Iowa, you probably think — lots of white people. And, that's true, but the state is also home to a growing number of Latinos.

Hispanics now make up 5.6 percent of the state's population, according to 2014 estimates from the Census Bureau. To put that in perspective, that means the Hispanic community in Iowa these days is twice the size it was during the 2000 caucuses.

And, this year, for the first time, Latinos in Iowa are trying to systematically organize themselves to caucus.

It's a challenge.

As the Democratic race in Iowa tightens, Vermont Sen. Bernie Sanders is stepping up his political game — with a swanky campaign bus, a newfound eagerness to recite poll numbers, and an increasing tendency to throw political punches at Hillary Clinton.

On Tuesday, he crisscrossed the snow-covered roads of western Iowa in an intense four-city bus tour. Yes, Sanders now has a campaign bus — it's blue, emblazoned with his slogan, "A Future to Believe in." In smaller print, it notes that it was paid for by Bernie 2016, "not the billionaires."

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Plenty of politicos and pundits have rationalized Donald Trump's political ascent as the result of his enormous popularity among white working-class voters.

No doubt Trump is well-liked by many college-educated Republicans, but his real strength is among those without a bachelor's degree. In that demographic, most polls show the business-mogul-turned-GOP-presidential-candidate is trouncing his Republican rivals.

Asian-Americans are a bit of a voting paradox. They're the fastest growing minority group in the country, but they're also the least likely to vote.

Take the 2012 election — Asian-Americans voted Democrat in higher numbers than ever before (73 percent cast a ballot for Barack Obama). But they had the lowest voter turnout of any racial group (47 percent).

To try and narrow that discrepancy, a group of Asian-Americans have created the AAPI (Asian American and Pacific Islander) Victory Fund.

Florida Sen. Marco Rubio is trying to play up his foreign policy credentials by ripping into some of his Republican rivals. He did not blast any of his opponents directly by name, but in a speech in Hooksett, N.H., Monday morning, Rubio took some veiled shots at Sens. Rand Paul and Ted Cruz.

Rubio questioned their national security qualifications, and he specifically took aim at Cruz for supporting Syrian President Bashar Assad.

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