Trump's appeal divides Tea Party loyalties in crucial states

U.S. Republican presidential candidate Donald Trump speaks at a campaign rally at Winner Aviation in Youngstown, OhioRepublican presidential front-runner Donald Trump has effectively split the conservative Tea Party movement, as his fiery campaign draws in followers of the group who had been expected to line up behind Ted Cruz, a more consistent champion of small government. As the Republican race moves to the crucial battlegrounds of Ohio and Florida among three other states on Tuesday, Tea Party support promises to help Trump’s campaign offset its relative lack of on-the-ground organization compared to Texas Senator Cruz, his closest rival nationally. Having loyal Tea Party supporters could also help him fend off moves to block his nomination at the Republican National Convention in July if he falls short of the threshold of 1,237 delegates that would guarantee him the party’s candidacy.

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