Candidates plan to woo AZ voters for election

Posted at 8:59 PM, Mar 16, 2016
and last updated 2016-03-17 07:41:27-04

Arizona becomes the center of American politics this week as presidential candidates court voters ahead of Tuesday's presidential preference election.

Arizona doesn't have enough delegates to seal the deal on the nominations for either party, but as a winner-takes-all state, there are enough delegates to be a factor in the Republican race. 

According to the Merrill Poll, 30% of Arizona Republican voters are still undecided, and Marco Rubio's supporters must realign themselves since he dropped out of the race.

"Certainly the 58 delegates from Arizona is not going to be the deciding factor one way or another," Merrill Poll Co-Director Tara Blanc said. "At this point, the best thing Cruz can hope for is that Trump does not get the number of delegates he needs, then they go onto a brokered convention to figure out who the nominee is going to be."

At Hillary Clinton's Phoenix campaign office, volunteers were working the phones on Wednesday. She holds a significant lead in the polls over rival Bernie Sanders. Blac says Sanders has an outside chance of a win in Arizona if he can muster a large get-out-the-vote effort. She said he's unlikely to quit even if he loses.

"My sense is that he wants to stay in there pitching," Blanc said. "He has a message, and he's got strong support as long as he's got the financial support to stick with it."

Arizona election officials said Wednesday was the last day they would recommend voters mail in their ballots to guarantee that their vote will becounted on election day. Voters can also drop off ballots at early voting sites or any polling place on election day.

According to the Maricopa County Recorder's Office, 843,504 mail-in ballots were distributed. As of Wednesday, 409,331 ballots had been completed and returned.