The Latest: Cruz takes a small bite out of Trump’s lead

WASHINGTON (AP) – The Latest on the 2016 presidential campaign, with voters in five states getting their say Saturday in nominating contests:

10:47

Donald Trump wins the Kentucky caucuses. Trump and Cruz won two states each on Super Saturday. Cruz winning Maine and Kansas shortens the gap Trump had on other GOP candidates. Marco Rubio was shutout on Saturday but remains hopeful he could win in his home state of Florida next week.

9:58 p.m.

Hilary Clinton wins the Democratic primary in Louisiana. Bernie Sanders wins the Kansas primary. Trump is leading the race in Kentucky, but no winner has been declared. Cruz has won the Kansas and Maine caucuses.

9:38 p.m.

Donald Trump wins the Louisiana primary with 45 percent of the vote. His bayou win also give him 46 more delegates.

9:20 p.m.

Bernie Sanders’ win in Nebraska means he will pick up more delegates than Hillary Clinton. But it won’t dent the substantial lead Clinton has in the overall AP delegate count.

With 25 Nebraska delegates at stake, Sanders is assured of receiving at least 14. Clinton will pick up at least 10.

Also voting on Saturday were Democrats in Kansas and Louisiana. Up for grabs were a total of 109 delegates.

The Democratic Party in Kansas announced Sanders had won its caucus, but had not yet released vote totals.

Going into the weekend contests, Clinton had held a comfortable 198-delegate lead over Sanders, based on results from primaries and caucuses.

Clinton’s lead is even greater when including superdelegates, the party officials who can support any candidate they wish.

Including results from Nebraska, she now has at least 1,076 delegates according to The Associated Press count, compared to 446 for Sanders. It takes 2,383 delegates to win.

9:15 p.m.

Ted Cruz is nibbling away at Donald Trump’s lead in the race for delegates to the Republican National Convention this summer.

Cruz picked up 36 delegates by winning Republican caucuses in Kansas and Maine on Saturday. Donald Trump won 18 delegates, Marco Rubio won six and John Kasich added three.

There are a total of 155 Republican delegates at stake Saturday in Kansas, Maine, Kentucky and Louisiana. No GOP delegates have yet been allocated in Kentucky or Louisiana.

In the overall race for delegates, Trump has 347 and Cruz has 267. Rubio has 116 delegates and Kasich has 28.

It takes 1,237 delegates to win the Republican nomination for president.

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9:04 p.m.

Vermont Sen. Bernie Sanders has won Nebraska’s Democratic presidential caucus, defeating former Secretary of State Hillary Clinton.

The victory for Sanders on Saturday marks the second time Clinton has lost the Nebraska Democratic caucuses. In 2008, then-Illinois Sen. Barack Obama defeated Clinton by a 2-to-1 ratio in the state.

Both Sanders and Clinton sent organizers to Nebraska and campaigned in the state, where Democrats often get little attention given the Republican Party’s dominance.

Nebraska’s Democratic caucuses were among contests held by one or both parties Saturday in five states.

Nebraska Republicans will vote for the GOP nominee in the state’s May 10 primary.

8:48 p.m.

The Maine Republican Party says Texas Sen. Ted Cruz has beaten New York businessman Donald Trump in the state’s Republican presidential caucuses.

The party made the announcement Saturday night. The Associated Press has not called the race in Maine as it waits for formal results from the state party.

The victory by Cruz comes as opponents of GOP front-runner Donald Trump try to stop his momentum after the billionaire businessman’s strong showing on Super Tuesday.

Cruz came to the state on Friday to campaign at the University of Maine a day after Trump rallied supporters in Portland.

___

8:28 p.m.

The Kansas Democratic Party says Bernie Sanders has won its presidential caucuses.

The party made the announcement Saturday night, but did not release any vote count or results. The Associated Press has not called the race in Kansas as it waits for those results.

A pre-caucus rally Thursday for the Vermont senator in the liberal bastion of Lawrence drew several thousand people.

His backers overcame support for rival Hillary Clinton from former Gov. Kathleen Sebelius and other Democratic establishment figures in the state.

___

8:20 p.m.

Turnout in Republican presidential caucuses in Kansas has exceeded the party’s most optimistic predictions.

State GOP Executive Director Clay Barker says at least 73,000 people cast ballots in Saturday’s caucuses. He says there are another 6,000 provisional ballots and 1,000 absentee ballots sent to voters but not yet collected.

That compares to about 30,000 people voting in the state’s GOP caucuses in 2012 and about 20,000 voting in 2008.

The party had 60,000 ballots printed this year and then warned caucus sites to be prepared to print more.

___

8 p.m.

Ted Cruz won most of the delegates in the Kansas Republican caucuses, collecting at least 23. Donald Trump won at least nine delegates and Marco Rubio got at least five.

There are still three delegates to be allocated in Kansas.

There are a total of 155 delegates at stake in four states Saturday: Kansas, Kentucky, Louisiana and Maine. No GOP delegates have yet been allocated in any of the other states.

In the overall race for delegates, Trump has 338 and Cruz has 254. Marco Rubio has 115 delegates and John Kasich has 25.

It takes 1,237 delegates to win the Republican nomination for president.

___

7:50 p.m.

By the time Ted Cruz took the stage for a campaign rally in Coeur d’Alene, Idaho, he was already the winner of the Kansas caucuses. And he was in the mood to celebrate.

“And the scream you hear, the howl that comes from Washington, D.C., is the utter terror at what we the people are doing together,” Cruz told a crowd of about 1,600 people who packed into a county fairgrounds building.

Idaho votes on Tuesday, but Cruz was hoping to collect more victories on Saturday. He even got ahead of himself, telling the crowd “God bless Kansas and God bless Maine” – even though there is no winner yet in Maine.

Cruz told reporters after his speech that a win in the GOP nominating race by Donald Trump “in all likelihood” would lead to a Hillary Clinton presidency.

He says “65 to 70 percent of Republicans believe Donald Trump is not the best candidate to go head to head with Hillary Clinton.”

_____

7:12 p.m.

Republican presidential candidate Donald Trump says he wants to loosen the laws that limit the use of torture if he’s elected to the White House.

Speaking at a rally Saturday in Orlando, Florida, Trump says “we’re going to have those laws broadened, because we are playing with two sets of rules — their rules and our rules.”

Trump adds, “We’re going to stay within the law, but we’re going to increase it.”

Trump this week appeared to reverse his stance on the use of torture after he was criticized by top Republican national security experts. He had previously advocated killing the wives and children of violent Islamic extremists, as well as bringing back waterboarding, a practice discontinued by the Obama administration.

Trump said this week in a statement that he would “use every legal power … to stop these terrorist enemies,” but he vowed not to order military or other officials to violate international law.

___

6:03 p.m.

Ted Cruz will collect at least 17 delegates for winning the Republican caucuses in Kansas, and Donald Trump will win at least six.

There are a total of 155 delegates at stake in four states Saturday: Kansas, Kentucky, Louisiana and Maine. No GOP delegates have yet been allocated in any of the other states.

In the overall race for delegates, Trump has 335 and Cruz has 248. Marco Rubio has 110 delegates and John Kasich has 25.

It takes 1,237 delegates to win the Republican nomination for president.

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