Democratid primary voters in Nebraska AP Photo/Nati Harnik

Mar 6, 2016 8:34 AM

Cruz, Trump each grab 2 wins; Dems divide states too

The Associated Press

WICHITA, Kan. (AP) — 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.

Trump prevailed in the home state of Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell, who has been critical of the front-runner for incendiary comments on Muslims and a slow disavowal of white supremacist groups.

Rubio, who finished no better than third anywhere and has only one win so far, insisted the upcoming schedule of primaries is "better for us," and renewed his vow to win his home state of Florida, claiming all 99 delegates there on March 15.

But Cruz suggested it was time for Rubio and Ohio Gov. John Kasich to go.

"As long as the field remains divided, it gives Donald an advantage," he said.

Campaigning in Detroit, Clinton said she was thrilled to add to her delegate count and expected to do well in Michigan's primary on Tuesday.

Sanders won by solid margins in Nebraska and Kansas, giving him seven victories so far in the nominating season, compared to 11 for Clinton, who still maintains a commanding lead in competition for delegates.

Sanders, in an interview with The Associated Press, pointed to his wide margins of victory and called it evidence that his political revolution is coming to pass.

Stressing the important of voter turnout, he said, "when large numbers of people come — working people, young people who have not been involved in the political process — we will do well and I think that is bearing out tonight."

Clinton picked up at least 55 delegates to Sanders' 47 in Saturday's contests, with seven delegates yet to be allocated.

Overall, Clinton had at least 1,121 delegates to Sanders' 479, including superdelegates — members of Congress, governors and party officials who can support the candidate of their choice. It takes 2,383 delegates to win the Democratic nomination.

Cruz won at least 64 delegates on Saturday, Trump at least 49, Rubio at least 13 and Kasich nine, with 20 delegates still to be allocated.

In the overall race for GOP delegates, Trump led with at least 378 and Cruz had at least 295. Rubio had 123 delegates and Kasich had 34.

It takes 1,237 delegates to win the Republican nomination for president.

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