How Many Delegates Does Arizona Have? It's The Biggest Windfall Up For Grabs On Tuesday
When it comes to politics, particularly conservative values, Arizona is no quiet voice. The state has become known for its harsh immigration policies and other controversial conservative measures. On Tuesday, both Republicans and Democrats in the state will have an opportunity to show the country what they're all about during the state's primary elections. Arizona has the most delegates of any state voting on Tuesday, but it might already be clear which candidates will claim the important victories.
Arizona has 58 Republican delegates and 85 Democratic delegates to award on Tuesday. The Republican side is where things really get interesting: the GOP's primary is winner-take-all, as so many of them are. Granted, neither the Republican nor the Democratic primary in Arizona will be enough for the trailing candidates to catch their leading opponents. Ahead of contests in Arizona, Idaho, and Utah on Tuesday, outspoken businessman Donald Trump led the Republican delegate count by more than 250 delegates, boasting 673 to Texas Sen. Ted Cruz's 410. On the Democratic side of the race, former Secretary of State Hillary Clinton led Vermont Sen. Bernie Sanders by more than 300 delegates, not including the ever-important superdelegates included in the Democratic process. Although neither total in Arizona is enough to account for these deficits, the Arizona primary could be an important momentum builder as the election heads to the West.
Arizona is nowhere near the biggest primary remaining in the race. That would be California, where Republicans and Democrats will vote in June. In fact, California's 172 Republican delegates and 546 Democratic delegates make Arizona's primaries look like a drop in the bucket.
On the Republican side, Arizona is perhaps less important for the number of delegates it has and more important for what it represents. Arizona was pretty much solid Trump territory, even before the controversial candidate started winning primaries left and right. It's the state with perhaps the toughest immigration laws in the country — a legislative climate that practically screams Trump's name and tattoos it on its forehead. Sure enough, Trump will head into Tuesday's primary with a double-digit lead in the prediction polls.
Across the aisle, Clinton remains poised to win Arizona's Democratic primary, although not without fending off a strong fight from Sanders. Clinton has had success in the state in the past. She won the Democratic primary in 2008, when she ran against then-candidate Barack Obama. This time around, Clinton has seemed to fare much better among diverse voting populations than Sanders. Given Arizona's high Latino population, it would make sense for her to see high levels of support.
While significant, the numbers of delegates up for grabs in Tuesday's Arizona primary may not make that big of a difference in the long run. However, if Trump and Clinton do, in fact, post victories there, they could solidify their leads as the race heads away from the South and into other parts of the country. If there's an upset in either race, it could create an opening for a trailing candidate to find momentum before big contests in New York, Pennsylvania, and California.