WASHINGTON (CBSNewYork/AP) — Republican Donald Trump and Democrat Hillary Clinton pulled far and away from their rivals as vote tallies came in on Super Tuesday — though Ted Cruz and Bernie Sanders also chalked up some significant victories.
Still, experts said Clinton and Trump were that much closer to wrapping up the nomination after the contests were decided in 12 states.
Voters from Vermont to Colorado, Alaska to American Samoa and several states in between headed to polling places and caucus sites on Tuesday, the busiest day of the 2016 primaries.
Clinton was declared the winner of the Democratic primary in Georgia, Virginia, Alabama, Tennessee, Arkansas, and Massachusetts.
Clinton also emerged victorious in Texas. The Lone Star state was the biggest prize of the day with 155 Republican delegates and 252 total Democratic delegates.
But Sanders also had some impressive victories. He took his home state of Vermont, and was also declared the winner in Oklahoma, Colorado, and Minnesota.
PHOTOS: Super Tuesday 2016
Clinton called for unity and a restoration of “trust and respect across our country” as she spoke to her supporters Tuesday night.
“We have to make America whole. We have to fill in what’s been hollowed out,” she said.
She said her administration would not build walls, but would “break down barriers” and “build ladders of opportunity.”
“I believe what we need in America today is more love and kindness, because you know what? It works,” Clinton said.
She also made reference to President Barack Obama nominating a “strong, progressive justice” for the U.S. Supreme Court ahead of her possible election, which Republican lawmakers have said they will not allow.
Sanders spoke earlier in the evening.
“This campaign is not just about electing a president. It is about making a political revolution,” Sanders said. “We were at 3 percent in the polls. We have come a very long way in 10 months.”
Sanders raised $41 million last month – enough to campaign until the very end. He has said he will stay in the race until all 50 states have voted and has suggested that he looks forward to the Democratic National Convention in Philadelphia.
More: Campaign 2016 Coverage
On the Republican side, Trump was declared the winner in Virginia, after a close race with Marco Rubio.
Trump was also declared the winner in the Georgia, Alabama, Massachusetts, Arkansas, and Tennessee’s primary elections.
But Cruz was the winner in his delegate-heavy home state of Texas, and in Oklahoma.
Rubio came out with one victory, in Minnesota, where he finished ahead of Cruz with Trump coming in third.
The GOP caucus results from Alaska had not yet come in late Tuesday, and Vermont remained a toss-up with Trump slightly in the lead over Ohio Gov. John Kasich.
Still, political consultant Frank Luntz said on CBSN that he expects Trump will be the Republican nominee.
“Unless something strange happens, Donald Trump is going to be the nominee,” Luntz said.
Trump addressed reporters Tuesday night in Palm Beach, Florida, flanked by New Jersey Gov. Chris Christie as he spoke.
He outlined plans to create jobs, lower taxes, and rescue America from what he said were leaders who were not as smart as their foreign counterparts.
“We have great, great power. The problem is we have politicians that truly, truly, truly don’t know what they’re doing,” Trump said.
He also said he would make the military “bigger and stronger than ever before, and nobody, nobody, nobody’s going to mess with us, folks.”
He characterized himself as a “unifier.”
“We are going to be a much finer party, we’re going to be a unified party. We’re going to be a much bigger party. Our party is expanding,” Trump said.
Trump further said that Clinton’s call earlier in the night to “make America whole again” — itself a rebuttal to Trump’s “Make America Great Again” rallying cry — was an inferior slogan.
Trump also insisted that he would make good on a campaign plan to build a wall along the southern border of the country and make Mexico pay for it.
“I’m a businessman. I know how to do this. Politicians are all talk, no action – except for Chris Christie, of course,” Trump said.
But Rubio earlier in the day told CBS News’ Charlie Rose he would be staying in the race, and said Trump would not be getting sufficient delegates to win on Tuesday.
“This man is a world-class con artist, and he’s conning people into thinking that he fights for the little guy,” Rubio said.
Rubio said further that if Trump wins, it will be detrimental for the Republican Party.
“If Donald Trump wins the Republican nomination, it will split the Republican Party and it will basically, I think, split the conservative movement,” Rubio said.
U.S. Sen. Lindsey Graham (R-S.C.), who himself ran in the GOP presidential primary, said the Republicans were sure to lose if Trump is the nominee and called Trump “crazy.”
“Donald Trump, I think, is just crazy – the things he says,” Graham told Rose.
He even said while Cruz was not his “favorite,” he would encourage the GOP to rally around Cruz in hopes of defeating Trump.
And indeed, Rubio and Cruz had been desperate to stop the Trump juggernaut as Super Tuesday began. Earlier, Rubio went so far as to question Trump’s manhood.
“He’s like 6’2”, which is why I don’t understand why his hands are the size of someone who is 5’2”. Have you seen his hands? They’re like this,” Rubio said. “And you know what they say about men with small hands? You can’t trust them. You can’t trust them.”
On Tuesday before the vote, Trump responded.
“He said I have small hands. Actually I’m 6’3”, not 6’2”, but he said I had small hands. They’re not small, are they? I never heard — I never heard that one before. I’ve always had people say, ‘Donald, you have the most beautiful hands,’” Trump said. “He wanted to be Don Rickles, but it hasn’t worked because he’s gone down.”
Trump also said Rubio should drop out of the race if he doesn’t win a single Super Tuesday state.
“He has to get out,” he told Fox News. “He hasn’t won anything.”
But for all Trump’s strength against Republicans, his numbers are not quite so promising when matched up against either of the Democrats. A new CNN poll predicts Trump would lose to Clinton 44 percent to 52 percent and would lose to Sanders 43 percent to 55 percent among registered voters.
CBS News Political Director John Dickerson said that combination has the Republican Party very worried.
“They’re terrified about what it would be like to have Donald Trump as the nominee,” he said.
Interviewed by phone on ABC’s “Good Morning America” Tuesday, Trump said he was relishing the thought of taking on Clinton in the general election.
“I can tell you the one person Hillary Clinton doesn’t want to run against is me,” he said.
(TM and © Copyright 2016 CBS Radio Inc. and its relevant subsidiaries. CBS RADIO and EYE Logo TM and Copyright 2016 CBS Broadcasting Inc. Used under license. All Rights Reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten, or redistributed. The Associated Press contributed to this report.)