Republican presidential front-runner Donald Trump rolled to big wins in Michigan and Mississippi on Tuesday, brushing off a week of withering attacks from the party's establishment to solidify his front-runner status as four US states voted in nominating contests.
Trump's convincing wins over Ohio Governor John Kasich, Ted Cruz, a US senator from Texas, and Marco Rubio, a US senator from Florida, increased the pressure on the party's anti-Trump forces to find a way to stop his march to the nomination ahead of several key contests next week.
Trump had split four nominating contests on Saturday with the conservative Cruz, who had positioned himself as the prime alternative to the brash New York billionaire in the race to be the party's candidate in the Nov. 8 election.
The win in Michigan, the night's biggest prize, could set Trump up for a potentially decisive day of voting on March 15, when the delegate-rich states of Ohio, Florida, Illinois, Missouri and North Carolina cast ballots.
The Republican contests in Florida and Ohio award all the state's delegates to the winner. If Trump, 69, could sweep those two states and pile up delegates elsewhere next week, it could knock home-state favorites Rubio and Kasich out of the race and make it tough for Cruz to catch him.