US election

Donald Trump had a terrible night on Tuesday, although you would not know that from his Twitter feed, which went uncharacteristically dark for hours after it emerged that Ted Cruz had crushed him in Wisconsin, aka the Badger State. Looking beyond the headline results should make the tycoon even more concerned, as his Texas rival has started making inroads into some groups – lower-educated and lower-income voters – that had been fertile terrain for Mr Trump.

The creator of this Trump colouring book may need to add some kryptonite to the superhero image of the billionaire on the cover. As for Mr Cruz’s image, he likes to make a virtue out of the fact that he is anti-establishment (which has inspired T-shirts like this), but the Texan may need to change his tune now that the establishment is coming on board to defeat Trump. Read more

After a 10-day lull in the primary calendar, we are back to the races with Tuesday’s Democratic and Republican primaries in Wisconsin. Over the past week, the parties’ contenders have fought it out in Wisconsin, aka “America’s Dairyland” – a key battleground. Read more

Donald Trump is clearly not satisfied with simply being the frontrunner for the Republican presidential nomination. Watch the video he tweeted out today, which suggests that he sees himself as Luke Skywalker. His Republican opponents, who are scared stiff that he will destroy the party, might prefer to say Anakin Skywalker.Trump is facing the prospect of losing to Ted Cruz in the Wisconsin primary on Tuesday. That would increase the odds of a contested convention in July, which in turn would raise GOP hopes that the establishment could parachute in someone to save the party. Increasingly, the whispers in Washington are about Paul Ryan, the Speaker of the House of Representatives, who has denied wanting the job, but has chastised Trump on several occasions recently. Read more

April Fools! These aren’t your real candidates. Oh, wait.

For every 2016-themed April Fools meme dominating the internet, there is yet another reminder that this campaign is very much for real. Read more

Ted Cruz is famous for having almost zero friends in Washington. But the Texas senator seems happy with that situation and is not about to add Donald Trump to his circle even after the New York property mogul visited the US capital to attempt to build bridges with the Republican Party. Appearing on Jimmy Kimmel Live! on Wednesday night, Cruz was asked whether he preferred President Barack Obama or Trump more. Here was his response:

“I dislike Obama’s policies more, but Donald is a unique individual,” Cruz told the comedian. “If I were in my car and getting ready to reverse and saw Donald in the backup camera, I’m not confident which pedal I would push.” Read more

It’s the first week since the Iowa Caucus where there has not been a single Republican caucus or primary. And the news cycle has not been kind to Donald Trump.

Just one day after defending his campaign manager against battery charges, Trump has landed himself in fresh controversy after declaring that “there has to be some sort of punishment” for women who have abortions. Read more

The Easter Bunny has been unkind to Donald Trump. On Tuesday his campaign manager, Corey Lewandowski, was charged with “battery” after a reporter alleged that the former state trooper had yanked, and bruised, her arm at a campaign event. Trump defiantly dismissed the claims and urged people to watch the video of the incident, which police in Florida police released after charging Lewandowski.

In a campaign that has made House of Cards seem tame, it transpired that one of the lawyers representing Lewandowski resigned as a top prosecutor in Florida in 1996 after being accused of biting a stripper. Speaking to reporters on his plane, Trump said he had urged Lewandowski to fight the charges. Texas senator Ted Cruz and Ohio governor John Kasich, the other Republican contenders, slammed Trump over the case. Read more

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Donald Trump escalated his ugly feud with Ted Cruz over the two Republican candidates’ wives on Thursday, retweeting a composite photo of Melania Trump, a former model, and an unflattering image of Heidi Cruz.

The Texas senator replied by calling Trump a coward: “Donald, real men don’t attack women. Your wife is lovely, and Heidi is the love of my life.” Speaking on television later, Cruz continued: “It’s not acceptable for a big loud New York bully to attack my wife … It is an action of a small and petty man who is intimated by strong women”. Read more

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Jeb Bush emerged from oblivion on Wednesday to hit Donald Trump by endorsing Ted Cruz. The anti-establishment Cruz has now lined up support from three establishment pillars: Bush, Mitt Romney and Lindsey Graham – yes, the South Carolina senator who previously said nobody would shed a tear if Cruz were murdered. “I’ve never had an event hosted by someone who three weeks earlier called for my murder,” Cruz joked. Read more

While the US election campaign has provided plenty of fodder for the entertainment shows, the horrendous attacks in Belgium have again ​underscored why the policies of the candidates should be scrutinised. But first, we ​would like to offer our heartfelt condolences to the families ​and friends ​of the victims of the massacre. Read more

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Another day, another stroll in Trumpistan. Donald Trump started by telling the Washington Post that the US should play a lesser role in Nato – the 28-member military alliance that has formed the bedrock of the transatlantic security relationship since the second world war. He then met a group of Republican lawmakers in an effort to convince the party to back his anti-establishment populist campaign – coming days after he warned about “riots” if the party stole the nomination from him.

Pivoting from politics and geopolitics to geotourism, he held a press conference at the Old Post Office in Washington – a historic building that will soon reopen as Trump International Hotel. The property mogul began with a description of the 300 luxury rooms – everything from bathroom fixtures to the marble – before turning the event into a reverse version of The Apprentice.

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With Republican elders’ anti-Trump battle shifting into desperation mode, party operatives are debating ways of torpedoing the tycoon’s candidacy at the GOP convention this summer.

One former candidate who has been on the wrong end of the establishment’s machinations is ex-congressman Ron Paul, who on Friday took to the airwaves to predict senior party figures would use any means necessary to block a Trump nomination. Read more

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As an Irishman, let me wish everyone Happy Saint Patrick’s Day. A US diplomat once asked if I knew the definition of Irish Alzheimer’s. When I confessed not, he said: “You forget everything except for the grudge.” Read more

After Jeb Bush scared Mitt Romney out of running in 2016 only to be outshone by Marco Rubio, his former protégé, one Republican joked that the ghost of Banquo had brought Macbeth to Miami. But on Super Tuesday – March 15 – it was Julius Caesar and the Ides of March that took centre stage in the Sunshine State. Donald Trump won a huge victory in the state, prompting “Little Marco” to drop out of the GOP race. Read more

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On Super Tuesday 2, the five primary races — in Florida, Ohio, Illinois, Missouri and North Carolina — helped to draw the contours of the nomination for the White House. Donald Trump knocked Marco Rubio out of the Republican race by winning Florida and three more states, reinforcing his status as the party frontrunner, but lost to John Kasich in Ohio, complicating his path to Washington. Hillary Clinton secured overwhelming victories in Florida, Ohio and North Carolina, and a far narrower win in Illinois, putting her much closer to securing the Democratic nomination.Track the results and reaction as it happened: 

Donald Trump’s press conference in Florida today was like a Peter Sellers movie. Ben Carson, the neurosurgeon who recently quit the race, endorsed Trump and said there were “two different Donald Trumps” – the public persona and the private “cerebral” persona who would be appearing more frequently on the trail.

Asked about this, the cerebral Trump said: “Perhaps there are two Donald Trumps”. But minutes later his alter-ego corrected him: “I don’t think there are two Donald Trumps”. Trump likes to shout “Stand up!” to human props at his rallies. Well, would the @realDonaldTrump please stand up! Read more

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President Barack Obama said it was “novel” that Republicans were blaming him for their primary “circus” and criticised the GOP for “creating an environment where somebody like a Donald Trump can thrive”. Here are his comments, made at a press conference alongside Justin Trudeau, the Canadian Prime Minister. Read more

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Donald Trump is going for the kill in Florida on March 15. After sweeping three of the four states that voted on Tuesday, the pugnacious tycoon wants to knock out “Little Marco” – his pet name for Marco Rubio who has seen his Marcomentum turn into Marcollapse after he failed to win a single delegate on Tuesday night. Read more

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Polls will soon close in Michigan and Mississippi. Republicans are also voting in Idaho and Hawaii, but the focus is Michigan, which has the most number of delegates on offer and may give an indication of how rust-belt states, including Ohio on March 15, will vote. In the GOP race, the big question is whether Donald Trump is losing steam. Ted Cruz did better than expected on Saturday, winning two states and giving the mogul a run for his money in Kentucky and Louisiana – a performance that landed the Texas senator with more delegates than Trump on the night. Read more

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Michael Bloomberg is not running for president. The New York billionaire ended months of speculation that he might challenge another New York billionaire – no prizes for guessing who that is – and the Democratic contenders. The former New York mayor concluded that he could not win enough electoral college votes in November and worried that entering the race would hand the White House to a Republican.

“There is a good chance that my candidacy could lead to the election of Donald Trump or Senator Ted Cruz. That is not a risk I can take in good conscience,” he said in deciding not to launch an independent bid. Read more