ALBANY – Hillary Clinton cruised to a win Tuesday in New York, easily capturing the 29 electoral votes in the heavily Democratic state she calls home.
Clinton, who served eight years as New York’s junior senator, appeared headed to a wide victory over Republican Donald Trump in the Empire State, home to the both major-party presidential candidates for the first time since 1944.
The Associated Press declared Clinton the New York winner just after polls closed at 9 p.m., with various swing states that will decide the election still too close to call.
The vote Tuesday was the latest in a series of big victories for the former first lady and secretary of state in New York, where she won Senate elections in 2000 and 2006 before winning the state’s Democratic presidential primary vote in 2008 and earlier this year.
Trump had repeatedly pledged to remain competitive in his home state, which hadn’t backed a Republican candidate for president since Ronald Reagan’s nationwide landslide in 1984.
But the Trump campaign ultimately opted for a more-traditional strategy, focusing the candidate’s time and resources on battleground states like North Carolina and Florida as public-opinion polls showed him trailing heavily in New York.
Like Trump, Clinton spent much of the presidential campaign swing states, hoping to pick up key electoral votes that could help tip the election.
On Election Day, both candidates stayed right at home.
Clinton and Trump spent the day in New York, casting their ballots before heading to midtown Manhattan for separate parties where awaited the nationwide results.
At her polling place in Chappaqua, Westchester County, Clinton said casting a ballot for herself is a “most humbling feeling.”
“I’ll do the very best I can if I’m fortunate enough to win today,” Clinton said.
It was the first time New York was home to the Democratic and Republican presidential candidates since Franklin D. Roosevelt defeated then-Gov. Thomas Dewey to win a fourth term.
Public-opinion polls and party enrollment data didn’t leave much suspense in the candidates’ home state, which has more than twice as many Democrats as Republicans.
A Siena College poll Sunday found Clinton, a Democrat, with a 51-34 percent lead over her Republican foe Trump in New York, fueled largely by heavy support in deep blue New York City.
Her New York lead, however, was down from 24 percentage points in October, according to Siena.
Clinton cast her ballot Tuesday morning. Before that, she was greeted by hundreds of supporters around 3:30 a.m. at the Westchester County Airport, where she arrived after a late-night rally in North Carolina.
Trump voted at a public school in midtown Manhattan, accompanied by his wife, Melania.
In April, Clinton and Trump cruised to wins in New York’s primaries.
Trump won 60 percent of the GOP vote, easily defeating Texas Sen. Ted Cruz and Ohio Gov. John Kasich en route to winning 89 of the state’s 95 Republican delegates.
Clinton received 58 percent of the Democratic vote, collecting 139 New York delegates to Vermont Sen. Bernie Sanders’ 108.
In mid-April, Trump said he had a “really good chance” to win New York.
“I think I’ll win New York,” Trump said then in an interview with the USA Today Network’s Albany Bureau. “I think I’ll win Michigan. I think we’ll win states that Republicans don’t even go to in the general election."