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Associated Press
Donald Trump

Trump: 'I've had $38 million worth of horrible lies said about me in one week'

The Republican presidential hopeful had some more victories yesterday.

DONALD TRUMP NOTCHED a pair of easy victories yesterday in the Republican presidential nomination race, as Democrat Hillary Clinton suffered a surprise loss to Bernie Sanders in one of the two major states at stake.

Trump shrugged off a barrage of negative advertising and intense efforts by the party establishment to derail his White House campaign to win primaries in Michigan and Mississippi, signalling to his rivals he can survive anything they throw at him.

“I don’t think I’ve had so many horrible, horrible things said about me in one week, $38 million worth of horrible lies,” Trump told a crowd in Florida as he celebrated his victories.

I think we ought to use that money to fight Hillary Clinton and the Democrats.

It was not a clean sweep for Trump, however. He came second to Senator Ted Cruz, his nearest Republican competitor, in Idaho.

He went on to win the fourth Republican vote in Hawaii.

Clinton, the former secretary of state, defeated Sanders in the southern Gulf state of Mississippi, thanks to a strong turnout by African-Americans who comprised a majority of Democratic voters there.

GOP 2016 Trump A supporter of Republican presidential candidate Donald Trump wears a flag with Trump's name on it wrapped around him before Trump Brynn Anderson Brynn Anderson

But she slumped to defeat in the industrial rust belt state of Michigan, where Sanders was ahead by two percentage points with 93% of precincts reporting.

“This has been a fantastic night in Michigan,” Sanders said shortly before the race was called in his favour.

Despite the upset, Clinton received a psychological boost by passing the halfway point in the all-important race to reach the 2,382 delegates needed to win the Democratic nomination.

But even with the delegate math in Clinton’s favor, Sanders’s strong showing will re-energise his campaign, and raise questions about her ability to win key industrial states in the general election, such as Michigan, Ohio and Pennsylvania.

Poor Rubio showing

GOP 2016 Trump Lois Pope, a supporter of Republican presidential candidate Donald Trump, poses with her shawl before a news conference at the Trump National Golf Club yesterday Lynne Sladky Lynne Sladky

Clinton has now won 13 out of 22 nomination contests, with Trump prevailing in 14 out of 23 races as the two inch closer to the tipping point in their respective races.

Rubio, the senator whom mainstream Republicans rallied behind as the man to topple Trump, suffered another poor showing, facing the prospect of receiving zero delegates from either Michigan or Mississippi, the two main prizes of the night.

Trump has already called on Rubio to drop out of the race, but the senator has vowed to stay in at least until his home state of Florida — which with 99 delegates at stake is a major prize on the primary calendar — votes on March 15.

“They didn’t do so well tonight, folks,” Trump said in a victory speech in Florida, referring to his Republican rivals.

Only one person did well tonight: Donald Trump.

“We’ll take many, many people away from the Democrats,” he said. “We’re seeing that. We had people come over here who have never voted Republican.”

In a bizarre scene, Trump spent several minutes hawking some of his companies’ odder products — water, steaks, wine, Trump vodka, even his Trump University — which establishment critics had berated as examples of his failed enterprises.

With his latest big wins — claiming 47.3% in Mississippi and 36.5% in Michigan based on near-final results — Trump solidifies his claim to have the broadest appeal among the Republican electorate as he marches toward the nomination.

But a new Washington Post poll of Republican-leaning registered voters shows Trump with 34% support nationwide, compared with 25% for Cruz, 18% for Rubio and 13% for Kasich.

That is a tighter race than in January, when the Post showed Trump up 16 points against Cruz and 26 against Rubio.

GOP 2016 Rubio Republican presidential candidate Senator Marco Rubio Associated Press Associated Press

Cruz, the 45-year-old champion of the religious right, has done well in delegate-rich Texas and nearby states and is nipping at the billionaire real estate mogul’s heels.

A total of 150 Republican delegates were up for grabs yesterday out of 1,237 needed to win the party’s nomination.

- © AFP, 2016

Read: Egyptian student who threatened Donald Trump on Facebook agrees to leave US>

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