Cruz won 64 delegates on Saturday, while Trump took 49.
One thing the two men may have agreed on though was that it is shaping up to be a two-man race.
Former Secretary of State Hillary Clinton leads the Democrats’ contest while billionaire Donald Trump is ahead in the Republicans’ race. Rubio won the backing of Kansas Governor Sam Brownback but still came in third there.
“It looks like it will be the angry Trump voters against the purist conservative Cruz voters”, said Washington-based Republican strategist Ron Bonjean. Early returns showed Cruz and Trump were in a tight race for Kentucky.
“What we are seeing is Kansas is a manifestation of a real shift in momentum”, Cruz told reporters in Idaho where he had a campaign event.
The rules for the latest round of voting made it easier for candidates to claim a share of the delegates than was true in some Super Tuesday states, when Trump rolled up seven wins to three for Cruz, including in his home state, and one for Rubio.
Despite the support of many elected officials, Florida Sen.
“I think it’s time for [Rubio] to drop out of the race“, Trump said. Cruz suggested it was time for some Republican candidates to quit the race.
WASHINGTON (AP) – It’s an odd moment in the 2016 campaign: Not even half the states have voted for the party nominees and no candidate has half the delegates needed to win, yet the sense is spreading that it’s practically game over.
On the Democratic side, Clinton is farther along than Trump on the march to her party’s nomination, outpacing Sanders with 1,066 delegates to his 432, including pledged superdelegates.
“You can’t have everyone sitting back on the dole taking money while the rest of us work and give it to everyone”.
Tara Evans, a 52-year-old quilt maker from Bellevue, Nebraska, said she plans to caucus for Clinton because of her promises to pursue equal pay for women and to prevent price gouging by pharmaceutical companies.
Meanwhile, Bernie Sanders picked up wins in the Kansas and Nebraska Democratic caucuses.
“No matter who wins this Democratic nomination”, she said, “I have not the slightest doubt that on our worst day we will be infinitely better than the Republicans on their best day”. Trump is the projected victor in Louisiana, with around 48 percent of the vote. Mrs Clinton needs a further 1,137 delegates to win the nomination.
“I would like to take on Ted one-on-one”, he said, ticking off a list of big states where he said Cruz had no chance. “He has to”, Trump said.
Going into Saturday’s voting, Trump led with 329 delegates. Rubio had one win in Minnesota. Florida Sen. Marco Rubio nets just 13 delegates while Ohio Gov. John Kasich picked up nine. “There will be more delegates awarded in Florida than basically every state that voted tonight combined”. That margin will make up for her loss to Sanders in Nebraska. The other three are party leaders who must support Cruz.
In all, 109 delegates are available in the Democrat races on Saturday. But because Cruz won just 45 percent of the vote, the delegates were split among those candidates with at least 10 percent of the tally on a proportional basis. Rubio had 116 delegates and Kasich had 28.
The election itself, on 8 November, will see America vote for a successor to Barack Obama, a Democratic president standing down after two terms in office which have seen the Republicans take control of both houses of Congress.