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Prominent conservatives led by Erick Erickson on Thursday called for a unity ticket and a convention fight to stop Republican front-runner Donald Trump, a sign of the growing desperation in the party establishment to find an alternative to the billionaire businessman. "If that unity ticket is unable to get 1,237 delegates prior to the convention, we recognize that it took Abraham Lincoln three ballots at the Republican convention in 1860 to become the party's nominee and if it is good enough for Lincoln, that process should be good enough for all the candidates without threats of riots," Erickson wrote in a statement after conservatives gathered in Washington to discuss ways to thwart Trump's march to the nomination. The long and contentious meeting at the Army Navy Club included discussion about a unity ticket involving Texas Sen. Ted Cruz and Ohio Gov. John Kasich, according to a source familiar with the conversation. But the group decided not to commit to that pairing "because of the egos involved," according to the source. Hillary Clinton has narrowly won the Missouri Democratic primary, and Vermont Sen. Bernie Sanders says he won't request a recount. Clinton led Sanders by 1,531 votes, though some absentee votes still need to be counted. The announcement means Clinton swept all five states that voted in Tuesday night's primaries.For months, South Carolina Republican Sen. Lindsey Graham has been warning the nation about Texas Sen. Ted Cruz. But on Thursday, Graham told CNN that not only is he supporting Cruz, he's fundraising for him. Graham pointed to Donald Trump's rise as the reason, explaining that Cruz might be the only one to stop him. "I think he's the best alternative to beat Donald Trump," Graham told CNN. "I'm going to help Ted in any way I can."

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Anderson Cooper

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Anderson Cooper is the anchor of CNN's Anderson Cooper 360°, a global newscast that goes beyond the headlines with in-depth reporting and investigations. The show airs weeknights at 8:00pm ET on CNN and is simulcast to an international audience on CNN International.

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