Florida, Ohio, and North Carolina held their primaries on Tuesday where Hillary Clinton and Donald Trump came out the victors while Sen. Marco Rubio officially dropped out of the presidential race.
The Democratic party moved a lot closer to choosing its nominee on Tuesday night. The Republican party moved a little closer to chaos.
Former secretary of state Hillary Clinton has won at least three of the five states where Democrats voted on Tuesday, with victories in Florida, Ohio and North Carolina. She also held leads over Sen. Bernie Sanders (Vt.) in early returns from the two other states, Missouri and Illinois. Clinton’s staff said they expected to increase their lead in the race for Democratic convention delegates by about 300 — requiring Sanders to stage a near-miraculous comeback in the coming states.
She has now won 15 states, as compared with nine wins for Sanders.
Meanwhile, Trump’s wins forced Rubio out of the running. But a major loss in Ohio could throw a big wrench in his Presidential dreams:
On the Republican side, GOP front-runner Donald Trump won a key contest in Florida — a lopsided victory on the home turf of rival Sen. Marco Rubio, which caused Rubio to declare he was suspending his campaign. That brought Trump all of Florida’s 99 Republican delegates, the biggest prize awarded in any state so far.
Trump has also been projected as the winner in Illinois and North Carolina, two states with 141 delegates between them. But, because those are not “winner-take-all” states, Trump will likely have to split some of those 141 with other candidates. The GOP race in Missouri remains too close to call, although Trump was also leading in early returns there.
But Trump was denied a victory in another key winner-take-all state, Ohio, which was won by its own sitting governor, John Kasich. That victory doesn’t make Kasich a likely nominee: he has now won a grand total of one state. But, without Ohio’s 66 delegates, Trump now faces a difficult path to reach the majority of delegates he needs to avoid a “contested” GOP convention, in which no candidate enters with a majority of delegates locked up. In that chaotic situation — not seen in the GOP since 1976 — delegates could choose one of the candidates who ran, or someone else entirely.