Trump, Clinton take Louisiana primary

Published 12:05 am Sunday, March 6, 2016

NEW ORLEANS (AP) — Billionaire businessman Donald Trump won the Republican presidential primary in Louisiana on Saturday, while former secretary of state Hillary Clinton notched another win in the South with a Democratic primary victory.

Louisiana was one of five states with contests Saturday.

On the Republican side, Trump, Texas Sen. Ted Cruz, Florida Sen. Marco Rubio and Ohio Gov. John Kasich have been locked in a heated race for the nomination, while Clinton faces Vermont Sen. Bernie Sanders.

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For many voters Trump’s outsider stance and political independence added to his allure.

In the New Orleans suburb of Metairie, Arnold Benitez, 80, voted with his son. Both cast their ballots for Trump.

“Trump. I’ll vote for him all the time,” Benitez said. “He’s a better man. He’s what people really want to say, what people want to hear. And he’ll get the job done. And these Republicans that we voted for to put in Congress, they don’t do nothing …This man is going to do something.”


Cruz was running second in Louisiana as Rubio appeared a distant third. Trump also won in Kentucky. But Cruz victories in Kansas and Maine ensure that there will be no quick end to what has been a bruising Republican race.


Many in the GOP worry that a Trump victory would lead to a disastrous November election and have been looking for a way to derail him.


But both Benitez and his son cautioned that if there was a sense that the Republican establishment somehow maneuvered to keep Trump from the nomination, many Republicans might just stay home come November.


“I think they fear him because if he gets in he will clean up Washington,” said David.


Trump has tapped into a wellspring of frustration among many voters in Louisiana and elsewhere.


While many economic indicators have been improving, stagnant wages for many blue-collar workers, rising rents or mortgages, and stock market volatility have all contributed to a sense among some voters that there’s little relief, said Joshua Stockley, associate professor of political science at the University of Louisiana at Monroe.


Among those voters who feel economically and politically frustrated, Trump does very well, Stockley said.


For Clinton, Louisiana marked another state in the South where she’s scored victory and this one by a large margin. Sanders won caucuses in Kansas and Nebraska on Saturday.


Clinton said she was “thrilled” to add to her pledged delegate count.


Speaking at a Democratic Party dinner in Detroit on Saturday night, Clinton congratulated Sanders and said she was grateful to people who supported her before turning her attention to one of the next big showdowns, this time in Michigan.


Clinton has drawn on strong African-American support throughout states such as South Carolina, Arkansas and Alabama to notch wins over Sanders.


Jay Edwards, 78, in Baton Rouge voted for Clinton in the Democratic primary. For him, her experience was what counted.


“She’s the only professional person that has worked in government and has enough competence to do a sensible job there,” he said.


Edwards, professor emeritus of anthropology at LSU, said while he likes Sanders, he didn’t think Sanders could accomplish his campaign promises.


“He just wouldn’t be able to work with Congress as it’s set up now,” Edwards said.