Former GOP presidential nominee Mitt Romney pledged Friday "to do everything within the normal political bounds" to keep the Republican Party's controversial front-runner, Donald Trump, off the November ballot.

In a debate that featured juvenile one-liners and taunts such as "Little Marco" and "Big Donald", the final question crystallized the emerging reality that Trump is the odds-on favorite to win the nomination.

"They're realizing it's time to coalesce around Ted", Cruz's spokeswoman Alice Stewart said of the Bush fundraisers coming to their side.

"No matter how you feel, if you feel so sick, if your doctor says you're not going to make it throughout the day you're going to be dead in four hours, that doesn't matter, go out and vote", said Trump. Yes, the Republican nominees did make a public promise to support whoever won the primaries, but after Trump's failures to denounce the KKK, his inane ramblings about building a wall and mass deportations based on religion, and excitement over war crimes and torture, maybe it's time to break away from a silly piece of paper. "One of them will be the nominee". Trump countered with a feint, saying he'd called Rubio a "lightweight" in the past but "he's really not that much of a lightweight". "I'm changing. We need highly skilled people in this country".

"He's trying to do to the American voter what he did to the people who signed up for this course", Rubio said.

After months of Kansas being all but ignored in the presidential race, we're finally seeing some of the political action. The Republicans are also in ME and Kentucky, while the Democrats vote in Nebraska. In the last two Republican debates, Trump broke even in terms of positive and negative mentions, according to the firm's analysis, while he enjoyed a 62.5 percent positive sentiment rating during the Republican debate before that.

But, Trump is now the leading candidate, with 336 delegates, as of Thursday evening.

Republican presidential candidate... Senator Marco Rubio acknowledges the audience at a campaign rally in Kansas.

Cruz, tag-teaming on the issue, added, "If we nominate Donald, we're going to spend the fall and the summer with the Republican nominee facing a fraud trial". Trump shrugged when presented with videotaped evidence from the moderators that he had shifted positions on the Iraq war, immigration and whether to admit refugees from the Syrian civil war.

"We're having [a] massive walkout on Saturday when [Trump] comes to speak", one activist, dressed as a Revolutionary War soldier, told the National Review.

Mr Trump may have done little at the debate to win new converts or give his critics reason to reassess their disdain for him.

Trump's not the only guy who gave an answer last night that he needs to account for today.

Romney took issue with Trump's since-reversed proposal that as president he would have USA troops "go tougher than waterboarding".

A Donald Trump backer in Kansas has a stern warning for the establishment figures in the Republican Party who are frantically looking for any way to stop the billionaire businessman from grabbing the presidential nomination.

"These are stupid people", Trump said of the protesters. It takes 2,383 delegates to win the Democratic nomination. But any number of predictions that GOP voters would unite behind one anti-Trump candidate have come and gone without a change in the overall dynamic.

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