Rumors abound in the 2016 race this week. Is Kasich too overconfident in Ohio? Is Rubio eyeing the exits? With these questions hanging over the candidates’ heads, expect another entertaining GOP presidential debate tonight in Miami, FL.
Donald Trump’s dominant performance Tuesday night gave him three more victories to add to his long list of primary wins. Michigan, Mississippi and Hawaii all went to Trump, while Ted Cruz snatched Idaho pretty convincingly. Marco Rubio had a poor night, garnering zero states and just a couple of delegates. John Kasich didn’t win a state either, yet gained a few delegates thanks to his strong showing in Michigan. Next stop: Florida and Ohio.
With the most state victories under their belt, Trump and Cruz have the clearest paths to the nomination – and that’s bad news for the Republican establishment.
Donald Trump: Trump gained some notable endorsements within the past 24 hours, including Oscar-winning actor Jon Voight. His campaign made unfortunate headlines Thursday after Trump’s campaign manager reportedly grabbed Breitbart News reporter Michelle Fields by the arm during a press conference, nearly knocking her down, and leaving her shaken and bruised. In other news, Trump told CNN’s Anderson Cooper that he thinks “Islam hates us.”
Ted Cruz: After earning the endorsement of former presidential rival Carly Fiorina, Cruz gained the support of popular conservatives Mark Levin. He is expected to make an announcement about another “major endorsement” on Thursday afternoon. Meanwhile, the Texas senator has stepped up his attacks on the GOP frontrunner, accusing Trump of taking advantage of “low-information voters.”
Marco Rubio: The senator’s personal attacks on Trump’s appearance seem to have badly damaged his chances and the senator admitted he regrets the comments. As for his primary hopes, Republican strategists were confused by Rubio’s too little too late effort in Florida. The senator only started campaigning in the state a few days ago, whereas Trump ads began airing there in November. Yet, Rubio’s campaign is still indicating they have a good chance of winning the Sunshine State. On Thursday, they flaunted two new polls that show Trump’s lead depleting to only single digits. Rubio has also gained a few recent endorsements, including one from former Gen. George Patton’s grandson, who called Rubio a “fighter.”
John Kasich: Some voters are so determined to prevent Trump from gaining the GOP nomination that have indicated it is a reason they will vote for the Ohio governor in the state primary. A new Fox News poll has Kasich up 34 percent in Ohio to Trump’s 29.
Bernie Sanders and Hillary Clinton battled it out in a Democratic debate Wednesday on CNN. Clinton faced tough questions about her stunning loss in Michigan, her email scandal and her flip flops on illegal immigration. The evening’s interrogation was so painful that a Washington Post writer called it “Clinton’s personal nightmare.”
Republicans (1,237 needed to win):
Trump - 458
Cruz - 359
Rubio – 151
Kasich - 54
Dems (2,383 needed to win):
Clinton – 1,223
Sanders – 574
Thursday – Republican debate in Miami, FL, hosted by CNN and Salem Media. The event airs at 8:30 p.m.
Saturday – Republican Washington, D.C. primary