Illinois voters flocked to the polls Tuesday and awarded victories to the Democrat and Republican presidential frontrunners, although Hillary Clinton’s win on the Democratic side was by the narrowest of margins.
Nearly 1.4 million voters in Illinois cast ballots for Republican presidential candidates, a 48 percent increase from 2012, when just more than 930,000 cast a ballot. Donald Trump secured 39 percent of the vote, ahead of Ted Cruz and John Kasich. Trump picked up additional wins in Florida and North Carolina, and credits broad support from those outside the GOP as his key to victory. He said the Republican Party has an opportunity to expand its base ahead of November’s general election.
“Democrats are coming in, Independents are coming in, and very, very importantly, people that never voted before. It’s an incredible thing,” Trump said.
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In 2012, 652,000 Democrats voted in the uncontested Illinois primary. On Tuesday, 1.9 million people cast ballots in the Democratic primary. Hillary Clinton edged Bernie Sanders 50 percent to 49 percent with a difference of fewer than 34,000 voters.
Speaking to supporters, Clinton said her campaign is full steam ahead toward nomination in July following additional wins in Florida, North Carolina and Ohio. Missouri remained too close to call Wednesday morning.
“We are moving closer to securing the Democratic Party nomination and winning this election in November,” Clinton said.
After a disappointing showing in his home state of Florida, Republican presidential candidate Marco Rubio announced his campaign is suspended. Rubio finished fourth in Illinois.