POLITICS

Donald Trump wins 3 out of 4, while Hillary Clinton shows she can win even by losing

AP

 (AP)

Donald Trump scored three major victories in Tuesday's primary races – setting him up for a big battle next week in Florida – while on the Democratic side Hillary Clinton showed that even by losing she can still win as the she passed the halfway mark in delegates needed for the presidential nomination.

A late-night cliffhanger in Michigan ended in Bernie Sanders' favor, giving him bragging rights to a big race Clinton was expected to win. She progressed regardless, thanks to an earlier victory in Mississippi and a close split of delegates shared with Sanders in Michigan.

Trump took Mississippi, Michigan and Hawaii while yielding to Texas Sen. Ted Cruz in Idaho.

Florida, Ohio, Illinois, Missouri and North Carolina are coming up next Tuesday — but it's the first two the ones deemed crucial for Republicans.

Florida and Ohio Republican contests will be winner-take-all for the first time in the season. Trump is itching to take out Florida Sen. Marco Rubio, with whom he's had a venomous feud, and a Florida victory would accomplish that. He's bidding for Ohio, too, hoping to dispense with its governor, John Kasich, and turn the wild GOP contest into a head-to-head battle with Cruz.

Cruz, the conservative firebrand, has put up the toughest fight against Trump, staying within range in the delegate hunt and aiming to become the last challenger standing against the billionaire if Rubio and Kasich can't win their home states Tuesday.

Rubio has been the mainstream Republican hope in recent weeks, but has only won two contests in 20: Minnesota and Puerto Rico. His last hopes for a turnaround are in Florida.

Democrats vote next week in the same five states. In all 691 delegates will be at stake. The Democratic delegates will be allocated in proportion to the vote.

Despite Sanders' close Michigan win, he won't see any real gains in delegates for the night.

With 130 Michigan delegates at stake, Sanders will win at least 63 and Clinton at least 52. His gains will be canceled out by Clinton's earlier win in Mississippi. She already entered the night with a 196-delegate lead over Sanders based on primaries and caucuses alone.

Democrats award delegates in proportion to the vote, so Clinton was able to add a good chunk of delegates even after losing Michigan.

Including superdelegates, her lead becomes even bigger — at least 1,214 to Sanders' 566. It takes 2,383 to win the nomination.

Since Super Tuesday, Sanders has now won four of the last six states contests.

Trump's got a longer climb in the splintered GOP affair, but he helped himself in the races Tuesday night. He ran up his delegate total to at least 428, with Cruz having 315. Rubio has 151 delegates and Kasich has 52. A total of 150 Republican delegates were at stake Tuesday night.

Trump or any resurgent rival needs a total of 619 to slip past the halfway mark, and 1,237 to clinch the nomination.

Based on reporting by The Associated Press.

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