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The Daily Wildcat

The Daily Wildcat


Everything you need to know before voting today

Sam Gross
Left: Donald Trump speaking at his rally in Tucson on Saturday March 19. Right: Hillary Clinton speaking at her rally in Phoenix on Monday March 21.

With 58 Republican delegates and 75 Democratic delegates up for grabs, Arizona’s winner-take-all primary this Tuesday could have a significant impact on the 2016 presidential race.

There are three candidates still seeking the Republican party nomination: John Kasich, current governor of Ohio, Texas Sen. Ted Cruz and Donald Trump, a businessman and television personality.

In order to win the Republican Party nomination, a candidate must win a total of 1,237 delegates. Heading into the Arizona primary, Trump leads the remaining candidates with 680 delegates, Cruz follows with 424 and Kasich is trailing with 143 delegates.

In the other arena, Democratic candidate Vermont Sen. Bernie Sanders is campaigning against former Secretary of State, Hillary Clinton. The Democratic nomination requires 2,383 delegates to win. Currently, Clinton leads with 1,630 delegates and Sanders trails with 870.

MORE ON CLINTONHillary Clinton holds rally in Phoenix, see what the democratic frontrunner had to say
MORE ON SANDERS: Sanders ‘berns’ Tucson for the second time

The Arizona primary is closed, meaning that voters registered as independents are out of luck — only voters registered as Democrats or Republicans may vote in their party’s primary. This year, the Arizona primary is scheduled for the same day as the Utah caucus, the Idaho Democratic caucus and the American Samoa Republican caucus.

In the 2012 primary, Arizona lost half of it’s 58 GOP delegates by failing to abide by the party’s rules. The primary took place before March 6 and awarded a winner-take-all system, both of which were violations under the party’s bylaws. The 29 delegates were awarded to Mitt Romney and all 85 of the democratic delegates went to President Barack Obama.

The Arizona primary may be late on the calendar this year, but the results will be important as the parties near their final nomination deadlines. Trump and Clinton have established themselves in the lead, and winning Arizona would widen the gap their opponents are trying to bridge.

It is no secret that some members of the Republican Party do not see Trump as a viable nominee. If Cruz were to win the 58 Arizona delegates, he could establish himself as the main GOP alternative to Trump and could build more support. On paper, Kasich seems to be too far behind to catch up; however, a victory in Arizona could keep his campaign alive.

MORE ON TRUMP: Trump takes center stage in Tucson

The Merrill Poll released its Arizona primary survey last week, and the results show a large undecided population. Fifty percent of Democrats surveyed said they would vote for Clinton, while only 24 percent pledged support for Sanders. The other 26 percent were undecided. Similarly, of the Republicans surveyed, 30 percent were undecided. Trump led at 31 percent and Cruz followed at 19 percent. Kasich polled the lowest of any remaining candidate with only 10 percent of Arizona voters surveyed saying they would vote for him.

RELATED: Donald Trump, meet the protesters of Tucson

These survey results fall in line with previous primaries. Although, Trump and Clinton seem to have comfortable leads. The March 15 Missouri primary showed just how close the race still is, with Trump narrowly beating out Cruz at 40.9 percent to 40.7 percent respectively. That 0.2 percent was the difference between winning 25 delegates or only 15. Similarly, Clinton pulled a slight lead over Sanders in Missouri, however, due to party and state proportionality rules, both were equally awarded 34 delegates.

Four of five of the presidential candidates have made a campaign presence in Arizona leading into the primary. Sanders and Trump both held rallies at the Tucson Convention Center, drawing supporters and protesters alike before making their way through Phoenix and Northern Arizona. Clinton joined her husband Bill Clinton in Phoenix on Monday for a public event. Cruz also held a rally in Phoenix after a brief visit to Douglas to check out the U.S.-Mexican border. Kasich is not scheduled to make any appearances in Arizona before the primary and is focusing on his campaign in Utah.

According to the Merrill Poll, Trump and Clinton are the predicted winners of the 2016 Arizona primary. However, with a large showing of support for Bernie Sanders at his Tucson rally and a undeniable presence of Trump protesters, we will have to wait and see what unfolds Tuesday.

Follow Brice Lennon on Twitter.

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