Donald Trump easily won a string of primaries in southern states today, racking up victories in Virginia, Georgia, Alabama, Tennessee, and Arkansas. He won the northeastern state of Massachusetts, for good measure.
“I feel awfully good,” Trump told reporters at his Mar-a-Lago Club in Florida, accompanied by extremely uncomfortable New Jersey governor Chris Christie. Trump touted his capabilities as a party unifier. “We have expanded the Republican party,” he said, claiming to have siphoned off significant numbers of Democrats in primary states.
Marco Rubio suffered a disappointing loss in Virginia, where it was thought he might eke out a slim victory. The Florida senator campaign did win in Minnesota, giving his campaign some much needed oxygen until his home state votes on March 15.
As expected, Ted Cruz took first place in his home state of Texas, where a victory was crucial to the survival of his campaign. The senator snagged a bonus win in neighboring Oklahoma, and further afield in Alaska as well.
Framing himself as the only candidate prepared to go head-to-head with the Democratic nominee, Cruz characterized a Trump candidacy as “a disaster for Republicans, and for conservatives, and for the nation.”
“For the candidates who have not won any states, I ask you to prayerfully come together,” Cruz added, speaking specifically to John Kasich and Ben Carson. “We welcome you on our team, standing united. That is the only way to beat Donald Trump.”