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Trump claims Super Tuesday win, Cruz asks field to step aside

Posted at 6:32 PM, Mar 01, 2016

Most of the polls have closed tonight as a dozen states decide who should be the Republican Party's nominee for president in this November's general election. With front-runner Donald Trump coming in to Super Tuesday looking to sweep all 12 states, Sen. Ted Cruz has taken a pair of states. 

Trump has won sevent states: Alabama, Arkansas, Georgia, Tennessee, Massachusetts, Vermont and Virginia. Cruz took his home state of Texas, along with bordering Oklahoma, based off projections. Marco Rubio took his first state of the campaign late Tuesday by winning the Minnesota caucuses.

With three other candidates remaining in the field, Cruz asked the rest of the field sans Trump to consider stepping aside. Cruz made his address before Rubio won Tuesday's Minnesota caucuses.

"Fifteen states have now voted, every one of those states have either been won by Donald trump or myself," Cruz said. "Republicans we have a choice. We are blessed with a deep, honorable field. For the candidates who have not won a state, who have not won many delegates, I ask for you to come together, uniting."

Trump also considered himself a big victor on Super Tuesday.

"This has been an amazing evening, we have already won five states and we could win six, seven, eight nine," Trump said early in the evening." I want to congratulate Ted on winning Texas. That was an excellent win."

After endorsing Trump last week, former presidential candidate Chris Christie introduced Trump at his speech in Florida Tuesday night. Christie called for the GOP to rally around Trump.

"Tonight is the beginning of Donald Trump beginning the Republican Party together for a big victory this November," Christie said. "Tonight is the beginning to bring the people of our nation together to win again."

Asked if he feels like the presumptive nominee, Trump said, "I am feeling very good." 

But Cruz believes he is the one candidate who can stand in Trump's way.

"Head to head, our campaign beats Donald trump resoundingly," Cruz said. "But for that to happen, we must come together."

Rubio and Trump sparred at each other at last Thursday's GOP debate, on Twitter and at their respective campaign events. Rubio denounced Trump for not quickly renouncing support he received from former Ku Klux Klan leader David Duke. 

Trump used Tuesday night to take yet another swipe at Trump, who by all accounts had a miserable Super Tuesday performance. 

"I know this was a very tough night for Marco Rubio," Trump said. He worked hard, he spent a lot of money, he is a lightweight... He hasn't won anything period. And he was very nasty."

Entering Super Tuesday, Trump had won three states in a row, and had a commanding lead over the field in pledged delegates. Rubio, along with Ohio Gov. John Kasich and surgeon Ben Carson, remain in the race despite not winning a state to date.

Kasich is in a battle with Trump in Vermont. 

All five candidates have pledged to stay in the race regardless of tonight's outcome. 

Here is what at stake Tuesday:

Total of 595 delegates

Alabama – 50 delegates
Alaska – 28 delegates
Arkansas – 40 delegates
Georgia – 76 delegates
Massachusetts – 42 delegates
Minnesota – 38 delegates
Oklahoma – 43 delegates
Tennessee – 58 delegates
Texas – 155 delegates
Vermont – 16 delegates
Virginia – 49 delegates

Democrats battle it out on Super Tuesday 
Live updates: Super Tuesday

Justin Boggs is a writer for the E.W. Scripps National Desk. Follow him on Twitter @jjboggs or on Facebook.