Clinton, Trump win Mississippi primaries
Deepening their dominance in the South, Democrat Hillary Clinton and Republican Donald Trump swept to victory Tuesday in Mississippi's presidential primaries. Voting was still underway in Michigan, the night's biggest prize.
Clinton and Trump hoped Tuesday's contests would pad their delegate leads and move them closer toward a general election face-off. Democrat Bernie Sanders sought to slow Clinton in Michigan, while a trio of GOP candidates desperately tried to block Trump's path the nomination.
Trump has faced a barrage of criticism from rival candidates and outside groups who fear he would deeply damage Republicans' chances of winning in November. His recent losses to Cruz, the Texas senator, have raised questions about his durability and given fresh hope to other competitors.
Ohio Gov. John Kasich campaigned furiously in Michigan in recent days. He's yet to win a primary but hoped a good showing in Michigan would give him a boost heading into next week's crucial contest in his home state.
Speaking to a crowd in Lansing, Kasich said a strong showing in Michigan would show the country "that it's a new day in this presidential campaign."
To that end, Kasich and Florida Sen. Marco Rubio used recorded phone calls from Mitt Romney to appeal to voters as they headed to the polls. Romney, the 2012 GOP nominee, has not endorsed a candidate but has vowed to help challengers to Trump, who he says would be dangerous for the country.
Republicans were also holding contests Tuesday in Hawaii and Idaho. GOP candidates were fighting for 150 delegates, while 179 Democratic delegates were at stake in the party's two primaries.
The economy ranked high on the list of concerns for voters heading to the polls in Michigan and Mississippi. At least 8 in 10 voters in each party's primary said they were worried about where the American economy is heading, according to exit polls conducted by Edison Research for The Associated Press and television networks.
Among Democrats, 8 in 10 voters in both states said the country's economic system benefits the wealthy, not all Americans.
Sanders has sought to tap into that concern, energizing young people and white, blue-collar voters with his calls for breaking up Wall Street banks and making tuition free at public colleges and universities. Michigan, with big college towns and a sizeable population of working-class voters, should be a good fit for him. But Clinton has led in polling.