Rubio ‘wins big in Puerto Rico’

Marco RubioImage copyright

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The win in Puerto Rico will give hope to Marco Rubio’s campaign

Marco Rubio is set to win the latest contest in the battle to be the Republican presidential candidate, a day after being urged to quit the race.

With more than a quarter of votes counted, Rubio has nearly 75% of the vote in Puerto Rico.

Despite his projected second victory in the state-by-state contest, Rubio still trails Donald Trump and Ted Cruz.

On Saturday Mr Trump called for a “one-on-one” battle with Cruz, urging other rivals to quit the race.

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Clinton v Sanders: The progressive battle

In the Democratic race, Bernie Sanders and Hillary Clinton are awaiting the outcome of a nominating contest in Maine, and preparing for a Sunday night debate in Flint, Michigan.

Media captionDonald Trump said he wanted to go “one on one” with Ted Cruz

Speaking after wins in the Republican Kentucky caucuses and Louisiana primary election on Saturday, Mr Trump told a news conference: “I would love to take on Ted Cruz one on one.”

“Marco Rubio had a very very bad night and personally I call for him to drop out of the race. I think it’s time now that he dropped out of the race. I really think so.”

Meanwhile, Texas Senator Mr Cruz – who won Republican caucuses in Kansas and Maine – said he believed that “as long as the field remains divided, it gives Donald an advantage”.

While the win in Puerto Rico – a US territory – will boost Rubio’s campaign, it sends just 23 delegates to the Republican convention which nominates a presidential candidate. Republican hopefuls need the votes of 1,237 delegates to get the nod for the presidential race proper.

Races at a glance:

  • Donald Trump won two more states on Saturday, bringing his total to 12
  • Ted Cruz’s two victories give him six wins in all
  • Marco Rubio has now won two states, while John Kasich has none
  • Hillary Clinton’s win in Louisiana on Saturday gives her a total of 11 states
  • Bernie Sanders’ two victories give him seven wins in all

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Bernie Sanders is trailing Hillary Clinton in the Democratic race

Election calendar: Next races

  • 8 March: Michigan and Mississippi primaries: Democratic and Republican; Hawaii and Idaho caucuses: Republican
  • 15 March: Florida, Illinois, Missouri, North Carolina, Ohio primaries: all Democratic and Republican

The full primary calendar

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