Former Secretary of State Hillary Clinton and businessman Donald Trump were both declared winners with large margins in Tennessee as soon as the polls closed Tuesday evening, based on exit polls.
Clinton was the first Democratic candidate to visit the Volunteer State with a stop back in November, and her husband, former President Bill Clinton, campaigned there on her behalf in February. The former secretary of state made stops in Nashville and Memphis Sunday ahead of Super Tuesday as she looks to build support in traditionally red states and edge out Vermont Sen. Bernie Sanders in the Democratic race.
While campaigning, Clinton spoke about continuing important programs passed under President Barack Obama’s administration, including the Affordable Care Act, her desire to support small business owners and reform the criminal justice system.
“I’m really sorry that your state did not extend Medicaid to 200,000 working Tennesseans,” Clinton said at Meharry Medical College, the Tennessean reported. “I’m going to do whatever I can as president to convince governors and state legislatures — it’s a pretty big deal.”
Tennessee Gov. Bill Haslam threw his support behind Florida Sen. Marco Rubio last week, arguing that Trump would not be able to win the general election.
“It is time for Tennessee Republicans who do not want the party of Lincoln and Reagan taken over by Donald Trump to rally around Marco Rubio. It is clear Marco is the only candidate who can beat Trump,” Haslam said in a statement.
Despite campaign stops by Rubio, Texas Sen. Ted Cruz, retired neurosurgeon Ben Carson and Ohio Gov. John Kasich, Trump came in with a commanding win in the Volunteer State. During a Saturday rally in an airplane hanger in Millington, Trump told a crowd of approximately 10,000 people that “we're going to win everything,” the Memphis Commercial Appeal reported.
Both Clinton and Trump led in Tennessee going into Super Tuesday. Trump held 40 percent support compared to Rubio with 22 percent, while Clinton had 60 percent support, according to an NBC News/Wall Street Journal/Marist poll released Sunday.