Following his Super Tuesday victories in the Texas and Oklahoma primaries, Sen. Ted Cruz (R-Texas) called on his GOP rivals to drop out and endorse his bid in order to defeat front-runner Donald Trump, who appears set to steamroll his way to the party's nomination this summer.
Cruz congratulated Trump on his resounding victories in Massachusetts, Tennessee, Alabama, Arkansas, Georgia, Vermont, and Virginia. But he noted that his campaign was the only one so far to have beaten Trump -- three times, including his victory in the Iowa caucus.
"Fifteen states have now voted, every one of those states so far has been won by either Donald Trump or myself. Republicans, we have a choice. We are blessed with a deep talented honorable field. For the candidates who have not yet won a state," Cruz said, "I ask you prayerfully consider our coming together."
Sen. Marco Rubio (R-Fla.), the GOP establishment favorite, gave Trump a run for his money in Virginia, but was ultimately unable to muster enough support in its populous and diverse northern counties in the Washington suburbs to claim victory. Ohio Gov. John Kasich, meanwhile, put in a stronger than expected performance in Vermont. Neither candidate is likely to drop out ahead of primaries in their home states of Florida and Ohio, set for March 15.
"I'm the only one who can stop Donald Trump, I'm the only one who can unify this party and grow it," Rubio said in Fox News interview on Tuesday. He said he didn't believe polls showing him trailing Trump by 20 percentage points in Florida.
Retired neurosurgeon Ben Carson, lagging far behind the other candidates, told Fox News he wasn't planning on leaving the race.