POLITICS

Ted Cruz Wins Oklahoma's Deep-Red Republican Presidential Primary

The state held a "closed" primary, which means that only registered Republican voters could participate.

Texas Sen. Ted Cruz won Oklahoma’s Republican presidential primary on Tuesday, giving his campaign a much-needed victory.

With 98 percent of precincts reporting, Cruz led the field with over 34 percent of the vote, and Trump was in second with over 28 percent.

The win, projected by The Associated Press in one of the nation’s most conservative states, may help Cruz' campaign continue to justify its existence, but businessman Donald Trump still looks like the candidate most likely to get the GOP’s nomination, especially given his wins in a number of other Super Tuesday primaries.

Though there hadn’t been that much polling done in the state, HuffPost Pollster had Trump leading Cruz and Sen. Marco Rubio (Fla.) by more than 10 points before Tuesday’s contest.

Cruz had vastly outspent his rivals for the nomination in the state, pouring more than $800,000 into its race; Rubio, meanwhile, spent more than $250,000.

Oklahoma was seen as a state where the GOP candidates could demonstrate their appeal among Republicans and Republicans alone. The state is one of the first to hold a so-called “closed” primary, meaning only those voters who were registered as Republicans weeks before the contest could cast a ballot.

Trump, Cruz and Rubio had all made recent visits to the state. Rubio called Trump “a con man” on Friday in Oklahoma City, and Cruz told the state’s voters during a Tulsa stop on Tuesday that it was “a battleground.” Trump, meanwhile, spoke in Oklahoma City on Friday, claiming that Rubio had “defrauded” his home state of Florida.

HuffPost

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