Are protests against the NY primary frontrunners working? Polls say no

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PROSPECT-LEFFERTS GARDENS, Brooklyn — There's just over a week left before the most important New York presidential primary in living memory. On Monday, almost all of the five candidates for both parties, or their spouses, were either in metro New York promoting their campaigns, or there were people protesting against them.

Based on poll numbers so far, the promotions, rather than the protests, seem to be most effective.

The overt and vocal protests were against GOP frontrunner Donald Trump. He is scheduled Thursday to give a pair of speeches, one on Long Island and one in midtown Manhattan, that are garnering controversy.

The billionaire Republican is set to give a speech in Patchogue, Long Island on Thursday at the invitation of the Suffolk County Republicans. The venue is on the same block where, eight years ago, Marcelo Lucero was beaten to death by a group of teens as a hate crime. On Monday, Lucero's brother held a press conference at the location where Lucero was killed, calling on the local Republican committee to relocate the event.

Also on Thursday, Trump is scheduled to give a speech at Grand Central Terminal's Grand Hyatt. Outside of the hotel on Monday, the group Shut Down Trump set up signs and handed out fliers calling for people to protest -- and maybe prevent -- Trump's Thursday speech.

"We don't want," a Shut Down Trump organizer said. "His racist violence here in New York Thursday night at a $1000 a plate fundraiser."

The group's message was not falling on deaf ears. Most passersby seemed to respond positively to the invitation to protest Trump, but as one man pointed out, Trump's own message may be motivation enough.

"It's not so much this [call to action], it's him," Darrell Powe told PIX11 News. "The things he says, it's just not American."

Despite the protests, New York poll numbers still heavily favor Trump. He is averaging 53.6 percent of the primary vote, far more than John Kasich and Ted Cruz combined. They average 21 and 18.6 percent, respectively.

If Trump gets a majority of voters in every one of those state's voting districts, he may sweep all of New York's Republican delegates.

In the primary race for the other major party, Hillary Clinton was on Long Island Monday discussing gun violence and the anti-crime bill passed under her husband Bill Clinton's administration.

It was a bill, she pointed out, that was approved by Congress with an affirmative vote by her now-opponent, Sen. Bernie Sanders.

The same fact was also made by Bill Clinton, who'd stumped on Monday at a predominately Caribbean American church here.