Bernie Sanders won in Nebraska and Kansas while former Secretary of State Hillary Clinton claimed a victory in Louisiana. Trump, still the front-runner in the hunt for delegates, bagged Louisiana and Kentucky.
Cruz, a disliked figure in Congress, has struggled to gain support from establishment Republicans, but even his most staunch critics have warmed to favoring Cruz over the bombastic Trump. Sen. Rubio had 123 delegates and Kasich had 33.
The enthusiastic crowd at the Gaylord National Resort across the Potomac River from Washington cheered the zinger from Rubio, who is fighting an uphill battlefor the Republican presidential nomination.
The three states holding Democratic contests on Saturday had a total of 109 delegates at stake. The results suggested neither may reach the 1,237 delegates needed to win the Republican nomination outright.
For Republicans, Cruz’s decisive wins were a signal he’s the one with the momentum in the GOP field, while the other challengers to try and topple Trump are fading. Party leaders – including 2012 nominee Mitt Romney and 2008 nominee Sen. Yet while a new poll puts Mr Kasich in front in Ohio, Mr Trump appears to have a double-digit lead over Mr Rubio in Florida.
During Friday’s Conservative Political Action Conference, presidential candidate Ted Cruz took to the stage to talk to the group of young conservatives about the election and the state of the Republican party. “That would be so much fun”. Cruz did well in Maine, Trump said Saturday, because “it’s very close to Canada”. I think the evidence that we’re approaching that is the fact that Ted Cruz announced late last week that he’s going to open ten offices in the state of Florida. “We beat Ted Cruz in Georgia, a state that Ted Cruz originally thought he might actually win”.
Sanders’ wins in Nebraska and Kansas and Clinton’s win in Louisiana still point to their voter demographics. Clinton, who’s been doing well with African-American voters, had an easy win in Louisiana.
Mr Cruz dealt Mr Trump a bloody nose on Saturday when he snatched victory in Kansas from Mr Trump – a state he was expecting to win.
Mr. Trump gloated over the fact that Mr. Rubio, who had taken up the cudgels on behalf of the establishment, faced a drubbing in the polls.
“It’s my opportunity to revolt“, said Betty Nixon, a 60-year-old Trump voter in Olathe, Kansas.
Overall, Trump had prevailed in 10 of 15 contests heading into Saturday’s voting.
The two men have been trading increasingly heated rhetoric at each other as the state has emerged as a must win for Rubio. A loss in Florida, his home state, which votes on Tuesday March 15, will effectively end his campaign.
Cruz entered Saturday looking to pad his delegate count and boost his argument that he is the most viable alternative to frontrunner Trump.