Spotlight lands on Brooklyn as presidential debate comes to borough

FORT GREENE, Brooklyn— Hours before Thursday's debate, supporters banged the drum for Hillary Clinton outside the Brooklyn Navy Yard— but there wasn't a Brooklynite among them.

At Tom's Restaurant in Prospect Heights,  local yokels told PIX11 how they feel about being the center of the election and the city.

"New York has a large number of delegates, it's a big prize, the nominations are not sewn up, so of course the Circus comes to town here," said Eliot Wagner of Park Slope.

Brooklyn College Professor David Bloomfield says candidates crossing the bridge or tunnel away from Manhattan is about a lot more than coming to a borough that's considered hip.

"As if Brooklyn needs any more publicity, I think it's been discovered.  But it also shows the importance of Brooklyn as really a symbol of diversity, vibrant economy, and culture," said Bloomfield.

From Sanders Childhood to Clinton's Campaign headquarters, both candidates have tried to plant their roots, but only one tree grows in Brooklyn.

"It's funny because Bernie seems like more of a New Yorker, but he left.  And Hillary lives here now and she was the Senator," said Bloomfield.

Wagner, who has always called Brooklyn home, says it won't be a New York address that wins his vote.

"Does it matter to me? No.  Policy matters to me."

Afterall, if New York roots were they key to winning the state, Bloomfield says there's another politician who would likely carry the vote in November.

"Maybe the real New Yorker is Trump.  I don't think that he's going to win in a general election, but he's the one who really has roots here."

Heading into Thirsday's debate several polls had Sanders down about 10 points. New York is not a winner-take-all state so both candidates will leave with some delegates after the primary. Exactly how many remains to be seen