Former Republican presidential candidate Jeb Bush endorsed Sen. Ted Cruz, R-Texas, for president on Wednesday morning.

Bush Calls Cruz "Consistent, Principled Conservative"

Coinciding with the results of the March 22 Republican presidential primaries and caucuses, which saw Cruz win the Utah caucus with 69.2 percent of the vote, earning him all 40 delegates, Bush said the Texas senator has shown voter appeal and the ability to win primary and caucus contests.

"Ted is a consistent, principled conservative who has demonstrated the ability to appeal to voters and win primary contests, including yesterday's Utah caucus," wrote Bush in a Facebook post, adding that the stakes in the 2016 election are high, and Americans must overcome the "divisiveness" and "vulgarity" of fellow Republican presidential candidate Donald Trump.

According to Bush, a Trump candidacy will result in the Democrats, likely Hillary Clinton, winning on Election Day this November.

"That is the only way we can reverse President Obama's failed domestic and foreign policy agenda, and turn our country around. Republicans can win back the White House and put our nation on a path to security and prosperity if we support a nominee who can unite our party and articulate how conservative policies will help people rise up and reach their full potential," Bush wrote.

Cruz said he was honored to earn Bush's support and acknowledged the former candidate's track record as Florida's governor.

"Governor Bush was an extraordinary governor of Florida, and his record of job creation and education innovation left a lasting legacy for millions of Floridians," said Cruz. "His endorsement today is further evidence that Republicans are continuing to unite behind our campaign to nominate a proven conservative to defeat Hillary Clinton in November, take back the White House, and ensure a freer and more prosperous America for future generations."

Cruz's Quest to 1,237

On March 23, Arizona and Utah held Republican contests. In Utah's contest, Cruz overwhelmingly won, while Trump placed third, falling behind Ohio Gov. John Kasich. Utah's 40 delegates could have been allocated proportionally, but the state allows a candidate to sweep all 40 delegates if he or she receives a minimum 50 percent of the vote. Since Cruz received 69.2 percent, he secured all 40 delegates, and Trump and Kasich received none.

In Arizona's primary election, Cruz lost to Trump. The businessman won Arizona with 47.1 percent of the vote, while Cruz attracted 24.9 percent, and 10 percent went to Kasich. Arizona's Republican primary is a "winner take all" election, where the first place winner, in this case the victorious Trump, gets all 58 delegates.

Based on projections from RealClearPolitics, Cruz is still behind Trump in the delegate count. Trump has 739 delegates, Cruz has 465 and Kasich has 143. A Republican candidate must secure 1,237 delegates to win the GOP's nomination.

According to the latest Monmouth University national poll, conducted between March 17 and March 20 with 353 likely Republican voters, Trump leads with 41 percent to Cruz's 29 percent. Kasich is not too far behind with 18 percent.

The next Republican contest takes place in North Dakota, as a caucus, on April 1.


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