Five U.S. states held primaries or caucuses Saturday to make their picks for who should represent the Democratic and Republican parties in the race to become the country's next president.
Republicans had events in four states, with party front-runner Donald Trump winning two - Louisiana and Kentucky - and Senator Ted Cruz winning the other two - Maine and Kansas. Senator Marco Rubio and Ohio Governor John Kasich trailed in all four states.
Some analysts have said Cruz performed better than Trump overall, surpassing predictions and running close in the states where he fell short. Cruz actually picked up more delegates Saturday than did Trump.
Republicans in the U.S. territory of Puerto Rico will hold caucuses Sunday. Four more states make their choices on Tuesday. Meanwhile, Rubio has been pushing for victory in his home state of Florida, which has a primary on the 15th.
The Democrats had primaries or caucuses in three states Saturday. Front-runner Hillary Clinton earned victory in Louisiana, while Senator Bernie Sanders took the other two states - Kansas and Nebraska. Clinton's win in the one state earned her more delegates than Sanders.
Maine holds caucuses on Sunday. Two more states hold primaries for Democrats on Tuesday.
Supporters of Democratic presidential candidate Bernie Sanders celebrate their win over Hillary Clinton at a Democratic caucus at Bryan High School in Bellevue, Neb., March 5, 2016.
In the overall delegate count for Republicans, Trump still held the lead with 378, followed by Cruz with 295.
Trump called his victories Saturday “an amazing night,” and said he looked forward to taking on Cruz one-on-one in such states as New York, Pennsylvania and California. He congratulated the first-term Texas lawmaker on his wins Saturday, especially in Maine “because it’s very close to Canada.” Cruz was born in Canada, which Trump has suggested in the past makes the Texas lawmaker ineligible for the White House.
Trump also called on another Republican rival, Florida Senator Rubio, to drop out of the race. Rubio, who was seen as the alternative to Trump by Republican Party insiders, finished a distant third in all states except Maine, coming in fourth place behind Ohio Governor Kasich, another favorite of party insiders.
Trump boasted that his campaign is bringing “a tremendous outpouring of voters to the Republican Party,” and said it is time for the party to “come together and stop this foolishness.”
As the results were announced Saturday, Cruz, campaigning in the western state of Idaho, said he was seeing conservatives uniting behind his campaign.
Hillary Clinton supporter Shirley Boggs holds a sign during the Democratic presidential candidate caucus at Emporia High School in Emporia, Kansas, March 5, 2016.
Despite Sanders' victories in the Democratic contests, Clinton continued to hold a huge lead in the all-important overall delegate count, 1,121 to 479.
Clinton and Sanders will face off in a debate Sunday, their seventh, in Flint, Michigan.
An overflow crowd waits to get into the gymnasium at Chelsea Elementary School to cast their votes at a Republican caucus in Chelsea, Maine, March 5, 2016.
Trump canceled a planned appearance at a major conservative political conference Saturday near Washington. He chose instead to hold a campaign rally in Kansas.
The Conservative Political Action Conference responded to Trump's cancellation on Twitter, saying it was "very disappointed" and that he was sending a "clear message" to conservatives.
Trump did not let up on his attacks on Cruz, his closest rival. He again called the senator a liar and told security to "throw out" several protesters at the Kansas rally.
VIDEO - Strong opinions at conservatives' conference