– Arizona: immigration hot spot –
Arizona has long been roiled by passions over immigration, an issue Trump has seized on since launching his campaign with inflammatory accusations that Mexico was sending rapists and other criminals across the border and his promise to build a border wall.
The dynamics are different in neighboring Utah, a predominantly Mormon state where pre-caucus polls show the ultra-conservative Cruz positioned to win.
Cruz has been given a boost by Mitt Romney, the losing 2012 Republican nominee who has led the charge to stop Trump. Utah is home turf for Romney, a Mormon from a prominent family who has encouraged Utah residents to vote for Cruz.
Analysts note that Mormons have voted consistently against Trump elsewhere. The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints, breaking with the view of many Republicans, has supported immigration reform.
Utah’s 40 Republican delegates are all up for grabs by any candidate who wins a majority in the state caucuses.
Cruz’s biggest Utah obstacle may not be Trump but Kasich, who has refused entreaties from Romney and others to stay out of the race to give Cruz a clearer shot at taking all the delegates.
On the Democratic side, Clinton is dogged by an unyielding opponent in Sanders, whose well-funded grassroots campaign is going strong despite a string of losses and the former secretary of state’s growing pile of delegates — 1,656 to his 877 before Tuesday, including super-delegates, according to CNN.
To win the Democratic nomination, 2,383 delegates are needed.
Sanders is expected to do better in Utah and Idaho, states with predominantly white populations.
Republicans were also holding caucuses in the Pacific territory of American Samoa.