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Hillary Clinton Will Win Arizona Primary Unless Young People Rally Behind Sanders, New Poll Shows

Ever since the presidential election season kicked off last summer, pollsters in Arizona have tracked voter preference among the state's Republican voters, but they have paid little attention to the Democrats.

Not anymore. Two political consulting firms, MBQF and Marson Media, conducted a phone survey of likely Democratic voters recently and found that former Secretary of State Hillary Clinton is dominating.

According to the results, 56.2 percent of voters say they plan to vote for her in Arizona's March 22 presidential primary, while only 21.5 percent of voters say they will cast a ballot for Vermont U.S. Senator Bernie Sanders.

(Nationally, Clinton has 49.6 percent of the vote, while Sanders has 40 percent.)

Despite the flood of Bernie lawn signs, stickers, and Facebook posts, it appears Arizona Dems just aren't Feelin' the Bern. Well, the older population, at least.

The pollsters in this survey used automated phone calls to landlines, which tend to reach a much older demographic because most young people use cell phones.

Mike Noble of MBQF says this fact doesn't tend to skew poll data because young people almost always have low voter turnout.

Unless "young people come out in droves," Clinton can expect a clear victory thanks to the 50-plus crowd, he says.

Unless "young people come out in droves," Clinton can expect a clear victory, thanks to the 50-plus crowd, pollster Mike Noble says.

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When compared to Clinton, Sanders tends to capture much of the youth vote, which Noble says doesn't mean anything unless Sanders and his ground team mobilize people to come to the polls.

According to a recent report by KJZZ, more than 11,000 18- to 22-year-olds registered to vote since the beginning of the year: 34 percent registered as a Democratic, 22 percent as a Republican, and 43 percent as an Independent.

What does this mean for Bernie and Hillary fans?

It's hard to say, but with Arizona's presidential primary just around the corner, it appears much could hinge on whether college students vote.

**Editor's Note: An earlier version of this story stated that Arizona's Democratic presidential primary is winner-take all. That is incorrect. The Republican primary delegates are winner-take all, the Democratic delegates are assigned proportionately with the votes.
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Miriam is a staff writer at Phoenix New Times.
Contact: Miriam Wasser