Donald Trump expands lead, Sanders upsets Clinton in Michigan

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Detroit, March 9: Donald Trump on Wednesday, March 9 grabbed two key US states, overcoming fierce efforts within his Republican party to blunt his momentum in the White House nomination race, while Bernie Sanders breathed new life into his campaign by chipping away Hillary Clinton's dominance in the contest.

Trump, the 69-year-old real estate tycoon, won two key states of Mississippi and Michigan in the second Super Tuesday showdown. Celebrating his two victories, Trump criticised the establishment Republicans who have led recent attacks on him, including heavy negative advertising.

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In Mississippi, he received the support of nearly 50 per cent of the Republican voters. He was followed a distant second by Senator Ted Cruz with 35.2 per cent of the votes counted. In Michigan, Trump received 37.2 per cent of the Republican votes.

To the surprise of many Cruz was pushed to the third spot by the Ohio Governor John Kasich in the state who received 25.5 per cent of the votes. Cruz gained the support of 23.7 per cent of the votes. Cruz won a Republican-only race in Idaho and Hawaii results are expected later in the day.

Clinton had an impressive win in the US State of Mississippi, as a result of which she was able to have more delegates in her kitty as against Sanders. She won Mississippi by 88 per cent to 10 per cent, bolstered by her overwhelming support among African American voters.

However, her defeat in Michigan, which includes the auto Capital of Detroit, and its neighbourhood, at the hands of 74-year-old Sanders albeit by a narrow margin is an indication of the challenges she might face in the rest of her presidential campaign.

Clinton was expected to have an easy win in Michigan, where according to some polls she was leading by more than 20 points. But when results came in, Sanders won the support of 50 per cent of the Democratic voters, while 48 per cent supported Clinton.

The victory in Michigan has given Sander's campaign a bounce ahead of the vital March 15 primaries in Florida, Ohio and three other big states. People of Michigan have defied the pundits and pollsters, Sanders said in a statement.

Despite the upset in Michigan, Clinton still has a lead in the number of delegates, which is crucial for winning the party's presidential nomination. Some 21 states have so far had their say in the Democrat primaries and caucuses, with Clinton winning 12 and Sanders claiming nine.

 PTI

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