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Hillary Clinton, Donald Trump win Florida; Marco Rubio drops out of race to White House

Marco Rubio, the Florida senator who staked his once-promising campaign on winning in his home state, dropped out of the presidential race shortly after the polls closed.

By: AP | Washington | Updated: March 16, 2016 2:23 pm
Democratic presidential candidate, Hillary Clinton takes selfies with supporters before speaking during a rally at Cuyahoga Community College Tuesday, March 8, 2016, in Cleveland. (AP Photo/Tony Dejak) Democratic presidential candidate, Hillary Clinton takes selfies with supporters at a rally in Cleveland. (AP Photo)

Donald Trump scored a decisive win Tuesday in Florida, but lost Ohio to the state’s governor, John Kasich, as the billionaire’s rivals desperately tried to stop his march to the party’s presidential nomination. Hillary Clinton padded her lead over Bernie Sanders with victories in Florida, Ohio and North Carolina.

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Marco Rubio, the Florida senator who staked his once-promising campaign on winning in his home state, dropped out of the presidential race shortly after the polls closed. That leaves Kasich as the last true establishment candidate running against Trump and arch-conservative Texas Sen. Ted Cruz.

In Pics | Super Tuesday primaries: Donald Trump, Hillary Clinton lead US presidential race

Trump looked for wins in Tuesday’s five primaries to help build an insurmountable lead in the all-important delegate count. Florida was the biggest prize — the first winner-take-all contest decided — with all 99 delegates going to Trump.

The brash and controversial reality TV star has upended the political establishment by winning most of the state-by-state competitions for delegates who will choose the Republican nominee. He has seized on Americans’ anger with Washington politicians, winning over voters with his simply worded promise to make America great again.

Kasich’s win, capturing all of Ohio’s 66 delegates, was crucial to slowing Trump’s momentum. While Trump has amassed the most delegates going into Tuesday, he’s won fewer than 50 percent of them. If that pace continues, he would fall short of the majority that he would need to assure him the nomination at the party’s convention in July. The result could be a contested convention, creating an unpredictable outcome.

This is the first victory for Kasich, whose upbeat message and long record of government service has had little resonance as his rivals seized on voter’s anxiety and disdain for Washington. While he could benefit from Rubio dropping out, he is unlikely to overtake Trump, though he could help keep Trump below the 50 percent threshold.

With Trump’s win in Florida, he now has 568 delegates. Cruz has 370, Kasich 129 and Rubio left the race with 163. It takes 1,237 delegates to win the Republican nomination for president.

In the Democratic race, Clinton’s victories in Florida and North Carolina were expected, but Sanders, a Vermont senator and self-described democratic socialist, had hopes of taking the industrial state of Ohio. He has criticized the former secretary of state for her past support for trade deals. Sanders is unlikely to overtake Clinton in the delegate count, but his victory last week in Michigan underscored the unease that many party voters have about her candidacy.

At her victory rally in West Palm Beach, Florida, Clinton declared her eagerness to move on to a possible general election showdown with Trump.

“We are moving closer to securing the Democratic Party nomination and winning this election in November,” she told cheering supporters.

Trump has alienated many Republicans and Democrats alike with his disparaging remarks about Mexicans, Muslims and women among others. He entered Tuesday’s primaries embroiled in one of the biggest controversies of his contentious campaign. He has encouraged supporters to confront protesters at his events and is now facing accusations of encouraging violence after skirmishes at a rally last week in Chicago that he ended up cancelling.

“I don’t think I should be toning it down because I’ve had the biggest rallies of anybody probably ever,” Trump said Tuesday on ABC’s “Good Morning America.” ”We have had very, very little difficultly.”

Rubio and Kasich have suggested they might not be able to support Trump if he’s the nominee, an extraordinary stance for intraparty rivals. All of the candidates had earlier pledged to support the nominee.

Rubio implicitly rebuked Trump throughout a speech in Miami announcing he was dropping out of the race, imploring Americans to “not give in to the fear, do not give in to the frustration.”

Kasich vowed never to take the “low road” to the “highest office in the land” in his victory speech to cheering supporters in Berea, Ohio.

Alluding to Trump, President Barack Obama said Tuesday he was dismayed by “vulgar and divisive rhetoric” directed at women and minorities as well as the violence that has occurred in the campaign.

Trump has been the target of millions of dollars in negative advertising in recent weeks, including one ad campaign that highlights his statements that appear to encourage violence — among them, “I’d like to punch him in the face.”

Clinton earned at least 175 delegates Tuesday. Sanders will win at least 73. Clinton now has a total of at least 1,410, while Sanders has at least 653. It takes 2,383 to win the Democratic nomination.

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  1. A
    Mar 16, 2016 at 7:06 am
    Anybody you don't agree with is dumb! That sounds an awful lot like Donald Trump himself, do you know who YOU really are, LOL?
    1. A
      Mar 16, 2016 at 5:40 am
      It will be Clinton vs Trump.
      1. P
        Mar 16, 2016 at 2:47 am
        "Democratic presidential candidate, Hillary Clinton takes selfies with supporters at a rally in Cleveland "- Sorry, but it is the supporters who are taking selfie with Clinton.She does not have a camera in hand to take selfies with supporters.
        1. C
          Mar 16, 2016 at 9:28 am
          Many people in India perhaps don't know Donald is married third time but that is his personal matter in western societies divorce and marriage is simpler and common. He has talked about India taking jobs from america and if he becomes president he will work to stop jobs from going to India. India people can focus on improving their life from within itself. India has resources of its own in terms of intellect and working cl both. For example India has railway engine and car manufacturing facilities they can expand them more and make more railroad cars and in doing so per railroad cost will go down but per total income of railroad equipment manufacture will go up giving more benefits to rail manufacturing industry, now in turn railways will get more trains and train cars at reduced price so they will be able to put more train cars on railways providing more services to train riders which is needed and travelers will get better rail services for lower fares and will be able to produce more commodities with lower cost rates that in turn will help the first of circle the railroad engine/car industry employees get commodity at better prices. India can do so much by just looking within itself to get better. The west has brainwashed India/Indians for long that beat way for India is to do trade with the west. I don't know but somewhere in India grapes and oranges grows that fruits need to be helped to grow more if it is possible to make grapes and fresh oranges available year around at better prices so textile workers in cities can stay healthier (for example) and still produce textile at better prices for workers in Orange/grape farms. Why Indian politicians/government did not support Indian companies like HAL to produce airplanes for Indian airlines in India even though we have big tech cities like Hydrabad and Banglore. Air India keeps buying Airbus and Boeing. India government can say same thing to companies in India if they produce airliners in India for and for even export then government can give tax break or even subsidies as India can save foreign exchange and be more self reliant just like what Trump is talking about america. Indian politicians in last few decades forgot what hi advocated Deshi movement and went on advocating foreign direct investment, for what(?). The F D I in a sense controls India destiny in a long shot as they have control on when and where they can pull back there money from India to their advantage. It is fine learning science and business from anywhere in world but to think of depending for progress on business outside India has been taken too far in name of openness and being forward thinking nation. Forward thinking does not have to be foolish to give away our own home and smile. Being Indian American I believe in Mr. Trump for reasons I believe even though his thoughts about what India taking Jobs away I don't believe he is against India and he is smart man and reasonable also that is how he has built business. He probably will work with India in a way to balance benefits of trade more fair to America but in turn him being reasonable he will be less hesitant in sharing partnership in development of science and technology with India and many other countries around world. On another matter he is pro choice (freedom to choose for women) but he personally favors life against abortion, the cause i like so he perhaps will encourage lowering unwanted pregnancies and also will try not to let taxpayer money spent on abortions. Mr. Trump can be good for both America and India.
          1. I
            Mar 16, 2016 at 4:26 am
            Established POLITICIANS are FEARING Mr TRUMP upsetting their apple cart and gravy trains. ...... INDIA too needs some one like Mr TRUMP who can call a SPADE a SPADE rather than COVER UP FACTS DIPLOMATICALLY
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