The lead margins of the presidential primary front-runners continue to widen following the latest round of state contests. Both Democratic presidential candidate Hillary Clinton and Republican presidential candidate Donald Trump secured delegate-rich Arizona, increasing the likeliness of their general election match-up.
On Mar. 22, former Secretary of State Hillary Clinton won Arizona with 57.6 percent of the vote compared to a 39.9 percent turnout for Democratic Sen. Bernie Sanders of Vermont, Washington Post reports.
Trump took home all 58 delegates from the Copper State’s GOP race, winning 47 percent of the vote -- nearly double the votes of his closest competitor, Republican Sen. Ted Cruz of Texas, who pulled only 25 percent.
The evening did not just yield rewards for the Clinton and Trump campaigns. Sanders collected crushing wins in Idaho and Utah, ultimately earning him 67 new delegates overall compared to Clinton’s 51.
Meanwhile, Cruz won Utah, giving his campaign a much-needed shot in the arm. Not only did the Texas senator prevail in the Beehive State, he won by 69 percent -- 19 points higher than he needed to collect all of the 40 delegates on the line.
Republican Gov. John Kasich of Ohio was the only candidate who failed to win any new delegates, his current tally so far behind Trump and Cruz that it would be mathematically impossible for him to win the GOP primary at this point, barring a contested convention.
If he were not such a controversial figure, Trump would be a no-brainer for the Republican nomination. The business mogul continues to trounce his competition and at this point, narrowing the field down to a one-on-one match would not even help.
A Mar. 23 poll conducted by Quinnipiac University and reported by Politico found that even if the GOP race became a two-man race -- Cruz or Kasich against Trump -- the business mogul would still have more Republican voters on his team.
Trump would defeat Cruz 46 to 37 percent support while he would crush Kasich 56 to 25 percent. Curiously, the same survey found that Kasich was the only Republican candidate who could defeat either Clinton or Sanders in the general election.
Celebrating her Arizona victory during a Seattle campaign stop, Clinton took a shot at Trump for "literally inciting bigotry and violence."
“I do believe I am the most ready of anybody running to take this job,” Clinton said, according to CNN.
From San Diego, Sanders declared that his campaign had come a long way, especially considering he was initially considered a fringe candidate.
“Well, 10 months later we have now won 10 primaries and caucuses,” Sanders said. “Unless I am very much mistaken, we are going to win a couple more tonight.”
Following the Mar. 22 primaries contests, Clinton had 1,229 pledged delegates while Sanders had 912. On the GOP side of the pool, Trump continues to lead with 741 delegates, Cruz in second with 461 and Kasich trails behind with 145.