GOP, Dem candidates gear up for weekend of primaries, caucuses

GOP, Dem candidates gear up for weekend of primaries, caucuses

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Challengers to Donald Trump and Hillary Clinton are gearing up for another full weekend of primaries and caucuses across the country.

Saturday caucuses will be held in Kansas, Kentucky, Maine and Nebraska along with a primary in Louisiana. On Sunday, Maine holds a caucus for Democrats, while Republicans duke it out in a primary in Puerto Rico.

On Friday, Trump pulled out of the annual D.C. conservative confab CPAC. Trump had been scheduled to speak at the four-day gathering but said he would be campaigning instead in Kansas and Florida. Florida holds its primaries on March 15.

“Because of this, he will not be able to speak at CPAC as he has done for many consecutive years,” the campaign said. “Mr. Trump would like to thank Matt Schlapp and all of the executives at CPAC and looks forward to returning to next year, hopefully as president of the United States.”

Schlapp seemed to challenge Trump’s excuse on Friday, telling Fox News that Trump was “uncomfortable” with the format at CPAC.

The CPAC controversy follows a raucous Fox News Republican debate Thursday night in Detroit, where Texas Sen. Ted Cruz, Florida Sen. Marco Rubio and Ohio Gov. John Kasich teamed up against Trump in a concerted effort to cast him as a political salesman willing to say anything and take any position to win the nomination.

They hammered him on alleged inconsistences on his policy details and business dealings, including the now-defunct Trump University, which is being sued for scamming students out of thousands of dollars.

Over on the Democratic side, Sen. Bernie Sanders is shaping up to be the weekend’s big winner.

Sanders is favored to win the Kansas and Nebraska caucuses.

Clinton’s campaign manager braced supporters for the potential setback in a Wednesday memo that predicted the former secretary of state may lose the caucus states this weekend.

“Sen. Sanders has clear advantages and is investing heavily in two upcoming caucuses (Kansas and Nebraska),” Robby Mook wrote in a memo.

Kansas will hold caucuses for both parties Saturday.  Also on Saturday, Kentucky and Maine will hold their Republican caucuses while Nebraska holds its Democratic caucus. Louisiana holds primaries for both parties.

On Sunday, Maine holds its Democratic caucus, while Puerto Rico has its Republican caucus.

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