Rubio wins Minnesota GOP caucuses
Marco Rubio has won Minnesota's Republican caucuses.
The Florida senator chipped away at Donald Trump's sizable lead in the march to the GOP presidential nomination by landing the largest share of Minnesota's delegates Tuesday. Texas Sen. Ted Cruz was vying for second place.
Minnesota was one of 12 states holding presidential votes on the day dubbed Super Tuesday.
Minnesota has 38 delegates, but Rubio won't claim them all. The state's caucus system awards them proportionally based on each candidate's share of the vote.
Rubio was the only Republican to visit Minnesota this year ahead of Tuesday's vote.
-- Associated Press
Sanders wins Minnesota DFL caucuses
Bernie Sanders has captured a critical win in Minnesota's caucuses.
The Vermont Democrat beat Hillary Clinton to take the largest share of the state's available delegates. Sanders had put a sharp focus on Minnesota's contest, making several stops in the days before the Tuesday's vote.
Minnesota was one of 12 states hosting presidential votes in a day dubbed Super Tuesday. Minnesota had 77 delegates up for grabs, but Sanders won't win them all. The party's caucus system awards them proportionally based on each candidate's share of the vote.
Sanders' path to the nomination relies on wins in caucus states like Minnesota, where the voting format favors candidates with strongly committed supporters. But a bulk of party superdelegates have already committed to Clinton.
-- Associated Press
Rubio, Sanders capture Minnesota wins on Super Tuesday
Marco Rubio captured his first win in the march to the Republican presidential nomination Tuesday while Bernie Sanders snagged a critical victory in the North Star State's Democratic caucuses.
Rubio and Sanders cashed in on a late string of visits to a state that's normally been an afterthought in the race to the nominating conventions. But both candidates still face huge climbs to capture their parties' nod as Democratic front-runner Hillary Clinton and GOP leader Donald Trump padded wide delegate leads.
Results trickled in slowly amid reports of heavy turnout that swamped caucus site volunteers. Texas Republican Ted Cruz was poised for a second place finish based on early returns. Minnesota's proportional allocation of votes means no candidate will capture all the delegates.
The new interest in Minnesota's caucuses, combined with the appeal of outsider candidates, translated into banner turnout for both parties. Thousands of voters wound around staircases and hallways inside a Minneapolis recreation center to cast ballots for the Democratic caucus, quickly drying up the site's supply of printed ballots and forcing officials to use scraps of notebook paper for votes.
Several voters weighed a sense that Sanders best matched their values against a belief that Clinton might give Democrats the strongest chance to maintaining the White House.
While she said the former secretary of state may be a safer bet to win in November, Amy Shaunette sided with Sanders due to his vow to tackle income inequality and his appearance on the Ellen DeGeneres show, among other factors.
"It's all a mess," she said. "We might as well have someone that I really believe in at the center of the mess."
Sanders spent more time in Minnesota than any other candidate, rallying in the state's most liberal pockets in recent days while Clinton largely relied on surrogates until last-minute trips to a Minneapolis coffee shop and marketplace.
Rubio was the lone GOP candidate to drop into Minnesota as his rivals focused elsewhere, hosting a caucus-day rally in a Minneapolis suburb after a visit last week.
Just northwest of Minneapolis, hundreds of voters filled a middle school auditorium for a GOP caucus, and the overflow was directed to individual rooms that also quickly filled. Countless pictures of caucus sites elsewhere posted to social media showed strong crowds.
Steven Trobiani headed inside with his mind made up for Rubio.
"Marco Rubio appears to be a candidate who has taken up the mantle of representation of the middle class, and I think we desperately need that," the 65-year-old neurologist said.
But Trobiani noted Trump's wide lead in the GOP race. Asked if he'd back the New York businessman as the party's nominee, he answered: "Unfortunately, yes."
At his packed caucus-day rally in the Minneapolis suburb of Andover, Rubio urged angry voters not to support an outspoken celebrity in GOP rival Donald Trump.
"How did that work out for Jesse Ventura?" the Florida senator said, referencing the former professional wrestler turned Minnesota governor. "Jesse Ventura was an embarrassment."
Seventy-seven Democratic delegates were up for grabs in Minnesota on Tuesday; 38 on the Republican side. Both parties allocate delegates proportionally, meaning even losing candidates could pick up some delegates.
Democrats also have 16 so-called "superdelegates" — party bigwigs and elected officials — who can cast their votes at the national convention without regard to Tuesday's results. Most had already pledged their support to Clinton ahead of Tuesday's vote.
-- Associated Press