Texas Sen. Ted Cruz gained some ground on Republican presidential frontrunner Donald Trump on Super Saturday with decisive wins in caucuses in Kansas and Maine and strong second-place showings behind Trump in Louisiana and Kentucky.
There was a strong possibility that Cruz might secure more delegates on Saturday than Trump, narrowing the gap between the two rivals and cementing the first-term senator’s bid to become the strongest candidate to prevent the real estate mogul from winning the party’s nomination.
On the Democratic side, Vermont Sen. Sanders picked up wins in the smaller caucus states of Nebraska and Kansas. But he seemed to fall even further behind Clinton in the delegate count.
With her primary win in Louisiana, the former secretary of state secured at least 51 of the 109 pledged delegates up for grabs on Saturday, according to the Associated Press.
“God bless Kansas,” Cruz told supporters in Idaho moments after the Kansas race was called. “And the scream you hear, the howl you hear from Washington, D.C., is utter terror for what we the people are doing together. What we’re seeing is conservatives coming together.”
Meanwhile, Trump asked supporters to raise their hands to pledge their support for him during a campaign appearance in Orlando, Florida, on Saturday. Florida holds its primaries on March 15.
It was not a such a Super Saturday for Florida Sen. Marco Rubio and Ohio Gov. John Kasich, who came up short in the four-state polling, raising more questions about the viability of their candidacies.
On Super Saturday, Republicans battled for 155 delegates in Kansas, Kentucky, Louisiana and Maine while Democrats are voting in Kansas, Louisiana and Nebraska with 109 pledged delegates up for grabs.
The score coming into Super Saturday: Trump led with 329 delegates out of the 1,239 needed to securte the nomination. Texas Sen. Ted Cruz follows with 231 delegates, then Florida Sen. Marco Rubio with 110, followed by Ohio Gov. John Kasich with 25.
On the Democratic side, Clinton leads with 577 pledged delegates over Sanders, who has 394. But the former secretary of state is believed to have a wider lead when you factor in so-called superdelegates who are free to choose their own candidate — according to Vox.com, that would reportedly increase her lead to 1,066 to 432. A Democratic candidate needs 2,383 delegates (of both kinds) to secure the nomination.
— The Associated Press (@AP) March 5, 2016
— AP Politics (@AP_Politics) March 6, 2016