Posted: 11:28 pm Saturday, March 5th, 2016
By Jamie Dupree
Donald Trump’s drive to the Republican nomination for President was slowed down somewhat on Saturday, as Ted Cruz and Trump each won two states, while Cruz won more delegates in the GOP race.
Cruz won Kansas and Maine, while Trump won in Kentucky and Louisiana – but the overall winner was Cruz, who emerged with more delegates than Trump.
Delegate estimates from Saturday: Cruz 68, Trump 53, Rubio 13, Kasich 10, plus 11 unpledged delegates in LA
— Jamie Dupree (@jamiedupree) March 6, 2016
Trump responded to his Saturday split by calling on Marco Rubio to drop out off the GOP race, saying it is “probably time” for the Florida Senator to move on.
Rubio though was hoping to win a primary in Puerto Rico on Sunday, to help salvage what was a miserable Saturday, as he finished third in Kansas, Kentucky, and Louisiana, and fourth in Maine.
For Cruz, it was another step forward to separate himself from Rubio, in a bid to become the chief alternative to Trump.
Ted Cruz's very, very good week:
– wins TX, OK, AK
– GOP takes on Trump
– good debate
– wins KS, ME
– wins late LA vote
– Rubio in freefall
— David Leonhardt (@DLeonhardt) March 6, 2016
One interesting trend that was evident in Louisiana was how Rubio did well in the early vote, but not on Election Day, as Cruz surged.
East Baton Rouge Parish
Early (4,583): Trump 40% Rubio 25% Cruz 23%
Election Day (18,044 so far; 180/315 in): Cruz 44% Trump 32% Rubio 12%
— Greg Giroux (@greggiroux) March 6, 2016
In St. Tammany, one of Louisiana's largest parishes: Rubio got 21% of the early vote, but 10% of Election Day votes.
— Taniel (@Taniel) March 6, 2016
Rubio had been slated to hold a rally in Louisiana on Friday, but scrapped that in order to focus on Kansas, where he finished third.
That decision may have sent the message that he was not a real player in the Bayou State, sending people to the Cruz camp.
Republicans will next vote in Puerto Rico on Sunday. That primary could help Rubio salvage what was a terrible Saturday, if he can win all of the 23 delegates in that U.S. territory by getting more than 50 percent of the vote.