US Republican presidential hopeful Ted Cruz has pulled out strategic victories in Arizona
, nailing down a large majority of delegates in both states.
Cruz won most of the 58 delegates at the Republican National Convention during a party meeting in Arizona Saturday, leaving his rival Donald Trump behind in the state.
The Texas senator garnered almost all of the 28 at-large national delegates and approximately split the 27 delegates elected by congressional district there.
However, Trump’s supporters screamed foul following Cruz’s victory; with the business mogul’s campaign chair Jeff DeWit furiously yelling that “Trump got cheated.”
In Virginia, Cruz won 10 out of the 13 national delegates at the Republican Convention on Saturday.
“I voted for Cruz in the primary but I am against this slate because this is not what our state voted for,” said one delegate who took the microphone to voice her concerns.
Cruz surrogate Ken Cuccinnelli said, “Ted is successfully coalescing – unifying most of the rest of the party and that’s the only way we can do this, that’s the only way we can win a vote like this.”
Overall, Cruz won about 80 delegates on Saturday out of over 170 up for grabs and another handful went to Ohio Gov. John Kasich, and Marco Rubio.
Even though Trump’s campaign got burned on the day, it was not a total loss for him as the GOP frontrunner has so far won 996 national delegates out of 1,237 he needs to win the presidential nomination outright after recent sweeps of five East Coast states.
Donald Trump addresses the California Republican Party 2016 Convention in Burlingame, California, April 29, 2016. (AFP)
On Tuesday, Trump maintained his commanding lead on Cruz and Kasich, gaining victory in the five states with Pennsylvania at 58 percent, Connecticut at 65 percent, Maryland at 61 percent, Delaware at 60 percent and Rhode Island at 66 percent.
On the Democratic side, Hillary Clinton leads Senator Bernie Sanders, garnering 1,645 pledged delegates based on primaries.
Clinton scored victories in four Democratic primaries on Tuesday. She won Maryland (66 percent), Pennsylvania (57 percent), and Delaware (59 percent) and Connecticut (50.1 percent) while Sanders won the Rhode Island vote with 55 percent.