Trump, Clinton look to pad leads in Michigan

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LANSING, Mich. (AP) — Republican Donald Trump and Democrat Hillary Clinton looked to pad their leads in Tuesday's primary contests in Michigan and Mississippi, eager to turn their attention toward a general election fight for the White House.

Trump is facing a barrage of criticism from rival candidates and outside groups desperate to block him from becoming the GOP nominee. While the real estate mogul holds a solid lead in the delegate count, his recent losses to Texas Sen. Ted Cruz have raised questions about his durability and have given fresh hope to other competitors.

Ohio Gov. John Kasich tried to mount a strong challenge to Trump in Michigan, Tuesday's biggest prize. Kasich has yet to win a primary but hoped a good showing in Michigan would give him a boost heading into next week's crucial contest in his home state.

Speaking to a crowd in Lansing, Kasich said a strong showing in Michigan would show the country "that it's a new day in this presidential campaign."

To that end, Kasich and Florida Sen. Marco Rubio were using recorded phone calls from Mitt Romney to appeal to voters as they headed to the polls. Romney, the 2012 GOP nominee, has not endorsed a candidate but has vowed to help challengers to Trump, who he says would be dangerous for the country.

Idaho and Hawaii also held Republican contests. GOP candidates were fighting for 150 delegates, while 179 Democratic delegates were at stake in the party's two primaries.

The economy ranked high on the list of concerns for voters heading to the polls in Michigan and Mississippi. At least 8 in 10 voters in each party's primary said they were worried about where the American economy is heading, according to early exit polls conducted for The Associated Press and television networks.

Among Democrats, 8 in 10 voters in both states said the country's economic system benefits the wealthy, not all Americans.

Sanders has sought to tap into that concern, energizing young people and white, blue-collar voters with his calls for breaking up Wall Street banks and making tuition free at public colleges and universities. Michigan, with big college towns and a sizeable population of working-class voters, should be a good fit for him. But Clinton has led in polling.

After a shaky start in early voting states, Clinton has pulled off commanding wins in states with large black populations, underscoring her strength and the limits of Sanders' appeal.

Tuesday's contests are a prelude to next week's high-stakes primaries in Florida and Ohio. Like Kasich, Florida Sen. Marco Rubio must win his home state in order to remain a viable contender.

Rubio has received endorsements from a steady stream of senators, governors and other high-profile Republican officials. But his backing from voters has lagged, and he entered Tuesday's contests with just a pair of victories in the Minnesota caucuses and Saturday's Puerto Rico primary.

If Rubio and Kasich can't win at home, the GOP primary appears set to become a two-person race between Trump and Cruz. The Texas senator is sticking close to Trump in the delegate count and with six states in his win column, he's arguing he's the only candidate standing between the brash billionaire and the GOP nomination.

During a stop at a catfish restaurant on Monday in Mississippi, Cruz said the current vacancy on the Supreme Court means Republicans can't take a chance on Trump.

"He's been supporting left-wing politicians for 40 years," Cruz said.

Some mainstream Republicans have cast both Trump and Cruz as unelectable in a November face-off with the Democratic nominee. But they're quickly running out of options and are increasingly weighing long-shot ideas such as a contested convention or rallying around a yet-to-be-determined third-party candidate.

Heading into Tuesday, Trump led the Republican field with 384 delegates, followed by Cruz with 300, Rubio with 151 and Kasich with 37. Winning the GOP nomination requires 1,237 delegates.

Among Democrats, Clinton had accumulated 1,134 delegates and Sanders 502, including superdelegates. Democrats need 2,383 delegates to win the nomination.

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1 Comment

  • David John Francis

    BRING OUR JOBS & BUSINESSES HOME PRESIDENT TRUMP

    It’s extremely hard to win against the GOP establishment, as they have all the money. Corporate and Industry are already bombarding Donald J. Trump with the incessant attack ads, trying to win over different states, by bring to the surface wishy-washy issues that the businessman was alleged to be involved with? Of course you know where the big boys stand, because they are implicated in the corruption, which seems to be involved into the very walls of Congress as a putrid mold that the people cannot be removed. For decades the Democrats and Republicans have been buying and selling our votes on the floor of the House and Senate, for their Special interests and the donors who press them to vote their way. It’s a money thing for the huge banks and investment institutions, the pharmaceutical and tobacco companies and thousands of corporations that back Hillary Clinton and Sen. Cruz, Sen. Cruz, former Gov of Ohio John Kasich. The only two personages that stand out from the rest are Bernie Sanders and Donald Trump. Ted Cruz instigated another dirty trick in Hawaii, as well as the one pushed on Ben Carson.

    As I see it Donald Trump has the guts to bring back the jobs from not only foreign countries, including Mexico as well. Currently 678.000 Auto workers jobs have vanished from not just Michigan but other states. This year the United States have an insane $50 billion deficit with our not so friendly neighbor across the Southern border, and China trade deficit of $365,694,000; then there is Japan India and a whole lot of other countries. You will not get these facts from the mainstream press as the majority is in abeyance to their corporate owners,

    AS I SEE IT ALL THE ENDORSEMENT ENTITIES FOR THE PACK EXCEPT FOR DONALD TRUMP, HAS A LOT TO LOSE, AS THEY HAVE SOME KIND OF INVESTMENTS IN CORPORATIONS OR OTHER INDUSTRIES, INCLUDING FOREIGN COUNTRIES STOCKS AND SHARES.

    THINK! Do you any credence in the pledges of the GOP establishment? They have pledged for three or more decades to build a wall or at least a double layer fence at the border and it’s still none existent? Trump will build that wall, separating our children from the toxic drugs and the wretchedness and the massive costs it brings.

    THINK! E-Verify is a digital database to locate whether somebody is legal here, to work in America. Currently E-Verify it’s optional, but under President Trump it will be MANDATED and it will extract the illegal alien invaders. It will be same identity applications at exit/entry tracking system at all ports of entry to our nation. Businesses will no longer be able to hire these people, and the owners could suffer massive penalties.

    Just heard on Fox News from Arizona Sheriff that President Obama has just released an order not to go into high count track areas, and not to process anybody entering America and let them loose. No paper to go before a judge and just let loose. National Immigration Center (NIC) estimated in 2016 that there are 15 million illegal invader in our sovereign nation.

    THINK! The grade score for 2013 the illegal alien invasion to the taxpayer is well over $113 billion dollars annually; when we are frothing at the mouth over the $19 Trillion dollars, and soon to be $21 Trillion with the approval of the Omnibus Budget of $2.2 Trillion some months ago, giving all the dollars this President wanted. Over the past 7 years, Barach Obama has surpassed every President in the history in spending.

    Everybody who is tuned in to Donald Trump should comprehend every issue that the new President will resolve? Top of the list to repeal is all of Obamas illegal executive orders, including atrocious criminal illegal aliens set free. And my vote no matter what is the Left and right has thrown out at Trump, my social circle is voting for the Manhattan businessman. Nothing is going to change that. Trump is a job maker and will impose penalties on companies that have moved overseas and of course Mexico? The profiteers are really panicked as they cannot pay off Trump, and their only hope is Cruz, Rubio, Kasich or Hillary Clinton.