Senator Ted Cruz scored decisive wins in the Kansas and Maine caucuses on Saturday, demonstrating his enduring appeal among conservatives as he tried to reel in Donald J. Trump’s significant lead in the Republican presidential race
Donald Trump, elevated by a pair of victories in Kentucky and Louisiana on Saturday, said he's ready for a head-to-head battle with Texas Sen. Ted Cruz.
"I want Ted one-on-one," Trump said at a late-night news conference in West Palm Beach, Fla., urging Florida Sen. Marco Rubio to exit the GOP primary after he failed to win one of the four contests Saturday.
"It's time for Marco to clean the deck," Trump said.
Trump, who lost Kansas and Maine to Cruz, dismissed the latter outcome as expected.
"He should do well in Maine, because it's very close to Canada," Trump joked, alluding to Cruz's birth in Canada to an American mother and Cuban father. Trump has questioned whether Cruz is eligible to become president because of his Canadian birth.
A common theme in the Democratic presidential primary continued on Saturday: Hillary Clinton claimed victory in a state where African Americans dominate the electorate, while Bernie Sanders found support in states where whites are the majority.
Clinton, the frontrunner for the Democratic presidential nomination, won Louisiana's primary, widening her delegate lead against Sanders.
Throughout the South -- from South Carolina to Alabama -- black voters dominate Democratic primaries and have overwhelmingly backed Clinton. Last week in South Carolina about 60% of the Democratic electorate was black, and about 84% backed Clinton.
Meanwhile, it was Nebraska where Sanders saw strong support in areas surrounding Omaha, which are some of the more liberal pockets of the state. And in Kansas on Saturday, Sanders won the state's caucuses. He bested Clinton in areas around Lawrence, Kan., and Wichita --home to large universities with younger, liberal voters who have backed Sanders in previous states.