With New York behind them, U.S. Sen. Ted Cruz and former Secretary of State Hillary Clinton brought their campaigns to Pennsylvania on Wednesday for what promises to be the state's most raucous presidential primary in recent memory.
Cruz, still hoping to derail Donald Trump's drive for the GOP nomination, rallied supporters at the Antique Automobile Club of America Museum in Hershey, where he promised to prevail at the party's national convention in Cleveland.
"The most powerful force in our time is the grass roots of the American people rising," Cruz said. "We must unite the Republican Party. . . . If we are divided, we lose."
Clinton focused her visit on two events in heavily Democratic Philadelphia. The Democratic front-runner first spoke at St. Paul's Baptist Church in North Philadelphia, where she stood with African American mothers who had lost children to violent encounters with police. Later she traveled to Fishtown for a rally at the Fillmore, a 2,500-seat theater that was near capacity.
At St. Paul's, she pledged to reduce gun violence and police abuse, but conceded: "That doesn't mean we can get everything we want, because, you know, that's not how life works. But we can get further than we are right now."
The events by Cruz and Clinton were the latest in what is expected to be a barrage of candidates' stops across Pennsylvania between now and Tuesday's primary.
Vermont Sen. Bernie Sanders brings campaign for the Democratic nomination back to the state on Thursday, with stops in Scranton, Reading, and Montgomery County. The last will be at 4:30 p.m. at the Greater Philadelphia Expo Center in Oaks.
Sanders was represented in state Tuesday by two Vermont surrogates, Jerry Greenfield and Ben Cohen, founders of Ben and Jerry's Ice Cream. They spent the lunch hour in Rittenhouse Square, pushing Sanders and a limited-edition flavor they called "Bernie's Yearning."
Ohio Gov. John Kasich, the third candidate vying for the Republican nomination, will hold a town meeting at Penn State Brandywine in Delaware County at 2:30 p.m. Thursday. Trump will be in Harrisburg for an evening campaign rally.
On Wednesday, however, the state belonged to Cruz and Clinton.
Cruz is hoping to rebound from a drubbing in New York's primary Tuesday, which saw Trump exploit his home-state advantage to claim 60 percent of the Republican vote and a vast majority of the state's delegates. Cruz managed just 15 percent of the vote, trailing Kasich.
"Upon winning his home state," Cruz said mockingly as he addressed hundreds of supporters in Hershey, "Donald, with a characteristic display of humility, declared this race is over - Manhattan has spoken, and if the rest of the voters would quietly go home now and allow him to give the general election to Hillary, all will be better."
The Texas senator predicted he would emerge victorious after Republicans gather this summer.
"As we stand here today there are two, and only two, candidates who have any plausible path whatsoever to earning the Republican nomination: me and Donald Trump," said Cruz. "If we nominate Donald, Hillary wins - Hillary wins by double digits."
In his 30-minute speech, Cruz pledged to repeal Obamacare, end benefits for illegal immigrants, abolish the IRS, and institute a flat tax that would allow Americans to file their taxes "on a postcard."
Of the choice facing Democratic voters, Cruz quipped: "The Democratic field consists of a wild-eyed socialist with ideas that are dangerous for America and the world - and Bernie Sanders."
The "wild-eyed socialist" in his case is Clinton, who has struggled to finish off Sanders, largely because her party's left wing sees her as anything but.
In North Philadelphia on Wednesday, Clinton listened for 90 minutes as emotional testimony filled the parish hall from five mothers whose children were killed in encounters with the police. One of them, Tanya Brown-Dickerson of Philadelphia, challenged her with a hip-hop term.
"I'm voting for Secretary Clinton and I expect her to have my back," Brown-Dickerson said. "Ride or die." Her son, Brandon Tate-Brown, was shot and killed by an officer in 2014.
"I think that we've already heard the best," Clinton said when asked for concluding remarks. "These women are asking all of us to ride or die, asking all of us to be there for them. I only guarantee you that I will do everything that I can imagine . . . to keep working for justice."
She gave a nod to local issues when she endorsed Mayor Kenney's proposed sugary-drink tax as a way to pay for early childhood education.
Later, at the Fillmore, she was greeted by a mixed but heavily female crowd, with many wearing Clinton buttons and waving "I'm With Her" signs.
There, too, the issue of violence was raised when Clinton noted the rash of shootings in the city this past weekend, including the killing of a 4-year-old, which she called "heartbreaking." She vowed to take on the National Rifle Association.
At one point, about a dozen protesters with a group called the Philadelphia Coalition for Real Justice started yelling "shut her down" and "Killary," and were escorted out.
One man yelled, "Black lives matter," as he was led out. A woman shouted, "Don't vote for Hillary, she's killing black people!"
Clinton - whose husband, former President Bill Clinton, had sharp words earlier this month for two Philadelphia protesters - seemed to address the matter later.
"I know we've got a lot of political disagreements in this country," she said. "That's kind of the American DNA, but what we cannot abide is breaking ourselves into groups where we don't even talk or listen to each other, as we just saw, right?"
Most of the crowd supported Clinton.