Trump dominant with 6 state wins

Posted at 6:01 PM, Mar 01, 2016
and last updated 2016-03-01 23:35:57-05

Republican Donald Trump looks to be the front-runner in the bid for a GOP presidential nomination with Super Tuesday wins in six states. 

Meanwhile, Ted Cruz picked up victories in Texas, his home state, and Oklahoma. 


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Cruz desperately needed a win in Texas in order to stay in the race, and was likely to keep campaigning as the only Republican who has been able to defeat Trump in any primary contest.
For Florida Sen. Marco Rubio, the night has turned into a disappointment. While a flood of Republican officeholders have rallied around him in recent days, his first victory elusive until Minnesota's results rolled in - his only win on the night. 
Still, Rubio, who has launched an aggressive campaign to stop Trump in recent days, vowed to keep up his efforts to "unmask the true nature of the front-runner in this race."
The Florida senator's long-shot White House hopes now rest with his home state, which votes on March 15. But he's expected to face fresh calls from Trump and others to drop out of the race before then.
Trump entered Super Tuesday having won three of four early voting contests.
As Trump's victories piled up, he fired off "thank you" Twitter notes to the states that landed in his win column. The billionaire businessman scheduled a nighttime news conference at his swanky Mar-a-Lago resort in Florida, eschewing the traditional election night rally.

Super Tuesday marked the busiest day of the 2016 primaries, with the biggest single-day delegate haul up for grabs. With elections in every region of the country, the contests put a spotlight on candidates' strengths and weaknesses with a broad swath of American voters.

Republicans spent months largely letting Trump go unchallenged, wrongly assuming that his populist appeal with voters would fizzle. Instead, he's appeared to only grow stronger, winning states and drawing broad support for some of his most controversial proposals.

In six of the states on Tuesday, large majorities of Republican voters said they supported a proposal to temporarily ban all non-citizen Muslims from entering the United States, an idea championed by Trump. Two-thirds of GOP voters in Texas, Virginia and Georgia, 7 in 10 in Tennessee, and nearly 8 in 10 in Alabama supported the proposal, according to the early exit polls.

Worries among Republicans appeared to grow after Trump briefly refused to disavow former Ku Klux Klan leader David Duke during a television interview. Trump later said he had not understood the interviewer who first raised the question about Duke, and he did repudiate him.

House Speaker Paul Ryan said Tuesday that anyone who wants to be the Republican presidential nominee must reject any racist group or individual.

"When I see something that runs counter to who we are as a party and a country I will speak up. So today I want to be very clear about something: If a person wants to be the nominee of the Republican Party, there can be no evasion and no games," Ryan said.