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Clinton Sweeps Five Primaries, With Big Boost From Older Voters

Hillary Clinton got a big boost from voters 45 and older while sweeping all five Democratic primaries March 15, according to exit polls by the National Election Pool.

Voters in Chesterville, Ohio, take part in one of five presidential primaries on March 15.

Voters 65 and older gave Clinton at least two-thirds of their vote in Florida, Ohio, Illinois, North Carolina and Missouri.

By contrast, Vermont Sen. Bernie Sanders won at least 65 percent from Democratic voters 18 to 29 in the five states. The oldest voters slightly outnumbered youthful voters in each case — ranging from 2 percent more seniors in North Carolina’s total vote to 8 percent more in Florida.

In Florida, voters 45 to 64 gave Clinton 74 percent of their vote and those 65 and older gave her  71 percent of their vote. In Florida and North Carolina, Clinton also won among voters 30 to 44; Sanders prevailed with that age group in Illinois, Missouri and Ohio.

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The older voters were especially vital for Clinton in two states that she won narrowly. The unofficial and nearly final results show her leading Sanders 50.5 percent to 48.7 percent in Illinois, and 49.6 to 49.4 percent in Missouri. She won the other states more comfortably, with 55 percent in North Carolina, 57 percent in Ohio and 65 percent in Florida.

The age gap in Clinton’s support has been consistent throughout the primaries and caucuses, starting in Iowa on Feb. 1.

Illinois had the most dramatic age contrast among the five states voting on March 15. Sanders won 86 percent of voters 18 to 29 and 58 percent of those 30 to 44. Clinton took 60 percent from voters 45 to 64 and 70 percent of the senior vote.

The disparity was less dramatic in Florida, Clinton’s strongest state. Although Sanders won 65 percent of voters 18 to 29, Clinton won all other age groups.

Next: A March 22 primary in Arizona and caucuses that day in Idaho and Utah. Republicans, who had an earlier primary in Idaho, will also vote that day in Arizona and Utah.

Photo: AP/Matt Rourke

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