PHOENIX, Feb. 3 (UPI) -- Massachusetts Sen. John Kerry is leading early exit polls in Arizona Tuesday as Democratic voters choose the party's presidential nominee.
Democratic party sources indicated that exit polls by the major television networks are showing Kerry with a large lead in the state so far and National Review Online is reporting that early exit polls show Kerry with 46 percent of the vote followed by retired Gen. Wesley Clark at 24 percent and former Vermont Gov. Howard Dean at 13 percent.
The numbers echo polls that placed the three men in the top spots leading into Tuesday's vote.
Voter turnout in the Maricopa County area, which contains the state's largest city Phoenix and has around 50 percent of the population, is expected to be average at around 20 percent of registered Democrats, according to local election officials.
Arizona's Democratic primary -- one of seven total being held Tuesday -- is an important race for the candidates as it is the first big test of what Hispanic voters think of potential party nominees as well as an indicator of party prospects in the western United States in the general election.