Donald Trump has swept the first states during Super Tuesday 2 — Michigan and Mississippi — further solidifying his frontrunner status for the GOP nomination, the Associated Press reported. Texas Sen. Ted Cruz pulled off a win in Idaho, reinforcing his claim to be the strongest contender to challenge Trump for the nomination.
Meanwhile, Vermont Sen. Bernie Sanders pulled a big upset in Michigan, winning by 50 percent to 48 percent. Despite the win, he fell even further behind in the delegate count since Hillary Clinton dominated the Mississippi Democratic primary, winning 83 percent of the vote.
The Great Lakes State represented the biggest prize of the night for Democrats, with 130 pledged delegates up for grabs. But even though the Vermont senator showed he’s still viable, both Democratic candidates will end up with similar amount of delegates in the state, as they’re awarded proportionally.
“I want to thank the people of Michigan,” Sanders told NBC News. “Tonight is a fantastic night.”
It was not such a Super Tuesday for Florida Sen. Marco Rubio, who gained zero delegates in the first two primaries of the night. While Ohio Gov. John Kasich had a respectable showing in Michigan, coming in third right behind Cruz.
Speaking to supporters in Cleveland, Ohio, which holds its primar next Tuesday, Clinton said she was proud of the campaign she and Sanders were running, adding that the differences between them “pale in comparison in what’s happening on the Republican side.”
Flanked by his brand-name retail products, including steaks, bottled water and wine, Trump vigorously defended his business ventures as he spoke to supporters in Jupiter, Florida, saying, “Every single person who has attacked me has gone down.”
The economy a top priority for voters heading to the polls in Michigan and Mississippi, according to early exit polls conducted for The Associated Press and television networks. At least 8 in 10 voters of both parties’ primary said they were worried about where the economy was headed.
Among Democrats, 8 in 10 voters in both states said the country’s economic system benefits the wealthy.
Welcome to Super Tuesday 2, where a ton of delegates were being handed out to the six remaining presidential candidates.
Republicans held primaries in Michigan, Idaho and Mississippi and caucuses in Hawaii with 150 delegates up for grabs. Fresh off a Fox News town hall, the Democrats had contests in Michigan and Mississippi with 166 delegates on the line.
Heading into Tuesday, Trump was leading the Republican field with 384 delegates, followed by Cruz with 300, Rubio with 151 and Kasich with 37. Among Democrats, Clinton had accumulated 1,134 delegates and Sanders 502, including superdelegates.
The polls close at 8 p.m. ET/ 5 PT in Mississippi, 9 ET/ 6 PT in Michigan, 11 ET/ 8 PT in Idaho and finally, the residents of Hawaii will start caucusing around 1 a.m. ET/ 10 p.m. PT.