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Trump, Clinton roll through Mississippi; Cruz wins in Idaho

Marco Rubio has another hard night, finishing last in two contests

♦By Rich Shumate, editor

mississippi mugJACKSON, Mississippi (CFP) — Donald Trump rolled through the Mississippi GOP primary, nearly capturing an outright majority in one of his strongest wins of the primary season.

On the Democratic side, Hillary Clinton, as expected, cruised to a win in the Mississippi Democratic primary, besting U.S. Senator Bernie Sanders  of Vermont by a nearly 5-to-1 margin.

Meanwhile, U.S. Senator Ted Cruz of Texas won the Republican primary in Idaho, notching his sixth win in the GOP presidential contest. But it was another hard night for the other Southerner in the race, U.S. Senator Marco Rubio of Florida, who could finish no better than third in any of the four March 8 contests.

In addition to the Republican primaries in Mississippi and Idaho, Michigan held a primary, and Hawaii had a caucus; Trump won them both.

The only other Democratic contest was in Michigan, where Sanders defeated Clinton in the night’s biggest upset.

Candidate Donald Trump

Candidate Donald Trump

In Mississippi, Trump took 47 percent of the vote, compared to 36 percent for Cruz. Rubio managed only a meager 5 percent, coming in fourth behind Governor John Kasich of Ohio.

Buoyed by the Magnolia State’s large African-American vote, Clinton won 83 percent to 17 percent for Sanders

In Michigan Cruz finished second and Rubio fourth. The Florida senator came in third place in Hawaii and Idaho.

Heading into pivotal March 15 contests in Florida and North Carolina, Trump has 458 delegates; Cruz, 359; Rubio, 151; and Kasich, 54. A total of 1,237 delegates are needed to win the nomination.

On the Democratic side, Clinton has 1,221 to 571 for Sanders, with 2,383 needed for the nomination.

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