Donald Trump scored delegate victories in Louisiana and Kentucky on Saturday while Ted Cruz carried Kansas and Maine. GOP establishment choice, Marco Rubio evidenced his disconnect with grassroots conservatives as he went home empty handed.
Cruz notched another victory as he triumphed over all rivals in the 2016 Conservative Political Action Conference (CPAC) straw poll as the first-choice pick for the U.S. presidency. A total of 2,659 attendees participated in the poll, which Cruz won by 40 points.
Trump pulled out of a scheduled Saturday morning speaking slot at the conference to attend a rally in Kansas. In response to Trump’s unexpected cancellation, CPAC tweeted, “Very disappointed @realDonaldTrump has decided at the last minute to drop out of #CPAC –- his choice sends a clear message to conservatives.”
With Rubio’s losses, the repudiation of establishment GOP control couldn’t be more clear. Cruz seized on that message telling cheering supporters in Idaho after his easy win in Kansas: “The scream you hear, the howl that comes from Washington, D.C., is utter terror at what ‘We the People’ are doing together. What we’re seeing is the public coming together, Libertarians coming together, men and women who love the Constitution coming together and uniting and standing as one behind this campaign.”
The four Republican races accounted for 155 delegates. Cruz won 64 delegates on Saturday, while Trump took 49. Trump had already accumulated 319 of the 1,237 delegates needed to win the nomination at the Republican national convention, ahead of Cruz, who had 226 delegates.