WASHINGTON (CBSNewYork/AP) — The math and momentum point to a Republican presidential nomination for Donald Trump after high-stakes primaries in five states, as GOP officials grapple with whether to embrace the billionaire businessman or rally behind a longshot alternative.
Trump strengthened his hand with wins in Florida, North Carolina and Illinois but fell in Ohio to that state’s governor, John Kasich.
The Kasich camp is calling it a new ballgame, saying this makes it clear that no candidate will hit the magic number of delegates before the convention, WCBS 880’s Alex Silverman reported.
“We’ve got one more trip around Ohio this coming fall where we will beat Hillary Clinton and I will become president of the United States,” Kasich told supporters.
Florida Sen. Marco Rubio ended his once-promising campaign after a devastating home-state loss.
“I want to congratulate Donald Trump on his victory,” he told supporters. “While it’s not in God’s plan that I be president in 2016, or maybe ever, and while today my campaign is suspended, the fact that I’ve even come this far is evidence of how special America truly is.”
Democrat Hillary Clinton strengthened her position against Bernie Sanders with primary victories in Florida, Illinois, Ohio and North Carolina on Tuesday, putting her in a commanding position to become the first woman in U.S. history to win a major-party nomination.
Tuesday night, Clinton turned her sights on Trump.
“Our commander-in-chief has to defend our country, not embarrass it,” she said.
Votes were also being counted in Missouri, though races in both parties were too close to call.
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