Without a doubt, of the three states that went to the polls this evening, Arizona was the prize of the night for both Hillary Clinton and Bernie Sanders. Of the 131 total delegates on the line tonight, Arizona has over half those delegates at 75. Not to discount Utah or Idaho, but in a race where delegates matter, the states with more of them tend to be the most important.
Well, in a sizable blow to Bernie Sanders, Hillary Clinton has been declared the winner of Arizona’s primary – and it doesn’t even look as if the race is going to be close.
Going into tonight, I thought Clinton would take Arizona – but not this easily. I honestly expected a much closer race. At least at this point, it appears Clinton is headed for a sizable 15-20 point victory.
So, what does this mean going forward? Well, quite a lot. Going into this evening, Bernie Sanders needed to win 58 percent of all remaining delegates just to tie Hillary Clinton, so losing Arizona is a big deal. Depending on what the final margin of victory is for Clinton (which appears to be fairly substantial right now), her win tonight could erase any possible gains Sanders might get in Utah and Idaho. In fact, depending on the final margin of victories in each state for both candidates, Clinton might even widen her delegate lead after tonight. Which makes Sanders’ incredibly difficult path going forward even more difficult. Arizona was a state Clinton could stand to lose, but Sanders had to win. So, while the win is nice for Hillary Clinton, the loss is a much bigger blow for Bernie Sanders.