Democrat Hillary Clinton and Republican Donald Trump have won Arizona presidential primaries, solidifying their front-runner status in their parties for the race to the White House.
With more than 70 per cent of the votes counted, Clinton was cruising ahead with 60 per cent of the votes, and Trump with nearly 46 per cent in Arizona. Apart from Arizona, western states of Utah and Idaho were also holding poll contests.
News organisations based on these figures projected Trump and Clinton as winner of Arizona primaries as official results are yet to be declared.
“Thank you, Arizona,” Trump tweeted.
“Thank you to all the wonderful volunteers who are working so hard for our campaign. You’re knocking down barriers,” Clinton tweeted.
With an impressive win in Arizona, Trump grabbed all the 58 delegates at stake in the state, thus increasing his total to 739 delegates and further increasing the gap on delegate count with his main Republican presidential primary rival Senator Ted Cruz who has a delegate count of 425.
To win the Republican presidential nominee, Trump needs 1,237 delegates.
He needs to win 52 per cent of the delegates in the rest of the Republican primaries. So far, the real estate tycoon has won 19 States as against Cruz’s victory in 8 states so far.
In Arizona, Clinton’s sole rival Senator Bernie Sanders had polled 36.8 per cent of the votes as against more than 60 per cent by the former Secretary of State.
“We need a president who can provide leadership that’s strong, smart, and steady. The last thing we need are leaders who incite more fear,” Clinton told her cheering supporters in Seattle in the Washington in her victory speech.
“In the face of terror, America doesn’t panic. We don’t build walls or turn our backs on our allies. We can’t throw out everything we know about what works and what doesn’t and start torturing people,” she said in an attack directed at Trump.
Clinton currently has 1,670 delegates, which includes 1159 won by her in various states and 467 super delegates who have pledged their support to her.
Sanders has 886 delegates including 829 won in state primaries and caucuses.
The one with 2,382 delegates, would be declared the Democratic presidential nominee.
Even though Sanders lost Arizona, he won Utah. Based on initial counting, Sanders claimed 74.8 per cent of the vote to Clinton’s 24.1 per cent with just 11 per cent reporting.
“Thank you to all those who caucused tonight in Utah!” Sanders tweeted.
The race to the White House now moves to the Saturday caucuses in Alaska, Hawaii and Washington state.
(With inputs from PTI)