Cruz claims only he can stop Trump winning nomination
Ted Cruz has seized on his victories on 'Super Saturday' to claim that he is the only man able to stop Donald Trump, as the Republican Party scrabbles to throw a spoke in the wheel of the New Yorker's political juggernaut.
Mr Cruz dealt his opponent a bloody nose on Saturday when he snatched victory in Kansas, a state Mr Trump had expected to win. In the end, the pair won two states each, with Mr Trump taking Kentucky and Louisiana and Mr Cruz adding Maine to Kansas to take more delegates overall than the frontrunner.
Mr Cruz was capitalising on his surge in momentum, urging his remaining rivals yesterday to drop out and rally behind his fightback.
"I think we will have a manifest uprising," he said on a political chat show. "If you want to beat Donald Trump, you've got to beat him at the ballot box and our campaign is the only campaign that has demonstrated it can do that."
The other two Republicans in the race, Marco Rubio and John Kasich, had poor performances, with Mr Rubio's hopes of being the establishment alternative to Mr Trump now lying in tatters.
A loss in Florida, his home state, which votes a week tomorrow, would effectively end his campaign.
Mr Cruz, a senator from Texas, heaped pressure on Mr Kasich and Mr Rubio to abandon the race.
"I'm having conversations with all sorts of people and we're seeing supporters of other candidates come joining us," he said. "They're recognising that their candidates are not in a position to beat Donald."
Mr Cruz added 64 delegates to his tally, while Mr Trump gained 49. Mr Trump now has 378 delegates to Mr Cruz's 295.
They're aiming for a tally of 1,237 that would remove the establishment's chance of taking the race to a contested convention and nominating an alternative candidate.
Mr Trump, in his victory speech in Florida on Saturday night, declared himself primed for a head-on contest between himself and Mr Cruz.
"I would like to take on Ted one on one," he said, ticking off a list of big states where he said Mr Cruz had no chance. "That would be so much fun."
But Mr Cruz, spearheading the Stop Trump campaign, said it was essential for the very soul of America that the billionaire businessman be defeated.
"Think about what presidents have meant in history," he said. "Think of Lincoln's Gettysburg Address. Think of FDR saying, 'The only thing we have to fear is fear itself.'
"I think people are asking themselves, 'How would we feel if our children came in repeating the words of the president of the United States if that president was Donald Trump?'"
On the Democrat side, Bernie Sanders won in Nebraska and Kansas, while frontrunner Hillary Clinton took Louisiana. As expected, Mrs Clinton won the southern state comfortably, meaning she has at least 1,117 delegates to Mr Sanders' 477, including "superdelegates", members of Congress, governors and party officials, who can support the candidate of their choice. It takes 2,383 delegates to win the Democratic nomination.
The next big contest will be tomorrow's primary in the industrial state of Michigan. Republicans in three other states, Mississippi, Idaho and Hawaii, will also vote tomorrow.