America’s smallest state doesn’t usually stand out during primary season, but this year was different. Bernie Sanders received nearly 55 percent of the Democratic vote in Rhode Island, winning by a larger margin than expected. Hillary Clinton won in the four other states in the Northeast holding primaries on Tuesday — Delaware, Connecticut, Maryland, and Pennsylvania.
As expected, Donald Trump won in all five Republican presidential primaries on Tuesday. Here in Rhode Island, Trump received nearly 64 percent of the Republican vote. John Kasich came in second, at about 24 percent.
After Tuesday’s primary results came in, Sanders wrote, ““I am proud that we were able to win a resounding victory tonight in Rhode Island, the one state with an open primary where independents had a say in the outcome.”
On Tuesday, some Rhode Island voters found some common ground between Trump and Sanders. John Collins, an 18-year-old student currently attending Community College of Rhode Island, says he cast his vote for Sanders, but can relate to Trump, the other outsider candidate.
“I like Donald Trump kind of as a person, but I can’t picture him running our country,” Collins told WBRU News.
Before the polls closed on Tuesday, Central Falls Mayor James Diossa stopped by the only polling station in the town, greeting voters as they walked into the Knights of Columbus building.
Diossa told WBRU News he’s supporting Hillary Clinton this election, but getting her the presidential nomination isn’t his number one priority tonight. He wants to encourage Central Falls voters to cast their votes.
“We want everyone to be politically engaged. No matter what party you’re on, who you’re voting for. I think a community is best served when people are engaged in every sense.”
Clinton was the top Democratic choice for Central Falls voters tonight, beating Sanders by about 16 percentage points, according to the Rhode Island Board of Elections. This win comes after Clinton held a rally at Central Falls High School last weekend, drawing more than one thousand people.
At Central Falls single polling place, voters and election officials cheered as first-time voters cast their ballots. The small celebrations happened often at polling place, which had a long line of voters as polling came to a close.
With additional reporting by Sebastian Lucek, Harper Wyam, and Georgia Wright.