LIVE UPDATES: Rubio Suspends Campaign After Trump Wins Florida's Republican Primary

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Marco Rubio suspending his campaign at Florida International University, Miami, Florida, March 15, 2016.
Marco Rubio suspending his campaign at Florida International University, Miami, Florida, March 15, 2016.Credit: AP
Updates

After crucial win, Kasich sees path to Republican nomination

After a critical win on his home turf, Ohio Governor John Kasich begins a new phase of his long-shot presidential campaign that his aides hope will ultimately propel him past Republican front-runner Donald Trump by triggering a rare contested convention.

Kasich's victory in Ohio's primary on Tuesday, along with the departure from the race of U.S. Senator Marco Rubio, makes him the party establishment's last hope of stopping the New York billionaire businessman from winning the Republican nomination for the Nov. 8 election.

Trump and his closest rival, U.S. Senator Ted Cruz of Texas, are deeply unpopular among Republican insiders.

"I want you to know, the campaign goes on," Kasich, 63, told a victory rally near Cleveland. In a reference to Trump's fiery campaign rhetoric, Kasich added: "I will not take the low road to the highest office in the land."

Trump, 69, notched wins in Florida, Illinois and North Carolina on Tuesday and was projected by MSNBC to win a close race with Cruz in Missouri.

But losing Ohio's winner-take-all contest for 66 delegates complicates his attempt to clinch the 1,237 delegates needed to win his party's nomination before the party's July convention in Cleveland. With most of the remaining states allocating delegates proportionally, Kasich's aides believe he could prevail at a convention at which no candidate enters with a majority.

"The plan is to win Ohio, and some other states, and if that happens, nobody is going to have enough delegates to win the nomination on the first ballot," said John Weaver, Kasich's chief campaign strategist, who also worked on Republican Senator John McCain's losing presidential campaigns in 2000 and 2008.

Kasich's plan, according to aides, is to leverage the momentum to gather more endorsements from mainstream party insiders and Republican donors. With the wind at his back, he hopes to score more victories in upcoming primaries including Pennsylvania, Maryland, Wisconsin, Connecticut and California, where he believes the terrain is friendlier to his brand of Republican moderation.

To become the nominee who faces Democratic contenders Hillary Clinton or Bernie Sanders - in the November election - a Republican needs to win a majority of the 2,472 Republican delegates. After last night's contests, excluding Missouri's, Trump leads with 619 delegates, followed by Cruz with 394. Kasich has 136.

Clinton projected to win Missouri Democratic primary

Hillary Clinton projected to win Missouri Democratic primary, sweeping all five contests on Tuesday.

For the evening, she will gain at least 326 to Sanders' 220.

That means in terms of delegates won from primaries and caucuses to date, she now has at least 1,094 to 774 for Sanders.

Her advantage grows wider when including superdelegates, party leaders who can back any candidate.

Including superdelegates, she now has a total of at least 1,561; that's 66 percent of the total needed to win the Democratic nomination. Sanders has at least 800.

Clinton projected to win Illinois Democratic primary

Hillary Clinton has won the Democratic presidential primary in her native state of Illinois. It's the fourth victory of the night for the former secretary of state over rival Bernie Sanders.

Clinton also posted wins in Ohio, North Carolina and Florida in Tuesday's elections.

Clinton spoke earlier in the night in Florida, and appeared to pivot ahead toward a possible general election contest against Donald Trump.

She suggested the Republican billionaire was not prepared to make the tough decisions required of a president.

Sanders spoke for nearly an hour in Phoenix and delivered his standard stump speech, never mentioning the day's election results.

Sanders camp insists campaign feels very good about the calendar ahead

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.

Cruz welcomes Rubio supporters 'with open arms'

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.

Trump congratulates Rubio on tough campaign, says he has 'a great future'

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.

Trump marks latest victories by saying he's bringing new voters into GOP

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.

Trump projected to win Illinois' Republican primary

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

Trump projected to win North Carolina Republican primary

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.

Cruz praises 'friend and colleague' Rubio for 'optimistic campaign'

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.

Republican presidential candidates Sen. Marco Rubio (left), Donald Trump and Sen. Ted Cruz stand up for the national anthem during a primary debate in Miami on Thursday, March 10, 2016.Credit: Mike Stocker/The Miami Herald via AP

Kasich needs to win 91% of remaining delegates to clinch nomination before convention

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.

Obama likely to announce Supreme Court nominee Wednesday

President Barack Obama is likely to announce either Judge Sri Srinivasan or Judge Merrick Garland as his pick for a U.S. Supreme Court nominee as early as Wednesday, a source familiar with the selection process said on Tuesday. 

The team of advisers helping to vet candidates, line up their public supporters and answer the president's questions had finished its work as of Tuesday, the source said.

Barack Obama and Paul Ryan, March 15, 2016.Credit: Reuters

Clinton declares she's 'moving closer' to securing Democratic nomination

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

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.

Hillary Clinton addresses her supporters in Palm Beach, Florida, March 15, 2016.Credit: AFP

Kasich projected to win Ohio's Republican primary

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.

Clinton projected to win Ohio's Democratic primary

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.

Rubio suspends campaign after Trump wins Florida's GOP primary

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.

Trump picks up 99 delegates with Florida win

Donald Trump's big win in the Florida primary is helping him stretch his lead in the race for delegates.

Trump picked up all 99 delegates in Florida.

He now has 568. Ted Cruz has 370 delegates, Marco Rubio has 163 and John Kasich has 63.

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

Clinton projected to win North Carolina's Democratic primary

Hillary Clinton wins the Democratic presidential primary in North Carolina, adding to her run of victories in the South over rival Bernie Sanders.

Clinton's win in North Carolina was her second victory on Tuesday, following a triumph in Florida.

She has dominated Sanders in the South, previously capturing wins in South Carolina, Alabama, Arkansas, Georgia, Louisiana and Tennessee.

Clinton has a significant delegate lead over Sanders, who has turned in stronger showings in the Midwest and other Western states.

North Carolina will also be considered a key battleground state in the general election. President Barack Obama won the state in 2008 but lost it to Mitt Romney four years later.

Trump, Clinton projected to win Florida primaries

Donald Trump and Hillary Clinton have won the presidential primary in Florida, further solidifying their leads in the hotly contested race for the Republican and Democratic nominations.

For Trump, the Republican front-runner, Florida's all-or-nothing contest represents a momentous win, giving him 99 additional delegates — the largest in the quintet of contests taking place Tuesday. His victory deals a devastating blow to Florida Sen. Marco Rubio, who many in the Republican establishment had backed in the hope of derailing Trump's dash to the nomination.

Clinton will be awarded delegates proportionally in keeping with Democratic regulations, but the win still catapults her ahead of rival Bernie Sanders, who came into Tuesday's contests with fresh momentum after scoring big in Michigan last week.

Donald Trump speaking about how he was prepared to punch a protester, Kansas City, MO, March 12, 2016.Credit: AP

Two-thirds of Republican voters back temporary Muslim ban, exit polls show

About two-thirds of Republican primary voters in all five states voting Tuesday support temporarily banning non-citizen Muslims from entering the United States, but majorities in all five say they want immigrants already in the United States illegally to be allowed a chance to stay.

That's according to early results of exit polls conducted for the Associated Press and television networks for Edison Research.

Only about 4 in 10 Republican voters in each state want all immigrants in the country illegally to be deported.

The proportion of GOP primary voters saying they want a ban on non-citizen Muslims entering the United States is as high as three-quarters in Missouri.

A supporter shows his tattoo before Donald Trump's campaign rally at Winner Aviation in Youngstown, Ohio March 14, 2016.Credit: Reuters

Florida election officials: Trump's name not left off ballot

Florida election officials said Tuesday that Republican presidential front-runner Donald Trump's name was not left off ballots in a town in south Florida, despite a small number of voter complaints.

Florida is a closed-primary state, which means only registered Republicans would get a ballot listing Trump and the other GOP candidates.

Palm Beach County Supervisor of Elections Susan Bucher said that independent voters can't vote in the primary. Bucher said Tuesday that some residents in Jupiter, Florida who were voting in municipal elections complained when they didn't see Trump's name on the ballot. Bucher said none of the other presidential candidates were listed on those ballots either.

"A lot of complaints from people saying my name is not on the ballot in various places in Florida," Trump wrote on Twitter Tuesday. "Hope this is false."

Florida's Secretary of State Ken Detzner sent out a statement reassuring voters that Trump had not been left off any presidential ballots.

Voters walk into a polling place in Destin, Florida, March 15, 2016.Credit: AP

McConnell asks Trump to condemn violence no matter who is responsible

Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell says he spoke to Republican front-runner Donald Trump and asked him to condemn violence no matter who is responsible.

McConnell told reporters that he had a conversation with the candidate Tuesday morning, the first time the two men spoke since December.

The Kentucky Republican and the New York businessman discussed the recent violence that has marred Trump's rallies and protesters have clashed with the candidate's supporters.

Trump earlier Tuesday backed away from a suggestion that he might cover legal costs for a supporter who was caught on video punching a black protester in the face. The supporter was later charged with assault. Trump at the time said he'd asked his "people" to "look into" paying the fees. I

On ABC's "Good Morning America" Tuesday, he said, "I never said I was going to pay for fees." Asked if it had appeared he was encouraging violence with his initial statement, Trump replied, "Well, maybe so. Maybe that's why I wouldn't do it."

Read full story here

Obama deeply disturbed by 'vulgar and divisive rhetoric in 2016 race

President Barack Obama says he is deeply disturbed by the "vulgar and divisive rhetoric" directed at women and minorities, as well as the violence in the 2016 presidential campaign.

That's a swipe at Republican front runner Donald Trump, who has been combative at his sometimes violent rallies and made comments about women.

Obama spoke Tuesday at a unity luncheon at the Capitol to express his concern about the protests that have escalated to attacks at the Trump rallies, as well as the candidate's plan to bar Muslims and deport immigrants living here illegally.

He says, "We have heard vulgar and divisive rhetoric aimed at women and minorities, and Americans that don't look like us or pray like us or vote like we do." The president adds that too many leaders have been silent about the rhetoric, tone and actual violence at Trump rallies.

Read full story here

Trump picks up nine delegates in Northern Mariana Islands caucus

Republican candidate Donald Trump started with a win in Tuesday's round of voting, picking up nine delegates in the Republican Northern Mariana Islands caucus.

Trump was granted 73 percent of the vote while Ted Cruz trailed in second with 24 percent and John Kasich and Marco Rubio barely registered with .02 percent and .01 percent.

The North Mariana Islands are a string of small islands deep in the Atlantic just north of Guam, and governor Ralph Torres offered his public support of Trump before the caucus according to the Pacific Daily News.

A total of 471 votes were cast in the U.S. territory's Republican caucus.

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