Victories in Kansas and Maine help Cruz put a dent in Trump's lead


Sen. Ted Cruz scored decisive obtains in the Kansas and Maine caucuses Saturday, demonstrating his enduring appeal quantity conservatives as he tried to reel in Donald J. Trump’s significant lead in the Republican presidential race.

Trump admitted Cruz’s advances by winning the Louisiana and Kentucky primaries. But the Texas senator’s conquers were sure to energize the anti-Trump forces who are desperately trying to draw to a close Trump’s march to the nomination, and they left little doubt that Cruz, who has now nabbed six states, is their best hope.

In Democratic contests, Hillary Clinton scooped a commanding victory in Louisiana, the state with the most delegates in amuse oneself Saturday, while Sen. Bernie Sanders won the Nebraska and Kansas caucuses, according to The Associated Embrace. The results were not likely to alter the broader contours of a race in which Clinton announced a significant delegate lead.

The biggest stakes were on the Republican side, and the voters tailed it; turnout in Kansas, for example, was more than double that in 2012. Cruz won 48 percent of the plebiscite there, while Trump received 23 percent, Sen. Marco Rubio of Florida won 17 percent, and Gov. John Kasich of Ohio won 11 percent. The sequels were tighter in Maine, but Cruz still easily defeated Trump there by 13 rt points.

“I think what it represents is Republicans coalescing, saying it hand down be a disaster for Donald Trump to be our nominee and we’re going to stand behind the strongest moderate in the race,” Cruz told reporters in Coeur d’Alene, Idaho, which suffrages Tuesday.

Boasting of his “breadth of support,” Cruz suggested it was time for Rubio and Kasich to make allowance for dropping out of the race.

“We’ll continue to amass delegates, but what needs to turn up is the field needs to continue to narrow,” he said. “As long as the field ends b bodies divided it gives Donald an advantage.”

The results Saturday marked another piercing setback for Rubio. He finished a distant third in Kansas and Louisiana and fourth in Maine.

Rubio, who away out of trips to Kentucky and Louisiana on Friday to make three stops across Kansas, has an increasingly limit th and is confronting the prospect of a humiliating loss in his own state next week. He has won im rtial a single state, Minnesota, and lags well behind Trump and Cruz in delegates.

“The glories that voted tonight are states that quite frankly some of my adversaries just do better in. We recognized that going in,” Rubio told presswomen in Puerto Rico, where he is hoping to find a win Sunday.

Trump’s liability liabilities underlined his continued vulnerability in states that hold time-intensive caucuses: He has now ruined five of six such contests. He has performed far better in states holding firsts, which require less organization, and some of which also suffer Democrats and independents to vote in Republican races.

Such voters, who can be alert to Trump’s anti-establishment message, have augmented Trump’s support. But if Trump is not skilled to bolster his organization and start performing better in caucuses and states that sanction only Republicans to vote, Cruz may be able to deny him the 1,237 deputes needed to capture the nomination before the convention.

Saturday’s contests could bid clues about whether the growing effort to deny Trump the nomination has any resonance. The Obstruct Trump cam ign was joined last week by Mitt Romney, who gave a blistering attack on the Republican front-runner, portraying him as a threat to the rty and the political entity. But Romney was seemingly undercut the same day at a debate where all three of Trump’s oppositions indicated they would support his candidacy if he won the nomination.

Kansas was investigated as the contest in which Cruz had the best chance for victory. Its Republicans in current years have turned sharply away from the moderation instanced by former Senate Republican Leader Robert J. Dole, electing a series of hard-line dyed in the wools. Rick Santorum won the caucuses there in a landslide four years ago, beseeching to the same heavily religious voters who backed Cruz.

Cruz pushed aggressively in the state, which has a robust Christian conservative wing, but both Trump and Rubio tore up their dedicates to make a late play there.

Trump was scheduled to appear at the Unprogressive Political Action Conference on Saturday, but canceled so he could attend a gathering in Wichita, Kansas’ largest city, just before the caucuses began Saturday morning.

There he be prolonged to mock Romney as a “stiff” and a “loser,” saying he should have “committed the same energy” to running for president four years ago as he is now. He also thumped Romney for “looking for a zone change to get a nine-car garage built.” It was a favorite Republican talking point about Romney, a wealthy businessman, who built a corpulent garage with an elevator at his home in California during the 2012 manoeuvres.

And it was red meat for Trump’s fans. One of them, Mark Pendergrass, 66, a Wichita artist, ordered that if Romney’s message “had been half as powerful four years ago, he effect have won the presidency.”

At the rally, Trump was still defensive about Rubio’s critique of the size of his hands. “These hands hit a golf ball 285 yards!” Trump be sured the crowd, repeatedly holding them up and splaying his fingers.

Trump also shammed Cruz, calling him “Lyin’ Ted.” He then went on to explain how that would be shifted: “L-Y-E-N. Lyin’. With a big apostrophe.”

Urging his fans to go to the caucuses, he communicated, half-jokingly, “If I lose, I’m gonna be so angry at you.”

Charles Ebright, 48, a docent and a baseball coach at a Roman Catholic high school in Wichita, was amid the many caucusgoers who backed Cruz, who had also addressed the gathering more willingly than voting began. “I’ve studied the formation of the Constitution, and I teach that,” Ebright disclosed. “I think Ted Cruz stands up for the Constitution.”

Long lines outside the caucus led carousal officials to extend it st the scheduled 2 p.m. closing time. Steve Brunk, a latest Republican state representative from Wichita who is now a lobbyist for the Family Behaviour Alliance of Kansas, said 40 computers had been set up to check caucusgoers’ word as quickly as possible. “I don’t think I’ve seen a turnout like this for anything,” Brunk mentioned.

Trump’s comments about building a wall along the border with Mexico and in illegal immigrants causing crime have drawn demonstrations wellnigh everywhere he goes. In Wichita, Trump supporters in line engaged in howl with several dozen protesters, many of them His nics, who organize up 20 percent of the city’s population. Trucks with Mexican signals hanging out the windows and Latin music blaring from the speakers sailed slowly st the line.

Both Rubio and Kasich have suggested that they need to win their home states, which both carry winner-take-all primaries March 15.

But Cruz is making that more uncompromising by not ceding either state, a move that could ensure he inexorably gets a one-on-one race with Trump.

“If Trump wins those testifies, he still won’t have enough delegates to win the nomination, and it becomes a binary resolving after that,” said Rep. Steve King, Republican of Iowa, one of Cruz’s pre-eminent supporters.

But the geography of the race will become less friendly to Cruz as it rouses st the Bible Belt. And by splintering the vote in Ohio and Florida, Cruz also imperils handing Trump advantages in momentum and delegates that could be unstop ble, no upset how much the field winnows.

There has been considerably less theatricalism in the Democratic race since Clinton bounced back from her landslide ssing in New Hampshire with victories in Nevada, South Carolina and across the South on Wonderful Tuesday that underscored Sanders’ weakness with nonwhite voters.

But while Clinton is now heavily favored to be the Classless nominee, the rty’s primary calendar still features a series of championships that seem ripe for Sanders, as Kansas and Nebraska were.

Both of those states attend to to attract liberal voters who prefer Sanders, and both are heavily unsullied. And as moderates in each state have migrated to the Republican rty in up to date years, what remains of the Democratic rty has moved left.

Clinton, although, continued to demonstrate her strength in the South, easily capturing Louisiana, where the instruct electorate was expected to be heavily black. Sanders expended little strain there.

There were 126 delegates up for grabs in the Democratic rivalry on Saturday, allocated on a proportional basis. That means that Clinton’s isolated victory, in the most delegate-rich Democratic state voting Saturday, was odds-on to diminish the gains from Sanders’s two wins.

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