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LIVE VIDEO: Trump Jumps in Delegates After Florida Win

Posted at 6:15 PM, Mar 15, 2016
and last updated 2016-03-15 16:10:12-04

WASHINGTON (AP) — The Latest on the 2016 presidential campaign, with primaries in five states Tuesday and Republican front-runner Donald Trump trying to move closer to nailing down his party's nomination (all times Eastern Standard Time):

8:08 p.m.

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.

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8:06 p.m.

Hillary Clinton is widening her overall delegate lead with an early win in Florida.

The Sunshine State is Democrats' biggest delegate prize of the night.

With 214 delegates at stake, Clinton is assured of winning at least 118. Sanders will pick up at least 45.

In all, 691 delegates are up for grabs Tuesday in five states.

Going into Tuesday's contests, Clinton already held a 214-delegate advantage based just on wins from primaries and caucuses.

When including superdelegates, the lead is even larger. Clinton now has a total of at least 1,353, while Sanders has at least 625. It takes 2,383 to win.

The other states voting Tuesday are North Carolina, Ohio, Missouri and Illinois.

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8:05 p.m.

Donald Trump is once again breaking with tradition, holding an election night press conference in Florida instead of a typical victory party.

The media gathered at Trump's sprawling Mar-a-Lago club in West Palm Beach Tuesday in a large ballroom filled with more than a dozen crystal chandeliers, gilded walls and ceilings with small cherubs overhead.

Trump clinched Florida's 99 winner-take-all primary, beating rival Marco Rubio in his home state.

Reporters will be sitting in the last two rows of chairs, with 16 rows reserved in front of them. During past Trump election press conferences, members of Trump's golf clubs and other friends have filled the front seats.

Meanwhile, Trump's official campaign account has been busy, re-tweeting several negative comments about Fox News host Megyn Kelly's election coverage.

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8:00 p.m.

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.

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5:15 p.m.

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.

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5:10 p.m.

About 9 in 10 Republican primary voters in five states going to the polls Tuesday are unhappy with the direction of the federal government — and on average, about 4 in 10 are angry.

According to early results of exit polls conducted for the Associated Press and television networks by Edison Research, majorities of Republican primary voters in all five states say they feel betrayed by politicians from the Republican Party.

In each of the five states, about half of voters say they prefer a candidate who's an outsider, while about 4 in 10 want one with political experience.

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5:07 p.m.

White voters make up the majority of Democratic voters in four of five states going to the polls Tuesday, but all five states included large enough percentages of minority voters to potentially affect the results.

According to early results of exit polls conducted for the Associates Press and television networks, black voters make up at least about one-fifth of the Democratic electorate in each states voting Tuesday, and in Florida, Illinois and North Carolina nearly 3 in 10 Democratic primary voters are black.

Black voters have formed an important part of Clinton's coalition in earlier states, supporting her by about a 67 percentage point margin across 15 earlier contests where entrance or exit polls were conducted. But in Michigan a week ago, they supported her by a smaller 40 percentage point margin.

In Florida, Hispanics made up about 2 in 10 Democratic and Republican primary voters. That includes about 1 in 10 GOP primary voters who are of Cuban descent.

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5:05 p.m.

Majorities of Democrats in five states going to the polls Tuesday say they would be satisfied with both candidates as the nominee.

According to early results of exit polls conducted by Edison Research for the Associated Press and television networks, voters are more likely to describe Sanders than Clinton as honest, but more likely to describe Clinton's policies as realistic.

At least half of voters in each state say each of the two candidates' positions on the issues are "about right," though voters are generally more likely to say Sanders' policies are too liberal than not liberal enough and to say the opposite about Clinton.

Democratic voters in all five states see Clinton as the candidate with the better chance to beat Donald Trump if he is the Republican nominee in November.

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4:49 p.m.

Even before Tuesday's primary results are in, a group of conservative leaders is calling a meeting to discuss options for blocking Donald Trump's path to the Republican nomination — including the possibility of rallying around a third-party candidate.

A person familiar with the planning for Thursday's meeting says the discussion will focus first on trying to get conservatives to unite around one candidate to compete against Trump. High-dollar donors would be mobilized to pressure other candidates to go along with that plan.

The discussion will also focus on the logistics of getting a third-party candidate on state ballots, an option seen by organizers as a "lifeboat" for conservatives. Participants will discuss ballot access issues, including using an existing third party as a vehicle for a candidate or securing signatures for an independent bid.

The meeting was first reported by Politico. The person familiar with the planning confirmed the meeting on the condition of anonymity because they were not authorized to discuss the gathering by name.

— White House Correspondent Julie Pace

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4:43 p.m.

Florida election officials say 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 as independents 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.

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

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4:40 p.m.

Republican presidential candidate Marco Rubio says, win or lose in Tuesday's crucial Florida primary, he's staying in the race.

He says there is no one in the race is "on pace to get 1,237 delegates," the number needed to secure the Republican nomination.

Rubio says the latest polls showing him a distant second behind GOP front-runner Donald Trump are wrong.

Rubio early voted on March 2 and is holding his primary night party in Miami.

Florida elections officials are expecting a record turnout of more than 4 million voters. More than 2 million have already made their choice by early voting or absentee. The state is a closed primary.

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2:14 p.m.

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."

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1:22 p.m.

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.

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1:00 p.m.

Hillary Clinton says on primary day in five key states that "the numbers are adding up in my favor" but she is going to keep working as hard as she can.

Clinton is pointing to the general election, telling reporters in Raleigh, North Carolina, that she thinks it's important that she focuses on "the really dangerous path that Donald Trump has laid out." She says the "kind of bluster and bigotry and bullying" is disturbing to most Americans.

Clinton faces Democratic rival Bernie Sanders in primary contests in five states on Tuesday: North Carolina, Florida, Ohio, Missouri and Illinois. She says she will "keep working all day on Election Day and remind people how important it is to vote" and not let "anyone get complacent."

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12:37 p.m.

Democratic presidential candidate Bernie Sanders is closing his argument for Illinois votes by highlighting links between his Democratic opponent, Hillary Clinton, and Chicago Mayor Rahm Emanuel's troubled administration.

The Democratic presidential hopeful sat down for breakfast with Cook County Board commissioner Jesus "Chuy" Garcia, who lost a surprisingly strong bid last year to unseat Emanuel.

The Sanders campaign has tried to highlight links between Emanuel and Sanders' opponent, Hillary Clinton. Emanuel served as senior adviser to former President Bill Clinton and as chief of staff to President Barack Obama. The mayor is currently under fire for a police shooting scandal.

Sanders is banking on a win in Illinois Tuesday to pad his surprise victory in another Rust Belt state, Michigan, on March 8.

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11:02 a.m.

House Speaker Paul Ryan says all candidates have an obligation to do what they can to provide an atmosphere of harmony at campaign events and not incite violence.

His comments Tuesday come as attacks have marred rallies led by GOP front-runner Donald Trump. The candidate canceled an event in Chicago on Friday night over protests.

Ryan told reporters that there is a concerted effort by those on the left to disrupt the rallies and he condemned that. At the same time he said candidates should ensure they are appealing to people's best ideals and trying to unite the country to fix the nation's problems.

Pressed on support for the eventual nominee, Ryan said that is a decision the GOP primary voters will make.

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10:20 a.m.

Ohio Gov. John Kasich says he'll have plenty to say about one GOP candidate in particular — Donald Trump — after Tuesday's critical primaries in five states.

Speaking to reporters in Genoa, Ohio, after voting for himself for president, Kasich said he'll be "forced, going forward, to talk about some of the deep concerns" he has about Trump's campaign. He said Trump's combative comments at rallies and his comments about women are of particular concern.

Speaking out would not be "designed to be negative as much as it is to point out things that have been deeply disturbing."

Kasich concluded that whatever happens in Tuesday's contests, he appreciates the opportunity and the attention.

He added, "I just want to be a good guy, helping my country."

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9:44 a.m.

Donald Trump has posted a big win in the GOP caucus on the Northern Mariana Islands.

The party says the billionaire businessman won almost 73 percent of the vote in Tuesday's caucus. He will get all nine delegates from the U.S. territory.

Texas Sen. Ted Cruz came in second with 24 percent of the vote, while Ohio Gov. John Kasich and Florida Sen. Marco Rubio finished a distant third and fourth, respectively.

Both the Republican and Democratic parties hold nominating contests in U.S. territories. The residents, however, cannot vote in the general election. The party said a total of 471 people voted.

Trump leads the race for delegates with 469. Cruz has 370, Rubio has 163, and Kasich has 63.

It takes 1,237 delegates to win the GOP nomination.