DETROIT (UPI) — Real estate mogul Donald Trump took back much of the momentum he lost from his rivals last week, winning big Tuesday in Republican presidential primaries in Michigan and Mississippi as well as the caucus in Hawaii, but Texas Sen. Ted Cruz still was able to grab a victory in Idaho.
Trump took Michigan with 36 percent of the vote while Cruz just edged out Kasich 24.9 percent to 24.3 percent. Trump easily won Mississippi with 47 percent of the vote to Cruz’s 36 percent.
However, Cruz handily won Idaho with 45 percent of the vote over Trump’s 28 percent. But the state’s 32 delegates still kept the Texas senator 100 delegates behind the billionaire in the total count.
Meanwhile, Trump held a commanding 45 percent to 31 percent lead over Cruz in Hawaii late Tuesday evening.
Ohio Gov. John Kasich failed to make a big enough impression in Michigan to give himself a better chance at victory in his home state, where he needs to win next week to keep his campaign relevant.
Perhaps the biggest defeat was dealt to Florida Sen. Marco Rubio, who needed a good showing in any of the states, particularly Mississippi and Michigan, to stay a credible candidate heading toward the Florida primary next week that will be likely be the last stand for his presidential campaign.
Rubio was a distant fourth in both Mississippi and Michigan. He finished third in Idaho and Hawaii, which was not enough to get him any delegates.
Trump closed out the night with an additional 58 delegates, Cruz another 43 and Kasich picked up 16.
Trump took a swing at the Republican groups that spent millions of dollars attacking him.
“I want to thank the special interests and the lobbyists,” he joked to supporters in Florida, where Trump will attempt to end Rubio’s campaign next week in the Florida senator’s home state.
“The attack ads have not hurt him,” said Matt Dowd, former chief strategist for George W. Bush’s 2004 reelection campaign. Tuesday’s results, Dowd said, show Trump can win “anywhere.”
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