Clinton, Trump Win Big

Clinton, Trump Win Big
Clinton, Trump Win Big

Democrat Hillary Clinton and Republican Donald Trump have each won the most states on the biggest day of the race for the US presidential nominations.

The count is still on but Trump has so far won seven states, compared with only two taken by his closest rival, Ted Cruz, and one by Marco Rubio.

Speaking in his home state of Texas, Cruz urged other Republicans to quit the race and join him against Trump, BBC reported. Democrat Bernie Sanders had wins in four states.

Super Tuesday saw 11 states voting, from Massachusetts in the east to Alaska in the northwest. A 12th state, Colorado, held a caucus—won by Sanders—but does not actually select its delegates until April. It is a pivotal day because it allocates nearly a quarter of the 2,472 Republican delegates and some 20% of all delegates for the Democrats.

On 8 November, America is due to elect a successor to Barack Obama, a Democratic president standing down after two terms in office which have seen the Republicans take control of both houses of Congress. Clinton, a former secretary of state, and Trump, a property tycoon, entered Super Tuesday as favorites to win the vast majority of states for their respective parties.

In a victory speech, Clinton appeared to already be looking towards a potential presidential race against Trump, saying: “The stakes in this election have never been higher and the rhetoric we’re hearing on the other side has never been lower.”

Donald Trump insisted that he was a “unifier” who could put internal fighting in the Republican party behind him.

“Once we get all this finished, I’m going after one person—Hillary Clinton,” he told reporters in Florida, where he has been campaigning ahead of the state’s vote later this month.

The billionaire insisted he had “expanded the Republican party”, referring to higher turnout from a broad demographic in states that have already voted.

Texas Senator Ted Cruz desperately needed to win in his home state to have any chance of staying in the race.

Trump, a former reality TV star known for his controversial policies on immigration, has stunned the Republican establishment to become the party’s frontrunner.

He has faced heavy criticism this week over his failure to disavow David Duke, a leader of the white supremacist Ku Klux Klan, who endorsed him. Trump later said he had on several occasions in the past disavowed Duke.

Clinton had already secured three wins in the first four early-voting states, polling significantly among blocs of black voters.

But Bernie Sanders, who describes himself as a democratic socialist, has put up an unexpectedly strong challenge against her since his sweeping victory in New Hampshire last month.