From Jacksonville, Florida –
Keyed by strong victories here in the Sunshine State, Donald Trump and Hillary Clinton chalked up wins in four of five primary states on Tuesday, strengthening their advantage in the race for their party’s nomination for President, as both again started looking toward a possible matchup in November.
“We have to bring our party together,” Trump said to supporters at his Palm Beach estate, again making the case that he has brought
many new voters into the GOP this election year.
Trump added over 200 delegates in all, and extended his lead over Ted Cruz by more than 150.
Not far away, Hillary Clinton was also celebrating her good night in South Florida – and like Trump – was basically saying that she is the eventual nominee.
“We are moving closer to securing the Democratic party nomination and winning this election in November,” Clinton told her supporters.
Let’s look at how everyone did in the March 15 races.
DONALD TRUMP – Trump started his day with a sweep of the nine delegates in the Northern Mariana Islands and never looked back. Trump picked up 99 delegates from his big win in Florida, as he won 66 of the state’s 67 counties; he also won in North Carolina, Illinois and Missouri. While Trump lost Ohio to John Kasich, he more than made up for it with extra delegates in Illinois and Missouri, two states that Ted Cruz had hoped to win. The bottom line – this was a very good night for Donald Trump, and moved him closer to the GOP nomination.
TED CRUZ – When I previewed these primaries yesterday, I talked about the worst case scenario for Cruz, which would be losing all five states. That happened, as Cruz finished behind John Kasich in the number of delegates won on Tuesday night. Cruz came close in North Carolina and close in Missouri. In terms of delegates, Trump came out just a few ahead in those two states – but stylistically, it was a big loss, as Trump could claim outright victories. While Cruz said “we continue to gain delegates,” my quick delegate estimates indicate that Trump may gain more than 150 delegates on Cruz out of this set of primaries.
JOHN KASICH – The Governor of Ohio did what a Governor of Ohio should do – he won his home state, dealing Donald Trump a double digit defeat. Kasich also picked up delegates in North Carolina and Illinois, but he lost ground overall to Trump, who had the best night of the Republican field. Kasich obviously is not going to get out of the race at this point, but he will have to survive for over a month, waiting for states in the East to come into play, like New York, Pennsylvania and Maryland. Kasich won his battle to stay alive, but the anti-Trump forces did not carry the day on Tuesday in their drive to stop Trump from getting a majority at the GOP convention.
MARCO RUBIO – As expected, Marco Rubio lost in Florida, and suspended his campaign for President. Rubio won only his home county, as Trump won Florida by almost 19 points. For Rubio, it was a disappointing finish to a campaign that went up and down like a roller coaster. Rubio did get a half dozen delegates in North Carolina, but that was it.
HILLARY CLINTON – Like Donald Trump, this was a big night for Hillary Clinton, as she by a huge margin of 31 percent in Florida, trailing only in Missouri to Bernie Sanders. Clinton not only won four states, but she extended her delegate lead as well, creating even more inevitability about becoming the Democratic Party nominee for President.
BERNIE SANDERS – There was no repeat of last week’s magic in Michigan for Sanders, who was unable to find a way to break through against Clinton on Tuesday night, other than in Missouri. Sanders was pummeled by almost two to one in Florida, as Sanders couldn’t even get to 30 percent in Palm Beach, Broward or Miami-Dade counties in the southeast of the state. While Sanders vowed to fight on, his path to anything successful has narrowed dramatically.