Donald Trump has added three more victories under his belt, scoring wins in Michigan, Mississippi and Hawaii on Tuesday, to move a step closer to clinching the Republican party’s presidential nomination.
The three victories gave Trump a considerable lead against his rivals heading into next week’s winner-take-all primaries in Ohio and Florida.
Texas Senator Ted Cruz scored a victory in Idaho, cementing his status as the party’s strongest alternative to Trump. Idaho marks Senator Cruz’ seventh win, the most by anyone in the Republican race excluding the frontrunner Trump.
Trump’s victories came despite increasing attacks by his rivals. In the past week alone, 62% of the GOP’s TV budget was spent on ads attacking Trump. Influential leaders in the GOP, including the party’s last two nominees also rebuked Trump publicly.
Meanwhile, support for John Kasich has swelled in the past month, with 22% of Republican primary voters supporting the Ohio governor, according to a recent poll by the Wall Street Journal and NBC News.
Kasich’s numbers rose after rivals dropped out of the race, allowing the governor to overtake Rubio.
Trump marked his victory with a news conference at his golf course in Florida. In his victory speech, the former reality TV star dismissed the negative TV advertisements against him saying, “advertising really isn’t as important as competence.”
The primaries on Ohio and Florida are slated on March 15th.