Donald Trump, the New York real estate mogul who entered the Republican race for president as a long-shot, dominated Super Tuesday with wins in at least seven of the 11 states to vote in Republican contests tonight.
Trump has solid victories in Alabama, Arkansas, Georgia, Virginia, Massachusetts, Vermont, and Tennessee. As of 12am ET, Alaska’s results were just starting to come in.
Republican rival Sen. Ted Cruz took his home state of Texas, which boasted the largest number of delegates of the evening, as well as Oklahoma.
Sen. Marco Rubio (R-Fla.) scored a win in Minnesota, his only state of the night.
“We’re going to make America great again, folks,” Trump said in his late night victory speech. “We’re going to make America great again.”
“I watched Hillary’s speech. If she hasn’t straightened America out by now, she’s not going to straight it out,” he added. “She’s just going to make it worse and worse.”
Trump rose to front-runner status in direct contradiction to predictions from political experts, veterans, and media. The outsider nature of the billionaire’s campaign is what attracts many of his followers, after all. He’s now sitting atop the Republican race and is poised to challenge likely Democratic nominee Hillary Clinton for the presidency.
“We’re going to create jobs like you’ve never seen,” Trump promised on Tuesday night. “We’re going to lower taxes substantially for the middle class; the middle class has been forgotten in our country. It really helped, it was the predominant factor in making our country into a country we love so much and that we’re all so proud of.”
Clinton currently holds a three point lead over Trump in national polls, according to Real Clear Politics, small enough to guarantee a competitive contest throughout 2016.
“I’m so honored by this evening,” Trump gushed.
The 2016 presidential candidates will now campaign across the country throughout the month. Another 17 states and territories will cast ballots in Republican primaries in the next two weeks, including the crucial states of Ohio and Florida on March 15.
Update 9:30pm CT, March 1: Trump has won Arkansas.
Update 10:37pm CT, March 1: Rubio has won Minnesota.
Update 11:37pm CT, March 1: Trump has won Vermont.
Photo via Gage Skidmore/Wikimedia Commons (CC BY SA 3.0)