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Reactions from Penn students ranged from excited to disappointed as Super Tuesday wrapped up with big wins for Hillary Clinton and Donald Trump.

Credit: Ilana Wurman , Ilana Wurman, Ilana Wurman

On Tuesday night, former Secretary of State Hillary Clinton and 1968 Wharton graduate Donald Trump’s widespread electoral momentum swept over the 12 states and one territory in the Democratic and Republican primaries. Both Clinton and Trump gained a commanding lead in their respective races by finishing first in seven states each on the day the most delegates are at stake on the primary calendar.

The candidates’ dominant victories and their rivals’ resounding losses were felt at Penn, where students paid close attention as news outlets projected wins, often just minutes after the closing of state polls.

On the Democratic side — where 859 delegates were at play — Clinton built on her momentum after beating Sen. Bernie Sanders (I-Vt.) by a landslide in the South Carolina primary on Feb. 27. Clinton overwhelmingly won the majority of Virginia, Massachusetts, Georgia, Tennessee, Alabama, Arkansas and Texas delegates by late Tuesday night. Sanders had only won his home state of Vermont, Minnesota,Oklahoma and Colorado.

Penn Democrats — which officially endorsed Clinton on Monday — was more than satisfied with her sweeping victory.

“We are excited to see her doing well tonight,” Penn Democrats President and College junior Max Levy said. “Her wins tonight were pretty expected wins. Sen. Sanders won Vermont as was expected. Things ran as they should, which is good for everybody right now.”

On Tuesday night, the Democratic student group co-sponsored a watch party with College Republicans and other candidate groups to follow the primary results from campus.

Sanders fell far short of Clinton’s number of delegates but still managed to meet expectations. The senator upstaged Clinton in his home state of Vermont (winning by over 70 percent of the vote) and managed to win the majority of delegates in three other states. While Sanders achieved certain success in the more white and liberal Northeast, his inability to court the African American vote in the southern states gave Clinton a dominant victory in those states.

Sanders’ Penn student supporters were not concerned with the Vermont senator’s loss in the southern states, as it is not representative of the delegates still up for grabs.

“Super Tuesday is very much the focus because of the amount of states voting on the same day, but still there are a lot of delegates left to play for,” Penn for Bernie Co-President and College sophomore Aran Fox said.

“I think it’s going to be very interesting because a lot of the popular delegates will be a lot closer than people were expecting,” Fox added. “The other thing is that the Sanders campaign has done very, very well fundraising money without a lot of large money donors, such that they are in a position to continue the campaign all the way through. Super Tuesday is definitely not the end of this campaign.”

On the Republican side — where candidates battled for 595 delegates — Trump achieved what no pundit would have predicted last summer, but what polls consistently forecasted in the past weeks: a sweep of all but four of the Super Tuesday states.

Trump won in Alabama, Arkansas, Georgia, Massachusetts, Tennessee, Vermont and Virginia. This placed the Penn graduate closer to the 1,237 delegates necessary to clinch the GOP nomination.

Penn College Republicans expressed disappointment towards Trump’s strong showing yesterday, explaining that Penn students favored the Republican establishment candidates over the real estate mogul.

“People are pretty disappointed on the whole with what is happening with this primary,” College Republicans President and Wharton and College junior Jennifer Knesbach said. “I think that just by looking at the fact that Penn has only two remaining candidate groups from the Republicans: Penn for Kasich and Rubio, right now.”

She added, “People keep saying that they would never vote for Hillary or Bernie, but that they couldn’t vote for Trump either.”

The businessman’s commanding lead left the fight for second and third place to Sen. Marco Rubio (R-Fl.) and Sen. Ted Cruz (R-Tx.).

Cruz won his home state of Texas and finished first place in Oklahoma and Alaska while Rubio claimed victory in Minnesota. In the other states, both candidates lobbied for second place behind Trump. Former Ohio Gov. John Kasich and former surgeon Ben Carson lagged far behind.

Carson later announced early Wednesday morning that he was suspending his candidacy, saying in a statement, "I do not see a political path forward in light of last evening’s Super Tuesday primary results."

Like the College Republicans as a whole, Penn for Rubio members were concerned with Rubio’s stagnant showing and Trump’s success.

“The turnout tonight has definitely been disappointing,” Penn for Rubio member and College sophomore Makayla Reynolds said. “Rubio has defined himself to be the most clear-headed, reliable candidate and I am disappointed to see a candidate like Trump taking the lead. As a Rubio supporter all we can do is hope for the best moving forward and hope that the other states’ results will be a little different from what we have seen tonight.”

As yesterday’s results begin to sink in, party strategists and losing candidates alike will discern the next steps to take in an attempt to halt Trump’s potent storm. On March 15 — the second most important day of the primaries — Ohio and Florida’s 165 delegates will be up for grabs on a winner-take-all basis.

“I think that we were all hoping that as the field would get smaller, some of the support for Trump would come back down to the more moderate candidates,” Knesbach said. “We’re not seeing that. I think that while both Kasich and Rubio are in the race, are they really going to be able to bring down Trump?”

This article was last updated at 3 p.m. on Wednesday, March 2. 

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