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Election night updates: Donald Trump wins Hawaii at end of strong night, Bernie Sanders upsets Hillary Clinton in Michigan

Another round of primaries Tuesday night:

  • Bernie Sanders scores a narrow upset over Hillary Clinton in a surprisingly close Michigan primary
  • Clinton and Donald Trump win Mississippi's primaries
  • Trump is declared the winner in Michigan too. Ted Cruz prevails in Idaho
  • See the delegates and results here

Trump gets third victory of the night with Hawaii win

Trump holding strong lead in Hawaii

With half of precincts reporting results from the Hawaii caucuses, Donald Trump is in the lead with 45% of the vote. 

Sen. Ted Cruz is in second place, while Sen. Marco Rubio trails in third. 

Some Michigan context

Sen. Bernie Sanders captured at least 543,000 votes Tuesday night in his Michigan victory — a huge sum more than Hillary Clinton won there in 2008 under very different circumstances.

Eight years ago, Michigan party officials bucked the Democratic National Committee and held an early primary in a violation of the rules protecting the first-in-the-nation status of Iowa, New Hampshire and a few others. 

Candidates skipped campaigning in Michigan and Florida, which also broke the rules. 

On Jan. 15, 2008, Clinton "won" 55.2% of the vote with 328,309 people punching ballots for the then-senator. Barack Obama's name didn't even appear on the Michigan ballot. (The runner-up was "uncommitted" with 40% and then-Rep. Dennis Kucinich with 3.7%.)

Clinton won all but three counties — though she lost the one that's home to the University of Michigan to "uncommitted."

On Tuesday night, Clinton also lost that county, this time to Sanders, but she bested her rival in at least five others. 

If you check out our handy delegate tracker, you'll see Sanders looks to net about 10 more delegates from his Michigan win. And unlike 2008, these delegates actually count in the overall race for the nomination.

That year, it was only after a protracted — and ugly — fight both publicly and behind the scenes that the Democratic National Committee ultimately compromised and let some of the delegates stand. 

It didn't matter in the end, of course, because Clinton sent her supporters to Obama in a "unity" moment at the convention in Denver. 

We're a long way from a moment like that, but Michigan voters who showed up in big numbers clearly wanted to have their say Tuesday.

Ted Cruz wins Idaho primary as he seeks to emerge as chief alternative to Donald Trump

 (Jill Knight / Raleigh News & Observer)
(Jill Knight / Raleigh News & Observer)

Ted Cruz won the Idaho Republican primary on Tuesday, a victory that strengthens the Texas senator’s effort to emerge as the sole viable alternative to Donald Trump in the race for the Republican presidential nomination.

The Idaho loss indicated that Trump’s domination of the campaign was beginning to ebb just as the New York billionaire is trying to establish himself as the presumptive Republican nominee amid a new onslaught of attacks from rivals and major party donors. Trump won the night's biggest delegate prizes, Michigan and Mississippi.

Bernie Sanders celebrates surprise victory in Michigan

 (Alan Diaz / Los Angeles Times)
(Alan Diaz / Los Angeles Times)

Bernie Sanders touted a "critically important night" in Michigan after pulling off an unexpected win Tuesday in a state where he trailed by double digits in the polls.

“I am grateful to the people of Michigan for defying the pundits and pollsters and giving us their support," he said in a statement. "We’re seeing the same kind of come-from-behind momentum all across America."

Sanders highlighted his campaign's success in areas around the country, an implicit contrast with rival Hillary Clinton, whose primary victories have come largely in the South. 

"We already have won in the Midwest, New England and the Great Plains and as more people get to know more about who we are and what our views are we’re going to do very well," he said. 

But the fight for the Democratic nomination is a proportional one -- and Clinton's overwhelming win Tuesday in Mississippi ensures she will come out of the night with an even bigger lead than she started the day.

Bernie Sanders scores upset in closely fought Michigan Democratic primary

People vote in Warren, Mich., in the state's presidential primary. (Geoff Robins / AFP-Getty Images)
People vote in Warren, Mich., in the state's presidential primary. (Geoff Robins / AFP-Getty Images)

Bernie Sanders won an upset victory over Hillary Clinton on Tuesday in the surprisingly close Democratic primary in Michigan, a state where he invested heavily and that his advisors called a “critical showdown.” Polls had shown Clinton with a double-digit lead in the state.

Sanders’ margin of victory will help determine how much the win will boost his campaign. He trails Clinton in total delegates needed to secure the nomination, and he needs to start scoring large wins to chip away at her lead.

Marco Rubio's losses mount as he banks his campaign on winning Florida

Not only was Marco Rubio failing to win any nominating contests Tuesday, but he may close out the night without adding many -- or any -- delegates to his tally.

Rubio's campaign all but abandoned Tuesday's contests as it is laser-focused on his must-win home state of Florida next week.

But his winning-by-losing strategy was likely to leave him below the 15% threshold needed to qualify for delegates Tuesday in Mississippi or Michigan.

Rubio is spending almost every day until March 15 in the Sunshine State, where he promises to sweep its winner-take-all primary to give new momentum to his fading campaign.

His once-promising candidacy has sputtered as the campaign has been unable to expand its appeal beyond young, white-collar suburban families. Rubio has won just two contests -- in Minnesota and Puerto Rico.

And he also spent Tuesday swatting back a report that he would drop out before Florida's primary March 15, rather than risk losing -- dismissing it as "patently false." 

Donald Trump uses Trump steaks, Trump wine and Trump water to defend his business record

It was the election season’s first Donald Trump news conference featuring slabs of meat and bottles of wine.

The Republican presidential front-runner flaunted Trump steak, Trump wine and other Trump products in a sarcastic response to attacks on his business ventures by Mitt Romney and other critics.

"If you want to take one, we’ll charge you about 50 bucks a steak,” Trump joked to reporters, gesturing to a pile of raw beef on display near his lectern at Trump National Golf Club in Jupiter, Fla.

Trump’s 40-minute encounter with the news media came on the evening he won the Michigan and Mississippi primaries.

Taking advantage of his live prime-time cable TV time, Trump took his usual swipes at rivals Marco Rubio (“little Marco”) and Ted Cruz (“lyin’ Ted”).

But he devoted much of the time to defending himself against an onslaught of new television ads by Republican establishment groups aiming to tarnish his business record.

“I don’t think I’ve ever had so many horrible, horrible things said about me in one week — $38 million worth of horrible lies, but that’s OK,” he said. “It shows you how brilliant the public is, because they knew they were lies.”

It was the third time in a week that Trump shunned the customary election-night victory party, taking questions instead in Trump Florida resort settings in an apparent attempt to evoke a presidential news conference. Florida’s winner-take-all primary takes place next Tuesday.

Trump’s culinary props were mainly a rebuttal to Romney, the 2012 Republican presidential nominee who ridiculed a variety of Trump businesses in a speech last week in Utah.

Showing off bottles of Trump water, the candidate said it was a small private company that supplied water to his properties nationwide. He held up a copy of his namesake magazine. And he denied that Trump Airlines went under, saying he sold it as part of a complicated transaction.

“I made a phenomenal deal,” he said.

As for Romney’s presentation in Utah, Trump said, “It wasn’t becoming, honestly.”

Bernie Sanders thanks Michigan voters amid tight race

John Kasich strikes positive tone as GOP race heads to Ohio

Ohio Gov. John Kasich, who has said that his presidential campaign hangs on a victory in his home state next week, struck an optimistic tone on Tuesday despite a loss in neighboring Michigan to front-runner Donald Trump.

“We’re all familiar with March Madness,” Kasich, alluding to the NCAA basketball tournament, told supporters at an election night party in Columbus, Ohio. “And now, the home-court advantage is coming north, and next week we are going to win the state of Ohio.”

Kasich, who has yet to secure a victory this primary season, made a play for Michigan in recent weeks, while Sens. Ted Cruz of Texas and Marco Rubio of Florida focused on states in the South and West.

Kasich said Tuesday that his campaign has “struggled and worked in obscurity,” but now he’s best positioned to win his state’s 66 delegates in its winner-take-all contest March 15.

“I landed in Cleveland today, and I got down on my hands and knees and almost kissed the ground to be back in the state of Ohio,” he said in brief remarks at the Renaissance Hotel in Columbus. “I’m going to continue to run a positive campaign and not get down in the gutter and throw mud at anyone.”

In Ohio, the few polls that have been conducted show Kasich within striking distance of Trump.

“In Ohio, we’re determined, we’re special,” Kasich said. “We will send a message not just to the country, but we’re going to send a message to the world that positive ideas, coupled with vision and accomplishment … will work to rescue this country.”

Michigan remains too close to call for Democrats

 (Alan Diaz / AP)
(Alan Diaz / AP)

It's a nail-biter in Michigan for Hillary Clinton and Bernie Sanders.

Polls ahead of Tuesday's Democratic primary in the state showed Clinton with a double-digit lead, but with a little more than half of the state's precincts reporting, Sanders led slightly. 

It's still an open question who will win the state, which has been viewed as a key battleground. Results were still pouring in from Detroit and Wayne County, the most populous area of the state, where the numbers were trending in Clinton's favor.

In addition, less than one-third of the precincts in Genesee County, home to Flint and an area where Clinton has focused her attention, have been tallied. 

A victory in Michigan, no matter how narrow, could be a major boost for Sanders, who has trailed Clinton. But it may not significantly lower the hurdle Sanders faces to secure enough delegates to win the Democratic nomination -- unless the Vermont senator starts racking up big victories, Clinton will continue to maintain her lead. 

Hillary Clinton looks ahead to November despite tight race in Michigan primary

With results still being counted in hotly contested Michigan, Hillary Clinton took the stage in Cleveland and kept her focus on fighting Republicans in the general election.

“Running for president shouldn’t be about delivering insults," she said in a nod to sniping rhetoric flying in the GOP race in recent days. "It should be about delivering results for the American people."

She added, "We are better than what we’ve been offered by the Republicans."

Clinton has faced criticism from her rival for the Democratic nomination, Bernie Sanders, for supporting trade policies that allowed jobs to move overseas, and she took a hard line against the practice in her speech. 

"We’re going to stand up to corporations that seem to have absolutely no loyalty to this country that gave them so much in the first place," she said. “If they walk out on America, they’re going to pay a price."

John Kasich celebrates what he hopes will be a solid performance in Michigan

Trump wins Michigan, but voters have their misgivings

Exit polls in Michigan point to a developing three-person GOP contest -- one that doesn't include Marco Rubio.

Donald Trump, projected to carry the state overall, was the choice of Republican primary voters who described themselves as "somewhat conservative" -- a bloc that made up just shy of half the overall vote.

Ted Cruz won 4 in 10 voters who identified as "very conservative." And John Kasich, on track for perhaps his best showing of the GOP race, was running neck-and-neck with Trump among voters calling themselves moderate.

Again, voters who decided late broke against Trump, as in earlier contests -- this time Kasich won among voters who decided in the last week. But Trump won half of voters who decided earlier than that, accounting for his overall victory.

Despite Trump's victory there were indications of broader unease in the party about his candidacy. Half of all voters said they would be dissatisfied if he won the nomination, and were likewise split on the question of whether Trump was honest and trustworthy. Even "Lyin' Ted," as Trump calls the Texas senator, scored better on that question.

Donald Trump sweeps evangelical voters

Conservative Christians, over and over again, are voting for Donald Trump.

Despite an organized attempt by religious leaders to stop Trump, he won evangelicals in Mississippi on Tuesday, as he did earlier in South Carolina and other Southern states, according to exit polls.

Partly contributing to Trump's success has been the divide among religious leaders. Many top conservative evangelical leaders agreed to coalesce around Ted Cruz; others, namely Jerry Falwell Jr., are supporting Trump.

Even more, faith voters who are casting ballots for the billionaire, say having a candidate who shares their religious beliefs matters "not much or not at all," according to the polls.

They appear not to mind Trump's coarse language, divorces and bankruptcies, which are all discouraged among conservative Christians.

Among those in Mississippi who wanted the candidate to share their values, they split between Trump and Cruz.

Sen. Ted Cruz shares his testimony and thoughts with the congregation at Community Bible Church in Beaufort, S.C. (Carolyn Cole / Los Angeles Times)
Sen. Ted Cruz shares his testimony and thoughts with the congregation at Community Bible Church in Beaufort, S.C. (Carolyn Cole / Los Angeles Times)

Donald Trump and Paul Ryan have a chat

He could not have been nicer.... He was very encouraging.

Donald Trump, on his phone call with House Speaker Paul D. Ryan

Donald Trump makes a point of thanking establishment GOP

Donald Trump wins Michigan primary

 (Brynn Anderson / Associated Press)
(Brynn Anderson / Associated Press)

Donald Trump won the Michigan GOP primary on Tuesday, another key victory in the New York billionaire’s effort to win the Republican presidential nomination.

Trump’s first win in the upper Midwest came as his rivals struggled to undercut him in the region before the crucial Ohio and Illinois primaries next week.

At Miami rally, Bernie Sanders' supporters know his stump speech better than he does

Like any good politician, Bernie Sanders has a knack for coining catchphrases.

His promise to lead a "political revolution" challenging "the billionaire class" has drawn the support of millions and helped catapult his long-shot campaign to legitimacy.

At a rally in Miami on Tuesday night, as the results rolled in from the Democratic primaries in Michigan and Mississippi, an enthusiastic crowd appeared to know Sanders' campaign slogans as well -- if not better -- than he did.

The crowd interrupted his stump speech several times, finishing some lines before he even arrived at them.

When Sanders began to ask whether anyone knew the average contribution to his presidential campaign, the crowd shouted: "Twenty-seven dollars!"

"This is a sharp audience," Sanders said. "You're about 12 seconds ahead of me."

As Sanders spoke, results came in showing that rival Hillary Clinton won Mississippi's Democratic primary, extending her streak of strong performances among African American voters in Southern states.

Sanders -- and his supporters -- didn't mention the loss.

By the numbers

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