Winners and losers in weekend's primaries

By Aaron Blake analysis

Cruz won just two of the four states, but the two he lost wound up being closer than expected. Photo / AP
Cruz won just two of the four states, but the two he lost wound up being closer than expected. Photo / AP

Winners

Ted Cruz: Cruz won just two of the four states, but the two he lost wound up being closer than expected. Could that primary-day performance reflect a shift in the race more broadly? It's possible. Louisiana is probably a state Cruz should compete with Donald Trump in and maybe win. But insofar as this is still a momentum race, yesterday suggested Cruz momentum. And given many were declaring Trump the presumptive nominee and Marco Rubio had such a poor day, that's significant. Cruz still needs to start winning primaries that aren't his home state of Texas or don't border it.

Donald Trump's delegate maths: He still won two of four states and both Louisiana and Kentucky are Southern states where Cruz was supposed to do well, thanks to his strength among evangelical Christians. Trump also won the Louisiana primary in Cruz's backyard. Trump is still winning the big prizes and heading toward the GOP nomination. We'll see if that changes.

Hillary Clinton: Clinton won just one of three states. But it was the biggest one - Louisiana - and she will likely have maintained or grown her delegate lead even further when all is said and done. Basic maths still points to Democratic nominee Hillary Clinton.

Bernie Sanders, the guy who wants to keep running: Sanders won a couple of states! These were the same brand of heavily white states he has won before. Combine that with Sanders' success at caucuses, and this is completely unsurprising. As long as Sanders keeps winning some states, it'll be hard to completely stop talking about him.

Losers

Bernie Sanders, the Democratic nominee: He's won seven states, and all of them rank among the 18 whitest states in the country. That's not good enough to win the Democratic nomination. The most populous states have more black voters.

Ted Cruz's path forward: Look, Cruz still hasn't broken out of the mould set by Mike Huckabee in 2008 and Rick Santorum in 2012. He has still only won caucus states and Southern primaries.

Marco Rubio: Rubio absolutely tanked. He was taking 11 per cent in Louisiana, 17 per cent in Kansas, 17 per cent in Kentucky and just 8 per cent in Maine. Those are four of his six worst showings so far on the primary calendar. Rubio quite simply doesn't look the part of a real contender at this point. The case for Rubio is getting less and less convincing.

- Washington Post, Bloomberg

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