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GOP contests expected to add tension to Republican race

Last Updated Mar 5, 2016 8:47 AM EST

Voters in five states are casting ballots for presidential candidates Saturday.

The four caucuses and one primary are only expected to add tension to the already heated race.

On Friday night, demonstrators were dragged out of a Donald Trump speech in New Orleans. Trump was trying to rally voters ahead of Saturday's Republican presidential primary in Louisiana.

Trump is the party's front-runner by a wide margin, but other Republicans are working to keep him from winning the party's nomination.

CBS News' Major Garrett reports that another state to watch Saturday is Kansas. Famous for moderate Republicans Dwight David Eisenhower and Bob Dole, Kansas is now a battleground over the soul of the direction of conservatism and the Republican Party.

Trump will be there before Saturday's caucuses. Ted Cruz and Marco Rubio have also made a play for the state and its 40 delegates.

On Friday, Trump sought to take control of the Republican Party the day after clashing with his rivals at the 11th GOP debate.

"This little guy has lied so much about my record," Trump said Thursday, referring to Rubio.

The rift between Trump and the Republican establishment continues to grow. Trump canceled his scheduled Saturday appearance before an annual conference of conservative activists, drawing ridicule from Cruz.

"He was told there were conservatives that were going to be here," Cruz said Friday at the Conservative Political Action Conference in Maryland.

Those conservatives were skeptical of Trump.

"If he doesn't show up, I think he's kind of dodging what's going on here," CPAC attendee Ethan Brown said.

"I don't think he represents our values at all," another attendee, Bob Fischer, said.

As Mitt Romney and other GOP leaders plot ways to deny Trump the nomination, Republican National Committee Chairman Reince Priebus said the turmoil would not hurt the party's chances in the fall.

"Mr. Chairman, is your party coming apart at the seams?" Garrett asked.

"No, not at all," Priebus said. "I think what you see is some drama and some intrigue, and I think that's good for our party."

"What are the probabilities of a open or contested convention?" Garrett asked.

"You know, I don't know about that," Priebus said. "I mean, I still believe that it's likely that we wouldn't go to a contested convention, but whatever the case is we're going to be prepared."

Despite the rancor at Thursday night's debate, all the candidates pledged to support the eventual Republican nominee.

"That's how bad Hillary Clinton is," Rubio said Friday in Kansas before referring to Trump. "... The fact that we keep getting asked, will you vote for the front-runner, as Republicans tells you what a flawed candidate he is."

Retired neurosurgeon Ben Carson announced the end of his candidacy Friday at CPAC. Carson told conservatives, "People love me. They just don't want to vote for me."

He offered no endorsement but observed and warned people usually make bad decisions when they are scared and angry.