Front-Runners Score Biggest Wins
Donald Trump and Hillary Clinton win Arizona, but their rivals continue to take states too. Controversy brews over Trump's candidacy.
Democrat Hillary Clinton and Republican Donald Trump easily won the biggest prize in Tuesday’s elections: Arizona. Both candidates remain strong front-runners in the races to win their parties' nominations for president.
But Democrat Bernie Sanders and Republican Ted Cruz also scored important victories. Sanders won two of the three Democratic elections yesterday, taking Utah and Idaho. Political experts say it would be very hard for Sanders to ultimately beat Clinton, but his continued victories in states across the nation are making it harder for Clinton to secure the nomination.
Cruz won big in Utah, which means he received all of that state’s delegates. (Idaho held its Republican primary, which Cruz won, on March 8.) In primaries and caucuses, candidates are competing to get the most delegates from each state. Delegates are members of a political party who will nominate the party’s official candidate at their convention this summer.
Trump’s and Clinton’s wins were important because Arizona has the largest population of the states voting yesterday and thus had the most delegates up for grabs. It’s also the most populous state in the West to vote so far, and some experts say it could be a good indication of which candidate will win huge states in that region, like California, which votes in June.
To clinch the Democratic nomination, a candidate needs to win 2,383 delegates. Clinton is in the lead, with 1,214. Sanders has 901.
A Republican candidate needs 1,237 delegates to win the nomination. After voting yesterday, Cruz has 463 delegates, but Trump leads with 738. (The other Republican candidate, Ohio Governor John Kasich, has 143.) Some Republican leaders are concerned that Trump is still in the lead and are working hard to try to prevent him from getting 1,237 delegates.
There is growing disagreement in the Republican Party about whether Trump should be the party's nominee. Some party leaders are even considering running a candidate under another party (known as a third party) if Trump becomes the nominee. They say Trump’s behavior on the campaign trail has not been presidential.
Trump’s language has been unusual for a presidential candidate. Among other things, he has mocked his competitors and called them names. Also, he has sometimes used violent language when talking about protesters who have shown up at his rallies. For example, after a protester was thrown out of a Trump rally in Las Vegas, Nevada, in February, Trump commented that he’d “like to punch him in the face.”
Senator Cruz spoke on a TV news show about Trump’s language earlier this month.
"I think people are asking themselves, 'How would we feel if our children came in repeating the words of the president of the United States if that president was Donald Trump?' And if it would embarrass you to have your children repeat the words of the president, that's not a good thing," Cruz said.
Many of Trump’s critics say that this kind of language stirs up voters in harmful ways. A Trump rally in Chicago, Illinois, earlier this month was canceled when a clash between Trump supporters and protesters spilled onto the streets.
Trump denies that he encourages violence and says that his supporters are just passionate about his candidacy, fed up with the government, and ready for a change.
“When they see what’s going on in this country, they have anger that’s unbelievable. They have anger. They love this country,” Trump has said.
The front-runner has many supporters who say they like his style, his background as a businessman as opposed to a politician, and his values. “There is nothing and nobody that’s going to dissuade me from voting for Trump,” Lola Butler, 71, of Mandeville, Louisiana, told The New York Times.