Cruz, Trump grab 2 states each; Democrats divide victories as well
In a split decision, Ted Cruz and Donald Trump each captured two victories in Saturday’s four-state round of voting, fresh evidence that there’s no quick end in sight to the fractious GOP race for president. On the Democratic side, Bernie Sanders notched wins in Nebraska and Kansas, while front-runner Hillary Clinton snagged Louisiana, another divided verdict from the American people.
Cruz claimed Kansas and Maine, and declared it “a manifestation of a real shift in momentum.” Trump, still the front-runner in the hunt for delegates, bagged Louisiana and Kentucky. Despite strong support from the GOP establishment, Florida Sen. Marco Rubio had another disappointing night, raising serious questions about his viability in the race.
Cruz, a tea-party favorite, said the results should send a loud message that the GOP contest for the nomination is far from over, and that the status quo is in trouble.
“The scream you hear, the howl that comes from Washington, D.C., is utter terror at what we the people are doing together,” he declared during a rally in Idaho, which votes in two days.
With the GOP race in chaos, establishment figures frantically 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. Party leaders – including 2012 nominee Mitt Romney and 2008 nominee Sen. John McCain – are fearful a Trump victory would lead to a disastrous November election, with losses up and down the GOP ticket.
“Everyone’s trying to figure out how to stop Trump,” the billionaire marveled at an afternoon rally in Orlando, Fla., where he had supporters raise their hands and swear to vote for him.
Campaigning in Detroit, Clinton said she was thrilled to add to her delegate count and expected to do well in Michigan’s primary Tuesday.
Sanders won by solid margins in Nebraska and Kansas, giving him seven victories so far in the nominating season, compared with 11 for Clinton, who still maintains a commanding lead in competition for delegates.