CHICAGO (CBS) — Hillary Clinton held off a hard-charging Bernie Sanders to win the Democratic primary in her native state, further clearing the path to the presidential nomination.

A loss would have dealt her a humbling setback in her native state.

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On a national scale, a loss would have mattered little to Clinton as she rolled to pivotal wins in Florida, Ohio and North Carolina.

“We should be breaking down barriers, not building walls,” she told supporters on Tuesday. “And this isn’t just about Donald Trump. All of us have to do our part.”

According to earlier CBS 2/Edison research exit polling data, Sanders was holding onto a 51 percent to 49 percent edge. A update as of 8:15 p.m., put the race at 50-50.

Sanders enjoyed strong support among white males, and he even took the white female vote from Clinton.

He also dominated among independent voters, winning 71 percent to 27 percent.

Young voters also came out in droves for Sanders.

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Voters also believed Sanders to be more trustworthy than Clinton, but found Clinton more electable in November.

Clinton, like she did in the south, gained her support from African Americans, who favored her by huge margins, and enjoyed stronger support in the city.

PRIMARY 2016: Complete Election Results

Her once large lead began to dwindle over the past few weeks, and Clinton had to work hard just to keep pace.

Both Sanders and Clinton, who grew up in suburban Park Ridge, hit the state hard in the days leading up to Tuesday’s vote.

Both candidates were in the Chicago area on Monday.

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Sanders returned on Tuesday morning, while Bill Clinton campaigned for his wife.