- Associated Press - Tuesday, April 26, 2016

HARTFORD, Conn. (AP) - The Latest on Connecticut voters and the Democratic and Republican primary races in the state (all times local):

10:31 p.m.

Former Secretary of State Hillary Clinton has fended off a tough challenge by Vermont Sen. Bernie Sanders to win Connecticut’s Democratic presidential primary.

Clinton’s campaign had focused heavily on the state, running television campaign ads with an endorsement from a daughter of the Sandy Hook School principal who was killed in the 2012 shooting rampage.

Sanders had drawn huge crowds of supporters in recent days. On Sunday, an estimated 14,000 people attended a rally on the New Haven Green while another 1,800 appeared for an event in Hartford.

Besides her own appearances, Clinton had numerous well-known supporters, including her former president husband and daughter, campaign on her behalf. Most of the state’s top Democrats, including Gov. Dannel P. Malloy, backed Clinton.

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8 p.m.

Donald Trump has won the Republican primary election in Connecticut.

The New York billionaire drew thousands of voters to three boisterous rallies in the state but received little public support from the state’s top Republicans, many of whom endorsed Ohio Gov. John Kasich.

Trump easily defeated his two rivals, Kasich and Texas Sen. Ted Cruz, the only one of the five presidential candidates who didn’t campaign in Connecticut over the last several days. The contest marked a rare opportunity for both Republican and Democratic primary voters in Connecticut to see their election preferences carry some weight.

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3 p.m.

Connecticut Secretary of the State Denise Merrill says her office is hearing anecdotal reports of high voter turnout in the state’s presidential primary, but not in every part of the state.

Merrill said Tuesday that the statewide average turnout as of mid-day was nearly 16 percent, exceeding the end-of-the day average for the 2012 Republican presidential primary. There was no Democratic primary that year.

Merrill noted the mid-day average did not include figures from more than 50 of the state’s 169 cities and towns, including some of the largest cities.

The largest turnout figures included 38 percent in both Litchfield and Durham and 31 percent in Cornwall.

The polls close at 8 p.m.

Last week’s Quinnipiac University Poll showed Donald Trump leading among Republicans and Hillary Clinton leading among Democrats.

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6 a.m.

Voters are headed to the polls in Connecticut, a state unaccustomed to having its presidential primary carry much weight.

State election officials hope voter turnout will be high, given a surge in voter registration. The polls opened at 6 a.m. Tuesday and will close at 8 p.m.

The Democratic and Republican contests follow a spate of visits by four of the five major party candidates and their surrogates.

For the Democratic candidates, 55 of the state’s 71 delegates will be up for grabs. They’ll be distributed mostly on a proportional basis. Meanwhile, the Republicans are vying for 25 of the state’s 28 delegates, which will be distributed proportionally.

Last week’s Quinnipiac University Poll showed Donald Trump leading among Republicans and Hillary Clinton leading among Democrats.

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5 a.m.

The nation’s eyes on Tuesday will be on Connecticut, a state unaccustomed to having its presidential primary carry much weight.

The Democratic and Republican contests follow a spate of visits by four of the five major party candidates and their surrogates.

For the Democratic candidates, 55 of the state’s 71 delegates will be up for grabs. They’ll be distributed mostly on a proportional basis. Meanwhile, the Republicans are vying for 25 of the state’s 28 delegates, which will be distributed proportionally.

State election officials hope voter turnout will be high, given a surge in voter registration.

Last week’s Quinnipiac University Poll showed Donald Trump leading among Republicans and Hillary Clinton leading among Democrats.

Polls will be open from 6 a.m. to 8 p.m.

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