Republican presidential candidate Ted Cruz tells supporters that as the votes are still being counted, ''the networks have called the state of Kansas for us.'' Rough Cut (no reporter narration).
ROUGH CUT (NO REPORTER NARRATION) U.S. Republican presidential candidate Ted Cruz gained momentum on Saturday, projected as the winner of the nominating contest in Kansas and the winner of a "straw poll" of conservative activists. Cruz, currently in second place in a Republican field that has been winnowed to just four, is seeking to dent the lead of brash New York billionaire Donald Trump. Trump and Democrat Hillary Clinton are each looking to strengthen their front-runner status as five states hold presidential nominating contests on Saturday. Trump has a substantial lead in the delegates needed to secure the nomination at the Republican National Convention and is trying to weather a barrage of blistering attacks from his party's establishment as Republicans vote in Kansas, Kentucky, Louisiana and Maine. Polling has been scarce in all four states, which together account for just 155 delegates, and the four contests are open only to registered Republicans. The exclusion of the independent voters who have helped Trump's surge adds an air of uncertainty to the latest round of state-by-state contests to pick nominees for the Nov. 8 election to succeed President Barack Obama. Both CNN and MSNBC projected Cruz as the winner in Kansas.