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POLITICS

Trump and Clinton take lead for presidential nominations

Both won the Florida primary and several other states Tuesday.

¿A dónde van los 163 delegados de Marco Rubio?

Spanish version

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Hillary Clinton triumphed Tuesday in the Florida, Ohio, North Carolina and Illinois presidential primaries, putting her in a commanding position to become the first woman in U.S. history to win a major-party nomination. Donald Trump strengthened his hand in the Republican race with a big win in Florida but fell in Ohio to that state's governor, John Kasich.

Florida Sen. Marco Rubio ended his once-promising campaign after his devastating home-state loss, so the GOP primary is now down to three candidates: Trump, Kasich and Texas Sen. Ted Cruz.

Trump also picked up wins in North Carolina and Illinois. The billionaire businessman told a victory rally, "This was an amazing night."

Trump is the only Republican candidate with a realistic path to the 1,237 delegates needed to clinch the nomination before the July convention. But his loss in Ohio kept hope alive for mainstream Republicans dismayed by his candidacy and suggesting the real estate mogul can still be stopped in a convention fight.

"The campaign goes on," Kasich declared at a victory rally. Now thrust into the center of a campaign that has been bitingly personal, Kasich vowed to "not take the low road to the highest office in the land."

Both the Republican and Democratic races in Missouri's presidential primaries were too close to call Wednesday morning.

A confident Clinton pivoted quickly to November during her victory rally, assailing Trump's hardline immigration positions and support for torture. "Our commander-in-chief has to be able to defend our country, not embarrass it," she declared.

Underscoring Republican concerns about Trump, Rubio focused heavily on an implicit critique of Trump in a speech announcing he was dropping out of the race. The senator urged Americans to "not give in to the fear, do not give in to the frustration."

A favorite of Republican leaders, Rubio is the latest candidate to fall victim to an unpredictable election cycle and Trump's unmatched ability to tap into the public's anger with Washington and frustration with sweeping economic changes.

Clinton's victories in Ohio, Florida and Illinois were blows to rival Bernie Sanders and bolstered her argument that she's the best Democratic candidate to take on the eventual Republican nominee in the general election. Her win in Ohio was a particular relief for her campaign, which grew anxious after Sanders pulled off a surprising win last week in Michigan, another important Midwestern state.

Clinton kept up her large margins with black voters, a crucial group for Democrats in the general election. Democratic voters were more likely to describe Sanders as honest, but more likely to describe Clinton's policies as realistic, according to exit polls.

Campaigning Tuesday in North Carolina, Clinton said "the numbers are adding up in my favor." She signaled an eagerness to move on to a possible general election showdown with Trump, saying he's laid out a "really dangerous path" for the country.

In Missouri, the margins between Trump and Cruz and between Clinton and Sanders, were less than one-half of 1 percentage point, meaning the losing candidate can request a recount. The Associated Press did not call either race.

¿A dónde van los 163 delegados de Marco Rubio?

Marco Rubio ha abandonado la contienda por la nominación presidencial republicana habiendo ganado 163 delegados para la Convención Nacional Republicana. La mayoría de esos delegados serán libres de apoyar al candidato de su elección, a menos que Rubio trate de revivir su campaña en una convención muy cerrada. Las reglas del Partido Republicano exigen que los delegados voten por el candidato que los obtuvo en la primera ronda de votación de la convención. Pero la mayoría de los partidos estatales liberan a esos delegados si su candidato ya no está en campaña. Si Rubio regresa a la contienda, conserva sus delegados. Rubio puede pedirles que apoyen a otro candidato, pero no están obligados a hacerlo.

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