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Donald Trump Projected To Win GOP Primary In Georgia


We're going to turn now to NPRs Ron Elving here in the studio. So Ron, just a recap - Bernie Sanders projected to have one Vermont, Hillary Clinton projected to have one Virginia and Georgia. And yet the Republican race - too close to call.

RON ELVING, BYLINE: We do have a projection now from the Associated Press that is for the state of Georgia. And Donald Trump is projected by AP to be the winner in Georgia. We don't have a result yet for either Virginia or Vermont on the Republican side. But as you say, we have seen those states called on the Democratic side, and now Georgia has been called for Donald Trump.

SHAPIRO: Donald Trump was the frontrunner on the Republican side going into tonight. What are the states we should watch for to see, well, if Donald Trump wins those states, then his rivals should be really worried?

ELVING: Texas is No. 1. Texas is the second-most popular state in the country. It is Ted Cruz's home state. Ted Cruz absolutely must win that state to remain viable as a real threat to Donald Trump. So that's the first one. We expect Ted Cruz to win there. The question will be the margin. Any one of the other states that Donald Trump may lose, the question would be the margin.

SHAPIRO: Let's turn now to Ron Nehring, who is the California state chairman for the campaign of Republican Ted Cruz. Welcome to the program.

RON NEHRING: Thank you for having me.

SHAPIRO: As we just heard, your candidate Ted Cruz is expected to carry Texas tonight. Do you see other states where you think he can defeat Donald Trump out of the dozen or so that are voting today?

NEHRING: Yeah. I think there are a number of possibilities because our data shows that we've been competitive with Donald Trump and the number of the other states. I don't want to get into the curtain of what he's saying in the element of this. But we'll see. It's early. I expect we are going to have a good night in Texas. So we'll see what happens, of course.

SHAPIRO: This week, Senator Cruz has made it a big point to call out Donald Trump for not releasing his taxes. Why do you think Cruz has made that such a priority right now?

NEHRING: Well it's really important for our party. We nominate a candidate who's been thoroughly vetted. And the nominating process itself is not only designed to give us a nominee but also to make sure that that nominee is thoroughly vetted (inaudible) and that's based on having complete information. Donald Trump...

SHAPIRO: You know, Ron Nehring, I'm afraid we're losing you. Your mobile phone is cutting out. We're going to try to come back to you later in the evening. But we're going to leave it there just to recap briefly what you were saying. It sounds like you were saying candidates need to be thoroughly vetted and calling on Donald Trump to release his tax returns is one part of that. Ron Elving, do you think that's likely to be a fruitful line of attack from republican rivals to Trump?

ELVING: It depends on what you mean by fruitful and your timeline. In terms of stopping Trump in Super Tuesday terms, it seems to have come a little late. In terms of perhaps throwing some shade on his candidate prospects going down the road, perhaps it will yield something. We also saw a controversy emerge this week about an interview that Donald Trump apparently gave - an off the record interview - to the New York editorial - New York Times editorial board in which he talked about his supposedly real views on immigration which might differ somewhat from what he's been so famously talking about on the campaign trail.

SHAPIRO: So much more to come tonight. NPRs Ron Elving, thanks for being with us.

ELVING: Thank you, Ari.

SHAPIRO: And we want to hear from you. If you have questions about Super Tuesday, tweet us @nprpolitics or find us on Facebook. Lot's more to come - stay tuned. Transcript provided by NPR, Copyright NPR.

Ron Elving is Senior Editor and Correspondent on the Washington Desk for NPR News, where he is frequently heard as a news analyst and writes regularly for NPR.org.