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Republicans and Democrats in Utah gearing up for Tuesday caucus

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Posted at 5:56 PM, Mar 20, 2016
and last updated 2016-03-20 23:22:09-04

SALT LAKE CITY -- After a whirlwind couple of days with most of the presidential candidates making stops in Utah (including Bernie Sanders, John Kasich, Donald Trump and Ted Cruz), along with the ensuing rallies and protests, it’s now crunch time for Republicans and Democrats as they gear up for the caucus.

All eyes will focus on Utah Tuesday, March 22, to see which presidential candidates will get the state’s delegate votes.

For Democrats, the delegate votes are divvied out based on votes those candidates get. For Republicans, it's proportional but becomes winner-takes-all if a candidate is able to secure more than 50 percent of the votes.

A new poll by Y2 Analytics shows Ted Cruz could make that situation possible, as the Texas Senator is polling at 53 percent and beat out John Kasich and Donald Trump.

The poll shows Trump in a far third place, with 11 percent of the votes.

When it comes to the Democratic Party, while the Y2 poll did not study those numbers, Utah Democratic Party Chair Peter Corroon said the race is bound to end up close between Bernie Sanders and Hillary Clinton.

And, with the poll showing such unfavorable results for Trump, if he does end up the GOP nomination, Democrats think they could catch an unprecedented break.

"We’re just excited, that we could have a close race here in Utah this year, not only on the Republican side but on the Democratic side,” Corroon said. “During the general election, based on what we've seen, we may see a Democrat for the first time in 50 years winning in Utah. That is something that I would never have imagined during my lifetime."

Corroon said they’re focused on disseminating materials and ballots to each of the caucus locations, and making sure volunteers know the laws and rules.

FOX 13 News reached out to the Utah State Republican Party for their comments on the latest polls and the upcoming caucus, but they were not able to arrange an interview Sunday.

The Democratic caucus will run from 6 p.m. to 8:30 p.m. on Tuesday night, the Republican caucus kicks off at 7 p.m.