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5 Headlines That Explain Tuesday's Primary Results In Michigan And Beyond

Democratic presidential candidate Sen. Bernie Sanders scored an upset win in Michigan on Tuesday. He's seen here speaking last week in Illinois, which holds its primary next Tuesday. i

Democratic presidential candidate Sen. Bernie Sanders scored an upset win in Michigan on Tuesday. He's seen here speaking last week in Illinois, which holds its primary next Tuesday. Seth Perlman/AP hide caption

toggle caption Seth Perlman/AP
Democratic presidential candidate Sen. Bernie Sanders scored an upset win in Michigan on Tuesday. He's seen here speaking last week in Illinois, which holds its primary next Tuesday.

Democratic presidential candidate Sen. Bernie Sanders scored an upset win in Michigan on Tuesday. He's seen here speaking last week in Illinois, which holds its primary next Tuesday.

Seth Perlman/AP

Bernie Sanders pulled off an upset in Michigan on Tuesday, beating Hillary Clinton in an important state where he had trailed in recent polls. Clinton handily took Mississippi, with more than 80 percent of the vote. On the Republican side, Donald Trump racked up three more victories, and Ted Cruz won in Idaho.

The Democrats competed in two contests, while the Republicans had four. (See NPR's analysis.) With primaries in Florida, Ohio and other states looming next Tuesday, here are five headlines that tell us something about where each campaign is right now:

Bernie Sanders Scores Upset in Michigan Democratic PrimaryThe Wall Street Journal

"Bernie Sanders proved his grit in the Democratic presidential race on Tuesday, defeating Hillary Clinton in Michigan and showing strength for the first time in a large, racially diverse state far from his home base of New England.

"Mrs. Clinton easily captured Mississippi, completing a clean sweep of the Deep South powered by her overwhelming popularity among African-American voters in the region. But Mr. Sanders, in winning his most populous state this primary season, made inroads with black voters in Michigan, according to exit polls, winning 30 percent of the state's African-American primary vote."

Hillary Clinton Nabs Victory In Mississippi With Help From Bill ClintonHuffington Post

"By winning Mississippi, Clinton continued her streak of victories across the Deep South, where minority voters make up a significant share of the Democratic electorate. Mississippi's population is nearly 40 percent African-American.

"Leading up to Tuesday's primary vote, Clinton led in a poll of likely Democratic primary voters by more than 50 percentage points over her rival, Vermont Sen. Bernie Sanders.

"Mississippi's Democratic primary awards 41 delegates on a proportional basis, but Sanders has already all but ceded the state to Clinton, given how solid the support for Clinton is among Democratic voters."

Trump strides through Michigan, where Clinton faltersThe Economist

"Going into the primaries, Mr Trump had had maybe his worst week of the campaign. He had talked up the size of his penis in a television debate and whipped up a crowd in Orlando to pledge allegiance to him while making a gesture that looked far too close for decency like a Nazi salute. He had been castigated by Mitt Romney, the Republican nominee in 2012, as 'a phony, a fraud,' who was 'playing members of the American public for suckers'. On March 7th Mr Trump was trounced by Ted Cruz in Kansas and Maine, both of which he had been predicted to win; he won Louisiana and Kentucky by narrower-than-expected margins. It really seemed as if he might at last have been rumbled — that Peak Trump was past. Fat chance of that.

"To keep on course to win the Republican ticket, by one calculation, Mr Trump needed to win 59 delegates on March 8th. He won precisely that number in Mississippi, Michigan and Idaho, where he came second to Mr Cruz, before votes had come in from Hawaii."

Cruz Wins Primary, but Trump Supporters Dominate Primary PartyTwin Falls Times-News‎

"With an eye toward the November legislative races, [state GOP Chairman Steve Yates] said Republicans need to concentrate on Democratic districts in places like Ketchum, Lewiston and Moscow.

" 'Do you feel sad for the endangered species of Democrats in Idaho that we shouldn't go hunt and get them?' he asked. 'I don't.' "

"Despite the pre-primary polls showing Trump with a solid lead, Yates said the results jibe more with what he had been hearing in his travels and conversations with Republicans across the state. He said he was impressed Cruz, assuming the numbers hold, cracked the 40 percent threshold in a race with several candidates."

Marco Rubio Never Had A BaseFiveThirtyEight

"Except in the improbable event that he comes back to win the Republican nomination, Marco Rubio is likely to become a political idiom. As Mike Huckabee is synonymous with a candidate who wins Iowa on the basis of evangelical support but can't expand beyond that, or Fred Thompson is a stand-in for a candidate who launches his campaign too late, a 'Rubioesque' candidate will be one who is everyone's second choice.

"For a long time, polls have shown Rubio as perhaps the most broadly acceptable candidate within the Republican field, with high favorability ratings1 and competitive performances in hypothetical one-on-one matchups against Donald Trump. But Rubio has just about 20 percent of the Republican vote so far and has won only Minnesota and Puerto Rico. Hawaii results are still pending as I write this, but he did terribly everywhere else on Tuesday and will probably fail to receive any delegates from Michigan, Mississippi or Idaho."

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