NECMF

Mar 15, 2016 11:21 PM

Clinton gains momentum, Rubio bows out, Kasich defeats Trump in Ohio in latest primaries

The Associated Press

Well it's just about to call it a night for another exciting round of Tuesday primaries. Marco Rubio has suspended his campaing, Donald Trump won big in Florida - but faltered in Ohio, losing to John Kasich, and Hillary Clinton picked up even more momentum against Bernie Sanders.

Take a look at how the night unfolded.

11:00 p.m.

Ted Cruz is vowing that "tonight was a good night," even though he has yet to win any of the five states that held Republican primaries.

Addressing hundreds of raucous supporters at a hotel in his hometown of Houston, Cruz said that "after tonight, America now has a clear choice."

Cruz said that only he and Donald Trump have a shot at winning the Republican nomination.

He didn't name Ohio Gov. John Kasich, who captured his home state Tuesday. But Cruz said other campaigns have "no mathematical possibility whatsoever."

___

10:50 p.m.

Ted Cruz says he is welcoming Marco Rubio's former supporters "with open arms."

Cruz said at a Houston rally that the battle for the Republican presidential nomination battle was a "two person race" between himself and Donald Trump.

Rubio suspended his presidential campaign on Tuesday.

He did not mention Josh Kasich by name but clearly was belittling his chances. Kasich won his home state of Ohio on Tuesday but that has been his only victory of the year.

Cruz has won seven states but still significantly trails Trump in delegates. The Texas Senator claimed that the media was "rooting" for Trump because he is the only candidate Hillary Clinton could beat.

Cruz has yet to win a state on Tuesday though the race in Missouri has not yet been called.

___

10:45 p.m.

Presidential candidate Bernie Sanders' campaign strategist says that the "first half of the process" toward winning the Democratic nomination is over and the campaign feels "very good about the calendar ahead."

Tad Devine pushed back Tuesday against the suggestion that the Ohio results were bad for Sanders, saying that "our goal was to win as many delegates as possible."

Looking ahead, Devine said he was confident about Sanders' chances in the next three contests — Arizona, Idaho and Utah on March 22 — calling them all states the campaign thinks they can win.

He also said that Sanders was immune to any push to drop out because of his small-batch fundraising.

"The millions who are out there believe in him and believe in his message," Devine said.

___

10:25 p.m.

Donald Trump is adding to his lead in the delegate race with victories in Florida, North Carolina and Illinois.

Trump has won at least 159 delegates in Tuesday's contests. John Kasich has picked up at least 73 delegates — most of them for winning Ohio — while Ted Cruz has won at least 24 and Marco Rubio will get at least four.

There are still 107 delegates left to be allocated.

The overall race for delegates:

Trump: 619.

Cruz: 394.

Rubio: 167.

Kasich: 136.

It takes 1,237 delegates to win the Republican nomination for president.

___

10:05 p.m.

Donald Trump is congratulating Marco Rubio for running a "tough campaign."

Rubio suspended his campaign Tuesday after getting routed in his home state of Florida. Though Trump mercilessly mocked Rubio in recent weeks, calling him "little Marco," he briefly changed his tune during his victory speech.

Trump said during his rally at his Mar-a-Lago resort that the senator was a "tough, smart" candidate who has "a great future."

Rubio earlier in the night congratulated Trump for his victory in Florida. The two had exchanged bitter broadsides for weeks, including some angry exchanges at recent debates.

___

10:00 p.m.

Donald Trump is marking his latest string of victories by saying he is bringing new voters to the Republican party.

Trump said Tuesday during a victory rally at his Mar-a-Lago home in Florida that "something is happening" in the Republican Party that is being noticed "all over the world."

He touted increased voter turnout and a rise in new voters who have come out to support him.

The celebrity businessman won Tuesday in North Carolina, Illinois and Florida. His rout in Florida, the home of Marco Rubio, effectively ended the senator's White House bid.

John Kasich won his first contest of the primary process by taking his home state of Ohio on Tuesday. Ted Cruz has not yet won a state.

___

9:53 p.m.

Donald Trump is winning the Republican presidential primary in Illinois, where his rally was canceled last week in Chicago over security concerns.

His victory Tuesday comes after an earlier win in Florida and North Carolina. It increases his delegate lead over the rest of the Republican field.

That field shrank by one on Tuesday as Marco Rubio dropped out. But John Kasich captured his first victory of the nominating contest by winning his home state of Ohio.

Ted Cruz has yet to win a state Tuesday.

___

9:50 p.m.

Donald Trump has won the Republican presidential primary in North Carolina.

His victory Tuesday comes after an earlier win in Florida and increases his delegate lead over the rest of the Republican field.

That field shrank by one on Tuesday as Marco Rubio dropped out. But John Kasich captured his first victory of the nominating contest by winning his home state of Ohio, nabbing all 66 delegates there.

Ted Cruz has yet to win a state Tuesday.

___

9:42 p.m.

Bernie Sanders was handed three early defeats on Tuesday — but his speech carried little mention of them.

Sanders lost Ohio, Florida and North Carolina to Democratic rival Hillary Clinton, who added to her delegate lead. But, in a speech to supporters in Phoenix, he barely discussed those contests or the day's races in Illinois or Missouri that have not been called.

Sanders instead delivered his standard campaign speech, decrying the influence of big money in politics. He vowed that "billionaires would have to pay their fair share."

The Vermont senator has struggled to win the south, instead claiming some victories in the Midwest.

___

9:40 p.m.

Marco Rubio exits the presidential race having won 163 delegates to the Republican National Convention this summer.

The vast majority of those delegates will be sought-after free agents, free to support the candidate of their choice — unless Rubio tries to resurrect his campaign at a contested convention.

GOP rules require delegates to vote for the candidate who won them on the first ballot at the convention. However, most state parties release those delegates if their candidate is no longer running.

If Rubio jumps back in the race, he keeps his delegates.

Rubio can ask them to support another candidate, but they don't have to.

___

9:35 p.m.

Ted Cruz says his "friend and colleague" Marco Rubio ran "an optimistic campaign focused on the future of our party."

In a statement released shortly after the Florida senator suspended his presidential campaign, Cruz said he's certain Rubio will continue to be "a champion for limitless opportunity in America."

Cruz lost Tuesday's major winner-take-all contests — in Florida to Donald Trump and Ohio to the state's governor, John Kasich.

But his campaign was still hoping to pick up delegates in states that award delegates proportionally: Missouri, Illinois and North Carolina.

Cruz has said for weeks he's the only candidate in the field who can beat Trump one-on-one.

___

9:30 p.m.

John Kasich says he won't take the "low road" in his party's divisive presidential primary after a home-state win in Ohio.

The Ohio governor beat back a challenge from Donald Trump in a home-state election Tuesday that keeps Kasich's underdog campaign alive. He's one of just three candidates left in the race after rival Marco Rubio dropped out of the race earlier Tuesday.

"The campaign goes on," Kasich told a crowd in Berea, Ohio Tuesday night.

Kasich's speech was interrupted by a protester wearing clothes with Trump's campaign logo — "Make America Great Again.

To that, Kasich joked that he appreciates a good, "peaceful protest every once in a while" since he went to college in the 1970's.

___

9:15 p.m.

By winning the Republican primary in Ohio, John Kasich picked up all 66 of the state's delegates to the Republican National Convention.

Now all he has to do is win 91 percent of the remaining delegates and he can clinch the nomination before the convention this summer.

Marco Rubio has more delegates than Kasich has, and the Florida senator suspended his campaign Tuesday night.

Donald Trump still leads the race for delegates, with 568. Ted Cruz has 370 delegates, Kasich has 129 and Rubio left the race with 163.

It takes 1,237 delegates to win the Republican nomination for president.

___

9:05 p.m.

Hillary Clinton says a president must be ready to "start making decisions" immediately upon assuming office since it's a job that will affect every person on the planet.

Clinton, a Democrat, did not mention Republican front-runner Donald Trump by name. But she said Tuesday that any president would have to keep the country safe, make "positive changes" in people's lives and unite the country.

Clinton has repeatedly accused Trump of using divisive rhetoric. She also called for all candidates to lay out specifics — including the cost — of their plans, something she has repeatedly asked of her Democratic rival Bernie Sanders.

Clinton has won at least three state primaries on Tuesday: Florida, Ohio and North Carolina. And she has widened her delegate lead over rival Bernie Sanders.

___

9:00 p.m.

Hillary Clinton is declaring that she is moving closer to the Democratic nomination after three early states wins on Tuesday.

Clinton won the presidential primaries in Florida, Ohio and North Carolina, widening her significant delegate lead over rival Bernie Sanders.

Clinton celebrated in Florida with supporters, declaring it "another super Tuesday for our campaign" and said it was another step closer to winning the White House.

___

8:55 p.m.

The delegate lead for Hillary Clinton continues to grow thanks to a big win in North Carolina.

With 107 delegates at stake, she will win at least 56. Sanders will gain at least 24.

That means for the night Clinton has earned at least 175 delegates so far, having also won Florida. Sanders will win at least 73.

In all, 691 delegates are up for grabs in five states.

Including superdelegates, the lead is bigger. Clinton now has a total of at least 1,410, while Sanders has at least 653. It takes 2,383 to win.

Still to come: results in Ohio, Missouri and Illinois.

___

8:50 p.m.

Ohio Gov. John Kasich scored his first win of the presidential nomination contest, grabbing all 66 delegates in the Ohio primary, in what could ultimately stall Donald Trump's decisive dash to the nomination.

Kasich entered the GOP presidential race as an underdog but surged to prominence after he secured second place in New Hampshire's primary last month.

Steering clear of the boisterous, often belligerent rhetoric exchanged by his GOP rivals, Kasich has sought to distinguish himself as the candidate with a positive message. He avoided direct criticism of front-runner Trump until recent days, when he expressed concern that the billionaire businessman was encouraging violence at his rallies.

Kasich remains in last place among the GOP contenders. He had been in fourth place, trailing Marco Rubio, who ended his campaign earlier Tuesday after a humiliating loss to Trump in his home state of Florida.

___

8:45 p.m.

Marco Rubio spoke over boos from the audience as he congratulated Florida primary winner Donald Trump. Rubio offered the crowd an emotional evaluation on the state of politics in the United States Tuesday as he ended his bid for the White House.

The Florida senator sought to calm his supporters, and took a heckler in stride, saying the person would "not get beat up" at his rally, a swipe at the recent disturbances at some of Trump's rallies.

He said that he would offer "a prayer" for the eventual Republican nominee but did not suggest it would be Trump, who has a significant delegate lead over Ted Cruz and John Kasich. He has waffled of late as to whether he would support Trump if the celebrity businessman became the Republican standard-bearer.

Rubio also bemoaned the current political climate in which people "literally hate each other" because they differ politically.

___

8:40 p.m.

Hillary Clinton has won the Democratic presidential primary in Ohio, earning her third win in Tuesday's quintet of contests.

Clinton already scored victories in Florida and North Carolina, earning 175 additional delegates before winning Ohio.

Contests in Missouri and Illinois have not yet been decided.

___

8:35 p.m.

The delegate lead for Hillary Clinton continues to grow thanks to a big win in North Carolina.

With 107 delegates at stake, she will win at least 56. Sanders will gain at least 24.

That means for the night Clinton has earned at least 175 delegates so far, having also won Florida. Sanders will win at least 73.

In all, 691 delegates are up for grabs in five states.

Including superdelegates, the lead is bigger. Clinton now has a total of at least 1,410, while Sanders has at least 653. It takes 2,383 to win.

Still to come: results in Ohio, Missouri and Illinois.

___

8:20 p.m.

Republican Marco Rubio is ending his campaign for the Republican nomination for president after a humiliating loss in his home state of Florida.

Rubio told a crowd in Miami Tuesday that he knows that voters are angry and that there is a hunger for new faces and voices in government.

Rubio's decision was prompted by losses in all but three of the presidential nomination contests but Florida's winner-take-all primary proved the most devastating. Only six years earlier, he was a tea party favorite who crushed the GOP's "establishment" candidate to win a seat in the U.S. Senate.

But the political tables turned on the Florida senator as a 2016 presidential candidate who was lambasted as mainstream in a year when voters cried out for an outsider.

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