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Politics & Government

Trump, Clinton Take Presidential Primary In Pennsylvania

New York businessman Donald Trump won the Republican presidential primary in Pennsylvania on Tuesday, pulling in support from a majority of men and women, high-income and low-income earners and voters from cities, suburbs and rural areas.

Hillary Clinton defeated rival Bernie Sanders, taking another step in her march to the Democratic presidential nomination.

Texas U.S. Sen. Ted Cruz and Ohio Gov. John Kasich, who have trailed Trump in the campaign, split support among the minority of GOP voters who said they preferred a political insider, according to results from an exit poll conducted for The Associated Press and television networks by Edison Research.

Credit Virginia Alvino / 90.5 WESA
90.5 WESA
These Bernie Sanders supporters attended a small watch party in Lawrenceville and said early in the night that they had expected to be disappointed by the primary results.

Clinton, a former Secretary of State, needed Pennsylvania to pad her lead over Sanders. The Democratic front-runner has deep family ties in Pennsylvania, where Clinton's grandfather worked in a Scranton lace mill and her father, Hugh Rodham, grew up there and played football at Penn State. 

Trump had the support of the majority of voters with annual incomes over $100,000 and under $50,000, the exit poll showed.

The state's GOP primary is something of a beauty contest, since only 17 of 71 delegates are promised to the statewide winner and 54 others — three elected in each of 18 congressional districts — are essentially free agents and can vote for whomever they want at the convention, under state party rules. 

On the Democratic side, the 127 delegates up for grabs in the primary are apportioned based on the vote in each congressional district. Another 62 are divvied up later proportionally based on the statewide vote. Clinton now reportedly has at least 90 percent of the delegates needed to win the Democratic nomination, while Trump has 77 percent. 

In suburban Harrisburg, Dave Penn, 61, liked that Trump doesn't "take any bull" and that he "lets the upper echelons know where he stands."

In Philadelphia, Susan Barr-Toman called Clinton, who has been a U.S. senator from New York and U.S. secretary of state, "the most qualified candidate" and predicted that even Republicans would support her over Trump in the fall contest.

Credit Pennsylvania Department of State
Pennsylvania Department of State
Hillary Clinton and Donald Trump won Pennsylvania's presidential primary. With 95 percent of precincts reporting, complete voter tallies will be delayed.

Voters also were deciding hotly contested Democratic primary races for U.S. Senate and state attorney general.

For U.S. Senate, four Democrats competed for the right to challenge Republican incumbent Pat Toomey in November.

As Election Day approached, it came down to a race between Katie McGinty, who was endorsed by President Barack Obama, and former U.S. Rep. Joe Sestak, who lost to Toomey by 2 percentage points in 2010 but was spurned by a party establishment that views him as a maverick. McGinty eventually nabbed the Democratic nomination. 

Democratic Party leaders recruited McGinty, with more than a decade as a state and national environmental policy official, and poured millions of dollars into her campaign, which benefited from a surge of TV advertising. The fall contest could help determine control of the U.S. Senate.

In a race for state attorney general, three Democrats and two Republicans were vying to succeed Democrat Kathleen Kane. Facing trial over possible unlawful leaking of grand jury information, Kane decided not to seek a second term. She has denied the allegations against her. The night ended with Josh Shapiro taking the Democratic nomination after a neck and neck race with Allegheny County District Attorney Stephen A. Zappala. John Rafferty scooped up the Republican nomination. 

In congressional races, Democratic U.S. Rep. Chaka Fattah was making a bid for a 12th term in a four-way primary as he faces trial on federal racketeering and bribery charges in May. Fattah, of Philadelphia, has denied any wrongdoing. Tuesday night, though, Fattah lost out to state Rep. Dwight Evans. 

Primaries also were being held in House seats being vacated by Republican U.S. Reps. Mike Fitzpatrick and Joe Pitts in southeastern Pennsylvania.