Vermont Sen. Bernie Sanders notched wins in the Nebraska and Kansas caucuses, while front-runner Hillary Clinton snagged a win in the Louisiana primary. That makes seven total victories for Cruz to Trump’s 12.
“These states have a certain profile that other candidates do better in”, he said of Kansas, Kentucky and Louisiana, all of which voted Saturday and went for his opponents, Ted Cruz and Donald Trump.
While Kansas may represent too small a sample to validate Cruz’s claims, it is clear that his win will be parsed for signs that it represents the stirrings of a backlash against Trump, after the billionaire became embroiled in a controversy he was slow to repudiate the Ku Klux Klan, and introduced a vulgar note into a Republican debate Thursday night. Cruz, cementing his claim to be the Trump alternative, captured Kansas and Maine. “He has to”, Trump said.
Mr Trump is ahead in the all-important delegate count for the Republicans, having won 10 of the 17 states that have voted in the process that determines the nominees for both parties, adding Louisiana to the list today.
“We’re going to win Florida, and you’ll find out on March 15 how confident we are”, Rubio said.
But Sanders could bounce back in the other two states – plus ME, which holds its Democratic caucus Sunday – because they have largely white populations, a demographic with which Sanders has done well.
Marco Rubio, who has been attacking Trump in strong words throughout, couldn’t win any state.
“I have been in competition all of my life”.
Trump took his message to the Trump International Golf Club in West Palm Beach, just as early voting kicked off in full force in Florida.
Despite the support of many elected officials, Rubio’s lackluster performance Saturday raises serious questions about his viability in the race.
The wary interest in Cruz from more mainstream Republicans is the latest unexpected twist in a GOP race where talk of a contested convention or third-party candidate is becoming commonplace.
It takes 1,237 delegates to win the Republican nomination for president. “Our campaign is just getting started”, he said in a statement after his wins on Saturday. Rubio has 123 delegates and Kasich has 33.
The “Super Saturday” contests offer a chance for the two front-runners to quicken their momentum after they both came out of the Super Tuesday contests last week with solid delegate leads.
Clinton now has 1,100 delegates, compared to Sanders’ 442.
With the GOP race in chaos, establishment figures are looking for any way to derail Trump, perhaps at a contested convention if no candidate can get enough delegates to lock up the nomination in advance.
Yet some voters said the Republican party failed to adequately publicize the change, leading to widespread confusion.
U.S. Democratic presidential candidate Hillary Clinton speaks at the Michigan Democratic Party meeti …
“God bless Kansas; God bless Maine, ” Cruz told supporters in Idaho, as he awaited final results from Maine. Even if Kasich and Rubio drop out, the odds are still against Cruz.
She also said she was thrilled to add to her delegate count and expected to do well in Michigan’s primary on Tuesday.
“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”. In all, 155 GOP delegates were at stake in Saturday’s races.
“We have a tremendous number of people coming in and a tremendous number of people showing up to vote”, he said Sunday.