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Cruz wins in Maine, Kansas, but Trump scores in the South

Hillary Clinton carries Democratic primary in Louisiana

♦By Rich Shumate, editor

southern-states-lgBATON ROUGE (CFP) — U.S. Senator Ted Cruz of Texas bolstered his argument that he should be considered the alternative to Donald Trump in the GOP presidential race by scoring clear victories in Kansas and Maine.

However, Trump held on in the two Southern contests held on March 5, narrowly beating Cruz in a primary in Louisiana and a caucus in Kentucky.

Meanwhile, on the Democratic side, Hillary Clinton, as expected, won going away in Louisiana, a state with a large African-American population. Democrats did not vote in Kentucky.

The biggest loser of the night was U.S. Senator Marco Rubio, who finished third in Kansas, Kentucky and Louisiana and scraped in dead last in Maine, where he was shut out of the delegate count.

U.S. Senator Ted Cruz

U.S. Senator Ted Cruz

Speaking to supporters in Boise, Idaho, Cruz hailed the results as “a very good day.”

“We’re seeing Republicans coming together. We’re seeing conservatives coming together,” he said. Cruz told reporters that the GOP field needs to continue to narrow in order to defeat Trump.

But Rubio, speaking at a rally in Jacksonville, Florida before the results began rolling in, showed no signs he was going anywhere, noting that he had successfully battled long odds to win a Senate seat in 2010.

“If you watch the press, they say he’s an underdog. He’s taking on an incredible task,” Rubio said, referring to himself. “Let me tell you something–America is country of underdogs.”

In Louisiana, Trump took 42 percent of the vote to 38 percent for Cruz. In Kentucky, Trump won 36 percent to Cruz’s 31 percent.

Among Democrats, Clinton won 71 percent to 24 percent for Bernie Sanders.

The next Southern stops in the presidential race are:
◾Tuesday, March 8: Mississippi (primary)
◾Tuesday, March 15: Florida (primary); North Carolina (primary)
◾Tuesday, May 19: West Virginia (primary)

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