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What We Learned From Tuesday's Primaries

Tuesday night was a good one for Donald Trump. (Photo By Tom Williams/CQ Roll Call)

Donald Trump stayed strong in the south and Florida Sen. Marco Rubio's campaign looked weak, despite high-profile endorsement in the Republican primaries. On the Democratic side, former Secretary of State Hillary Clinton won by a large margin over Vermont Sen. Bernard Sanders in Mississippi, continuing her southern dominance, though in Michigan, Sanders pulled out a close win and a stunning upset. And the race continues.  

So what's next for the campaigns and how will they adjust strategies before upcoming debates and important primaries?  

Down-Ballot Democrats Tread Carefully on Guantanamo Closure (Updated)

Ayotte has questioned Hassan's position on closing Guantanamo. (Bill Clark/CQ Roll Call File Photo)

Updated 2:59 p.m. | President Barack Obama has vowed to fulfill his 2008 campaign promise to close Guantánamo Bay, Cuba, military prison, with two detainees having already been transferred abroad this week.  

But Democrats running for Congress in a year when national security has ascended to the forefront of voters' minds are making campaign promises of their own that don't necessarily align with helping the president fulfill his 8-year-old pledge. In Congress and on the campaign trail, Republicans say the facility will be around forever under their watch, setting up a fundamental contrast between the president and the Republican Party about what's a bigger threat to national security — closing the facility or keeping it open.  

McConnell and Ryan Aren't Sweating 2016 Presidential Nominee

McConnell dismissed talk of a brokered convention. (Mark Wilson/Getty Images)

Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell and House Speaker Paul D. Ryan both said Tuesday they aren’t worried about the Republican presidential primary and suggested they believe an establishment candidate will ultimately prevail.

Appearing back-to-back at a Politico Playbook breakfast, McConnell and Ryan, who rarely comment on presidential politics, dodged questions about specific candidates such as Donald Trump or Ted Cruz. But they offered some insight into how they think the 2016 elections will unfold and downplayed suggestions that a highly contested GOP primary battle will hurt the party. 

RNC Scraps New York City Fundraising Dinner After Ryan Can't Attend

Ryan's political operation said late Tuesday that he wouldn't be able to attend the Wednesday dinner. (Photo By Bill Clark/CQ Roll Call)

A big-ticket fundraiser benefiting the Republican National Committee is being called off because of the House schedule.  

Speaker Paul D. Ryan, R-Wis., had committed to be the headliner at the RNC Presidential Trust Dinner in New York City Wednesday evening, in a last major role as chairman of the trust, which is effectively the party's conduit for fundraising that benefits the eventual Republican presidential nominee.  

The Winners and Losers of the CNBC Debate

Rubio, right, turned the tables on an attack by Bush. (Justin Sullivan/Getty Images)

Sens. Marco Rubio and Ted Cruz delivered the strongest performances in Wednesday night’s Republican presidential debate, a group of GOP strategists told CQ Roll call, and should see a bounce in their poll numbers between now and the next faceoff in two weeks.  

“Rubio delivered yet another solid performance in which he demonstrated what a good candidate he is. And how formidable he could be in November," said Jason Roe, who has managed and advised congressional campaigns, including that of former House Majority Leader Tom DeLay of Texas.  

RNC Looks to Empower GOP Women to Run

Capito, right, speaks with Saba Ahmed during the "Empowering Leaders for the Future" Women's summit hosted by the RNC. (Tom Williams/CQ Roll Call)

Sharon Day rose through the ranks of GOP politics, starting as a precinct captain in her native Florida and eventually co-chairing the Republican National Committee.  

But Day said she'd never be in the position she's in today if people hadn't empowered her to run for those roles. And she's made it her mission to pay it forward to encourage more Republican women to become activists in the party and to run for office — all in the hopes of making women a more integral part of the GOP.  

At Debate Night at the Movies, Cheers for Candidates, and the Moderators

Charleston area Republicans watch the Republican debate on Thursday at the Mount Pleasant Cinebarre Theater in Mount Pleasant, S.C. (Bill Clark/CQ Roll Call)

MOUNT PLEASANT, S.C. — It was a full house at a South Carolina movie house Thursday night for a special show: the first Republican presidential debate of the 2016 cycle.  

The venue was perfect for a show with bombastic businessman Donald Trump. RollCall-On-the-Road-Logo(300x300) But in a crowd that, based on stickers and buttons, seemed to hew conservative, Trump, the leading candidate in the polls, got a decidedly mixed reception.  

Republicans Aiming to Register Voters at NASCAR

Many of the fans the RNC plans to approach this weekend would want to see Dale Earnhardt Jr. in victory lane. (Jerry Markland/Getty Images File Photo)

Reince Priebus won't be behind the wheel of a stock car, but the the Republican National Committee is going to Daytona International Speedway.  

Spectators at this weekend's NASCAR races in Florida will be encouraged to register to vote. You might say the party's staff and volunteers will be "at the races" — literally.  

How to Fix an Unfair Presidential Debate System

A Santorum fan in Iowa awaits the August 2011 presidential debate. The former senator could be excluded from this year's debates. (Tom Williams/CQ Roll Call File Photo)

Fox News and CNN, which will broadcast the first two GOP presidential debates, have decided on a system for excluding candidates that could result in Donald Trump participating in those debates but current or former senators and governors being excluded.  

Nice going, guys.  

RNC Media Aide Moves to RSLC for 2016 Cycle