The candidates trying their luck in the Southwestern United States campaigned and toured the “cowboy’s paradise” as they waited for the Arizona primary results on March 22, 2016. Shortly after 12:00 a.m. EST, March 23, the last county reported their final results. For the Republicans, Donald Trump won with 46.6 percent, followed by Ted Cruz and John Kasich. Hillary Clinton won the primary with a resounding 61.1 percent over Bernie Sanders. It was quite a showdown for this important Southwestern state.
Candidates worked hard leading up to Super Tuesday March 1 and had continued to move forward. Arizona is typically seen as a major prize to be won on “Western Tuesday” in the race for the White House.
Trump began his time in the Grand Canyon State with controversy. KTAR News reported the candidate was over an hour late, leaving a crowd of nearly 10,000 people waiting. The rally, held in Fountain Hills, a Phoenix suburb, was met with protesters who attempted to block access as they closed two lanes of Shea Boulevard. Three members of the demonstration were arrested and detained by the Maricopa County Sheriff’s Office.
Tucson was the site of Trump’s second rally, which, unlike the first, was out of control. One protester was kicked and beaten by a supporter. The supporter is currently being brought up on charges. Additionally, a member of Trump’s campaign team grabbed a protester by the collar.
Both Sanders and Cruz took their stance on immigration to the front lines. Sanders brought his campaign to Nogales, a small border town, where he walked the line between the U.S. and Mexico. Speaking at the border, Sanders illustrated his stance on immigration and cited Pope Francis, urging Americans to build bridges and not walls.
Cruz also weighed in on his version of the immigration issue. KTAR quotes Cruz as stating, “President Obama tells us the border’s secure. Well, I invite him to move the White House down to the southern border.” He told the people of Arizona that “[he would] solve this problem, and the border will be secure.”
Former president Bill Clinton was hard at work promoting his wife as the best Democratic candidate in this key primary. He gave a speech at Sunnyslope High School in Tucson, saying, “She’s the best-qualified person for this moment in time.” He commented further and was met with abrupt applause as he mentioned her plan for college loan debt.
All of the candidates had been campaigning hard to win the Arizona primary, and early numbers showed them running neck and neck in the polls. Early signs showed a large turnout as lines to vote in the primary were starting to form relatively early in the night. The people of Arizona came out to voice their opinion through the ballot box.
The victory for Trump over his opponents landed him Arizona’s 58 Republican delegates. This addition of delegates may make it more difficult for Cruz and Kasich to clinch the Republican nomination.
Unlike the Republican delegates, where the majority winner is awarded all, the Democratic delegates are distributed proportionally. Of the 75 delegates in Arizona, Clinton received 40, while Sanders was awarded 16. It is clear Clinton had captured Arizona out from under Sanders’ feet. However, while speaking about the results at an appearance in San Diego, Sanders stated he still holds out hope for Utah and Idaho.
Arizona’s Republican voters gave Trump the win. Behind him, Cruz pulled in 22.6 percent, Kasich with 10 percent, and another 20.8 percent were handed out to other candidates on the ballot. Democratic voters gave Clinton the win. Sanders, falling behind, picked up 37.3 percent. Now, they look forward to the next battle and keep their eye on the White House.
By Harrison Baker
Edited by Cathy Milne and Jeanette Smith
New York Times: Arizona Primary Results
KTAR: Presidential Candidates Campaign in Arizona Before Tuesday Primaries
CNN: CNN Projects Donald Trump, Hilary Clinton Win Arizona
Image Courtesy of Michael Wilson’s Flickr Page – Creative Commons License