- Associated Press - Tuesday, March 1, 2016

MONTGOMERY, Ala. (AP) - Republican Donald Trump and Democrat Hillary Clinton steamrolled to wins Tuesday in Alabama as GOP voters lashed out at Washington insiders and Clinton capitalized on her overwhelming support among African-American voters.

Alabama voters turned out in droves to make their picks for president on Super Tuesday in the biggest single-day delegate haul of the nomination contests.

In the heavily Republican Birmingham suburb of Helena, Jeanie Lindsey got up early, pulled on her Alabama sweat shirt and waited with dozens of others for 40 minutes in the morning chill before the polls opened. But she said it was worth it. She cast her ballot for Trump, who also won Georgia and Tennessee.

“I stood in line for six hours the other day at a Trump rally because to me he’s just the man,” said Lindsey. “He is the one that is going to make the country great again.”

Trump drew large crowds to rallies in Mobile and Madison. Eight in 10 Alabama voters who said they want a candidate who “tells it like it is” picked Trump on Tuesday, according to exit polls conducted by Edison Research for The Associated Press and television networks.

Natalie Davis, a political scientist at Birmingham-Southern College, said Trump has tapped into boiling voter anger and frustration.

“For Trump, his support is coming from people who have a sense of powerlessness. They think America has gone awry,” Davis said.

Trump performed equally well among voters who considered themselves born-again Christians and non-evangelical voters.

In Clanton, Dale Crawford said he liked Trump but voted for Texas Sen. Ted Cruz “because he’s more Christian.”

“I did what I figured God would bless me for. I woke up in the middle of the night and it was like, ‘Cruz, Cruz, Cruz,’” said Crawford, gesturing toward his head. “I didn’t think it was Satan. I think it was the Lord.”

Republicans including Trump, Cruz, Florida Sen. Marco Rubio and Ben Carson campaigned through the deeply red state in the days leading up to Super Tuesday.

Clinton, coming off a win in South Carolina, added at least Alabama, Georgia, Tennessee, Arkansas and Virginia to her list of victories.

Clinton had visited Alabama three times ahead of Tuesday’s election in stops that courted African-American voters, the largest voting bloc in Democratic primaries in the Deep South.

She made a Saturday stump stop at Miles College in Fairfield and a December speech at the Montgomery church helmed by the Rev. Martin Luther King Jr. during the Montgomery Bus Boycott.

In Birmingham, Lashaun Smith, a 38-year-old health care worker, said she’s supporting Clinton because she seems to be the most experienced and qualified candidate in the field.

“I think she can do the job,” Smith said. “She’s smart, she knows what she’s doing and she’s spent time with the president.”

Smith added that Clinton’s stances on equal pay for women and health care also resonate with her and she’s confident Clinton will be the party’s nominee.

Clinton won the support of 9 in 10 African-American voters in the state’s Democratic primary, according to exit polling.

Vermont Sen. Bernie Sanders drew an enthusiastic crowd of 5,000 when he spoke in Birmingham earlier this year, but some of his supporters were resigned to defeat even as they cast their ballots.

Montgomery bartender Shannon Thornton, 31, voted for Sanders in the hopes of keeping his issues alive in the general election, although she expects Hillary Clinton will ultimately win the Democratic nomination.

___

Associated Press writers Jay Reeves and Melissa Brown contributed to this report.

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