Voters head to polls for Pa., Del. primaries

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There were no official numbers on the crowds at midday Tuesday, but poll workers at several suburban locations said they were surprised to see so many people in line to vote. (WPVI)

Attention is shifting from a well-worn campaign trail to the voting booths as Pennsylvanians and Delawareans cast ballots Tuesday on presidential primary contests, including the first competitive Republican primary in decades.

Pennsylvania's primary also includes races for Congress and state offices and hotly contested Democratic primary races for U.S. Senate and state attorney general.

Delaware votes only for president Tuesday. A separate primary election will be held in the Diamond State in September for state offices.

Polls are open in both states from 7 a.m. to 8 p.m. Tuesday.

Representatives from the League of Women Voters will be at the 6abc studios from 7 a.m. to 8 p.m. to answer questions or concerns. Call 877-940-6222 for assistance.

On the Republican side of the presidential primary, billionaire developer Donald Trump has topped opinion polls heading into the election, followed by Texas Sen. Ted Cruz and Ohio Gov. John Kasich. Former Secretary of State Hillary Clinton was the leader on the Democratic side, ahead of Vermont Sen. Bernie Sanders.

Clinton planned to remain in Philadelphia on Tuesday night to await returns.

On Monday, candidates kept up a heavy presence in Pennsylvania, with Clinton, Trump, Kasich and Sanders appearing at multiple events, sometimes on opposite sides of the state.

Pollsters expect a record Republican voter turnout.

But they expect Democrats to turn out in lower numbers than they did in 2008, when 2.3 million voters, or nearly 56 percent, cast ballots in the race between Clinton and then-Illinois Sen. Barack Obama. Clinton won Pennsylvania by about 200,000 votes.

The Republican presidential primary is something of a beauty contest, since the 54 delegates up for grabs are not promised to the statewide winner.

Rather, the delegate candidates who are elected - three in each of Pennsylvania's 18 congressional districts - can vote for whomever they want at the convention.

For the Democrats, 127 delegates are up for grabs in the primary, and they are apportioned based on the vote in each congressional district.

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Voters in Delaware are voting only for president in Tuesday's primary. An election will be held in September for statewide races.

Thirty-one Democratic delegates and 16 Republican delegates are up for grabs in Delaware's presidential primary.

Observers say for the first time in recent memory, the state's primary could make a difference on the national political stage.

Unlike in past contests, neither major party has a clear presumptive nominee for president heading into the Diamond State's primary.

Only registered Democrats and Republicans are allowed to participate in Delaware's primary election.

For polling locations, visit or call 302-739-4277.

Other hotly contested matches in Pennsylvania Tuesday include the race for U.S. Senate.

Four Democrats are running for the nomination to challenge Republican incumbent Pat Toomey in November.

But as Election Day approached, it came down to a race between party-endorsed Katie McGinty and former U.S. Rep. Joe Sestak, who lost to Toomey by 2 percentage points in 2010 but was spurned by the party establishment because he is seen as a maverick.

The Democratic Party recruited McGinty, with many years as a state and national environmental policy official, and poured millions of dollars into her campaign, which was benefiting 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 are running to succeed Democrat Kathleen Kane. Facing trial over the alleged unlawful leaking of grand jury information, Kane decided not to seek a second term.

In congressional races, Democratic U.S. Rep. Chaka Fattah of Philadelphia is running for a 12th term in a four-way primary as he faces trial on federal racketeering and bribery charges in May.

Also, Democrats and Republicans are running to succeed retiring Republican U.S. Reps. Mike Fitzpatrick and Joe Pitts in southeastern Pennsylvania.

The Associated Press contributed to this report.
Related Topics:
politicsprimary electionpa. newshillary clintonbernie sandersted cruzdonald trumpsenatecongress
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