Sen. Marco Rubio was projected the winner of the Republican caucus in Minnesota Tuesday night, while business mogul Donald Trump captured seven states and Sen. Ted Cruz (Texas) prevailed in three.
Rubio was declared the winner in Minnesota after 11 P.M. EST, with both the Associated Press and Fox News calling the race in favor of the Florida senator. Earlier, Cruz was projected the winner of the Republican primaries in Texas, his home state, and Oklahoma. Cruz was also projected to win the Republican caucus in Alaska early Wednesday, edging out Trump by a narrow margin.
Trump was projected the winner in seven states voting on Super Tuesday, including Alabama, Georgia, Massachusetts, and Tennessee, all of which were called for Trump shortly after polls closed.
Trump was also projected the winner in Virginia, a consensus of networks reported at about 8:45 P.M., nearly two hours after polls closed. The race was initially deemed too close to call, as early returns showed Trump in the lead and Rubio following at his heels.
Arkansas also went to Trump, multiple networks reported two hours after polls closed in the state. Early exit polls indicated it was a tight contest between Trump and Cruz. The race between Trump and Cruz was also close in Oklahoma, though the Texas senator eventually edged out the businessman.
The contest in Vermont was also too close to call for several hours after polls closed at 7 P.M. EST, though Trump was eventually declared the winner. Early exit polls had Trump leading the pack, though Ohio Gov. John Kasich followed close behind.
Trump was expected to pick up a number of states on Super Tuesday, while the voting day represented a critical opportunity for his competitors to impede his path to the Republican nomination.
Republican voters in 11 states headed to the polls Tuesday to cast their ballots. In total, 595 delegates up for grabs Tuesday, comprising nearly half of the 1,237 needed to win the Republican nomination for president.
Rubio and Cruz, who have polled second and third behind Trump in most states, increased their attacks on Trump in preparation for Tuesday’s voting. Kasich and retired neurosurgeon Ben Carson were also hanging on in the race for the nomination; many other lower-polling candidates have suspended their campaigns since the Iowa caucus at the start of February.
Ahead of March 1, polling indicated that Trump held leads in Alabama, Georgia, Massachusetts, Oklahoma, Tennessee, Vermont, and Virginia. On the other hand, Alaska, Arkansas, and Minnesota all represented opportunities for either Cruz or Rubio to best Trump.
Attention has particularly focused on Cruz’s performance in his home state of Texas, where recent polling showed him beating Trump by more than 10 points.
Trump, who has been leading the field nationally for months, has shattered expectations with his unconventional campaign. The businessman’s support has endured despite controversial policy proposals and statements about Mexicans, Muslims, women, and others.
In recent days, Trump made headlines for lawsuits against his controversial real estate school Trump University and his refusal to disavow David Duke, the former leader of the Ku Klux Klan, during a television appearance.
Trump has registered wins in New Hampshire, Nevada, and South Carolina. He lost to Cruz in the Iowa caucus, coming in second place followed by Rubio at a close third.