Hillary Clinton sweeps Arizona primary, blows away Bernie Sanders

Mar 22, 2016, 8:25 PM | Updated: 10:41 pm
(AP Photo)...
(AP Photo)
(AP Photo)

PHOENIX — Democrat Hillary Clinton added a saguaro-shaped feather to her cap on Tuesday with a win in the Arizona presidential preference election.

Clinton’s win did not come as a shock for pollsters, who had the former secretary of state leading Bernie Sanders by double digits in the buildup to the Arizona vote.

Sanders took home 37 percent of votes on Tuesday, winning 16 delegates while Clinton took home 40.

Tuesday did not bring only losses for the Vermont senator: Sanders won Utah with approximately 75 percent of votes. The numbers for Idaho were not available as of 11 p.m. on Tuesday.

During a watch party in Phoenix on Tuesday night, many Clinton supporters, including Phoenix Vice Mayor Kate Gallego, believe the frontrunner is now on the fast track to the Democratic nomination.

“Hillary got a decisive victory in Arizona and it’s continuing the momentum she’s seen across the country,” Gallego said. “Voters wanted someone who has foreign policy experience, who understands the issues and who is ready to be commander-in-chief on day one.”

 While she did not host as many campaign events as Sanders in the state, Clinton’s one event was was attended by about 1,500 people.

During her nearly half-hour speech, Clinton touched on topics such as health care, wages, the Second Amendment, education and immigration reform.

“There are three big tests that the president is going to face,” she said. “First, can you make a difference in improving the lives of Americans? Second, can you keep us safe? And third, can you bring us together as a nation — which is where we should be going.”

While Tuesday’s win doesn’t lock up the nomination, Clinton’s share of Arizona’s 85 Democratic delegates will likely put Sanders on the ropes. The Vermont senator trails Clinton by hundreds of delegates with just months to go until the Democratic National Convention.

Clinton’s campaign will likely start shifting toward the national race, where she will likely square off with Donald Trump for the White House. Should that scenario come to fruition, a poll showed Clinton and Trump will have to fight it out in Arizona as voters are torn between both candidates.

The Associated Press contributed to this report.

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Hillary Clinton sweeps Arizona primary, blows away Bernie Sanders