Trump and Clinton win on Super Tuesday - but did others all lose?

Rubio, Trump and Cruz Image copyright AP
Image caption Each Republican claimed to have a good night

Donald Trump's opponents entered Super Tuesday looking for slivers of hope, but they may end up with splinters of despair. In the Democratic race Hillary Clinton also dealt a major blow to Bernie Sanders' chances.

Here's a look at how each candidate fared on the biggest day of the US presidential race so far - and what it means for their campaigns going forward.

Hillary Clinton

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The former secretary of state racked up win after win, including in the delegate-rich states of Texas, Georgia and Virginia. Her Southern firewall, buoyed by overwhelming support from black voters, held strong.

She may have some bumps in the road ahead of her, but that resounding defeat in New Hampshire feels like a long time ago.

Mrs Clinton spent her much of her victory speech in Florida taking aim at Donald Trump - evidence that the presumptive nominee is starting to position herself for the general election. She countered his "Make America Great Again" slogan with her "Make America Whole Again". Expect her to try out a variety of lines of attack over the coming months to see which ones might stick against her fellow New Yorker.

Verdict: She should probably confirm those hotel reservations for the Democratic convention in Philadelphia.

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Donald Trump

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He didn't post a clean sweep. His performance may have given a glimmer of hope to his competitors (except, of course, Ben Carson). But the New York billionaire still posted a dominating showing on the biggest night of the presidential race so far.

Mr Trump rolled to a dominating victory in Georgia and prevailed across the south. He withstood withering criticism for days and shrugged off a firestorm around his apparent refusal to condemn white supremacist groups. And perhaps best of all, none of his competitors emerged from the evening as a clear challenger that can consolidate the anti-Trump vote.

Instead of a victory rally, Mr Trump gave a subdued press conference at one of his luxury Florida estates, where he pledged to be a unifying, diplomatic voice. The New Yorker is pivoting to the general election and a matchup against Mrs Clinton - and Republicans are going to have to deal with it.

Verdict: The best anti-Trump Republicans can hope for at this point is a brokered convention, as his opponents together pull enough delegates to deny him the outright nomination. Hope, as they say, is a dangerous thing.


Ted Cruz

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The Texas senator went in to the evening having to win his home state - and he did, by a comfortable margin. He also pulled out a victory in neighbouring Oklahoma, which allows him to boast that he has appeal beyond the voters who know him best.

Mr Cruz spent a lot of time trying to win elsewhere in the South, however, and he came up empty. A particularly stinging blow was the defeat in Georgia - which had given him a warm reception when he barnstormed the state on a bus tour last summer.

The Cruz campaign had once pointed to Super Tuesday as the day when he would pull away from the field and ride momentum into the less hospitable states in the weeks to come. Instead it's where the candidate got just enough support to keep within sight of Mr Trump - for now.

Verdict: Mr Cruz can rightfully claim that he's second to Mr Trump in both delegates and states won. But in presidential politics second place gets you nothing but a pat on the back.


Bernie Sanders

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The Vermont senator won his home state, Oklahoma, Colorado and Minnesota. It's a performance largely in line with expectations on a night when the candidate needed to beat expectations.

At this point the senator's supporters must be wondering what could have been. If he had pulled out wins in Iowa and Nevada - both of which were in reach - he might have been in a position to claim Clinton's Southern domination was simply a regional phenomenon. But when you're the underdog, almost isn't enough.

Mr Sanders isn't going anywhere - he still has plenty of money and there are states where he'll be competitive. His pathway to the nomination has become much narrower, however.

Verdict: The Vermont senator still has his message, and it's one that has resonated with many Democrats, but the Clinton campaign machine is proving a formidable adversary.


Marco Rubio

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The good news is the Florida senator has won his first state of the campaign season. The bad news is that it's Minnesota, which announced its results long after Mr Trump and Mr Cruz posted their more impressive wins.

The Florida senator did have a surprising performance in Virginia, thanks to significant support in the Washington, DC suburbs. He'll finish there with almost as many delegates as Mr Trump, but he desperately needed a win there to help build momentum toward a 15 March showdown in Florida, where he currently trails Mr Trump in the polls.

Mr Rubio has been positioning himself as the only alternative to Mr Trump, but Tuesday night's results give him little reason to make a better claim to that mantle than Mr Cruz.

Verdict: He's on the scoreboard, but the game is nearly over. He'll be fighting for his political life in Florida for the next two weeks.


John Kasich

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Kasich supporters can take solace in the fact that he finished within a hair's breadth of Mr Trump in Vermont and a distant second in Massachusetts. Then they can look at the rest of the results in despair.

Mr Kasich came in behind the top three in the rest of the states at play on Super Tuesday night and even trailing Mr Carson across much of the South. He largely ends the night where he began it - fighting to stay relevant in the Republican contest.

The candidate who can boast the most impressive political credentials of any Republican remaining in the race is left hoping for a miracle in his home state of Ohio and then … it's hard to say what. Pray for a brokered convention, most likely, and then let the smoke-filled rooms work their magic.

Verdict: All those Ohio delegates still seem in reach, and he can worry about what comes next later.


Ben Carson

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He held his election night party in his home town of Baltimore, Maryland, so at least he doesn't have far to travel to get a fresh set of clothes. Beyond that, it was a rough night for the man who once challenged Mr Trump for supremacy in the polls.

During his evening speech the retired neurosurgeon pledged to stay in the race, and earlier in the day he called for a meeting with his fellow candidates to discuss how they can display more "civility" as they campaign against each other in the coming days.

Good luck with that.

Verdict: His campaign has received its last rites, but it seems the good doctor is convinced the patient can still be saved.