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Cruz Can't Keep Momentum From Weekend Races

SHAPIRO: And I want to turn now to NPR's Mara Liasson here in the studio. Mara, tonight is not as big as Super Tuesday one week ago and perhaps not as big as when we'll hear from Ohio and Florida next week. But what conclusions can we take away from tonight?

LIASSON: Well, one conclusion is that Ted Cruz was not able to do in Mississippi what he did over the weekend. And I think that because he won the Maine and Kansas caucuses and he seemed to keep Trump's margin of victory in Kentucky and Louisiana relatively small that there was a lot of talk about whether Trump was peaking, whether the ad campaign against him was finally working. But now we see in another Southern state a big Trump win. And Ted Cruz had a strategy. He was going to be dominant throughout the South by putting together a conservative coalition of voters - Tea Partiers, libertarians and evangelicals. And what we see is that evangelical, born-again white Christians tend to vote like other members of the Republican base. And they are voting for someone who has been divorced three times, uses profanity and says he has never asked God for forgiveness. And as long as they continue to do that, Ted Cruz will have a problem.

SHAPIRO: That's NPR's Mara Liasson with us as we track results from today's primary contests in Michigan, Mississippi, Idaho and Hawaii. Transcript provided by NPR, Copyright NPR.

Mara Liasson is a national political correspondent for NPR. Her reports can be heard regularly on NPR's award-winning newsmagazine programs Morning Edition and All Things Considered. Liasson provides extensive coverage of politics and policy from Washington, DC — focusing on the White House and Congress — and also reports on political trends beyond the Beltway.
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