Ted Cruz wallops Trump in Kansas caucuses

Texas Senator Ted Cruz scored a decisive victory over billionaire businessman Donald Trump in the Kansas caucuses Saturday, giving the conservative lawmaker a boost in efforts to unseat the current Republican front-runner.

Cruz led with 51 per cent of ballots to Trump's 24 per cent, CNN reported with some 54 per cent of ballots counted. Florida Senator Marco Rubio had 14 per cent and Ohio Governor John Kasich had 9 per cent.

Cruz was also leading in caucuses in the north-eastern state of Maine.

Voting was underway Saturday as five US states went to the polls to make their choices for who should square off in November's presidential election.

The elections are the first since Super Tuesday, in which a dozen states made their decisions and solidified the front-runner status of both Trump and Democrat Hillary Clinton.

Both Democrats and Republicans vote in Kansas and Louisiana, while Republicans caucus in Kentucky and Maine, and Democrats hold similar meetings in Nebraska.

The Republican establishment has been struggling to prevent newcomer Trump from seizing the conservative party's nomination for the general election.

Cruz also received a psychological boost from a closely watched straw poll of conservative activists meeting outside Washington who named him their pick for president.

Nevertheless, Trump remains well ahead in polls for the Republican contests, though he has yet to amass enough delegates to put him entirely out of reach of his competitors.

This week both Mitt Romney and John McCain, the 2012 and 2008 Republican presidential nominees respectively, spoke forcefully against Trump being the nominee.

In the Democratic races, Clinton leads voter surveys over Senator Bernie Sanders of Vermont.

Trump has 329 delegates so far, compared to his nearest rival, Cruz, with 231, according to RealClearPolitics; 1,237 delegates are needed to win.

Clinton has won 1,058 delegates - almost half the amount needed - while Sanders has 431 after Super Tuesday.

Last update: Tue, 28/06/2016 - 17:25

More from World

Russia loses re-election bid for UN Human Rights Council

Russia failed to gather enough votes at the UN General Assembly on Friday to be elected to serve a further three-...

FBI investigating additional Clinton emails

The FBI says it is reviewing new emails that could be relevant to its investigation into Democratic presidential...

Putin says no to Russian military request to resume Aleppo airstrikes

Russian President Vladimir Putin on Friday turned down a request by the military to resume airstrikes on the Syrian...

Erdogan: Turkey is an inspiration for the world

Turkey serves as an inspiration for the world, President Recep Tayyip Erdogan proclaimed on the country's Republic...

Houthi leader: Rebels did not launch missile targeting Mecca

A Houthi leader on Friday denied Saudi allegations that Shiite Houthi rebels launched a ballistic missile from a...