WASHINGTON -- Donald J. Trump, the bombastic businessman from New York running for the Republican presidential nomination, won the Florida, Illinois, and North Carolina primaries on Tuesday night.
Trump's victory nets him 99 delegates to the GOP convention in Ohio this summer. He entered Tuesday's five contests with 469 delegates, well on his way to the 1,237 needed to clinch the party's nomination.
His success in Florida comes at the expense of the state's own senator, Marco Rubio, who rested the fate of his candidacy on succeeding there.
Independent anti-Trump organizations spent over $10 million dollars in advertisements targeting the blustering real estate tycoon in the last two weeks. But whatever effect it may have had, the assault to stop him likely came too late: Over half of Florida's Republican primary electorate cast early ballots by mail.
"We should've seen this coming," Rubio said from Miami, citing a "political storm" sweeping the Republican Party as he conceded defeat. "People are angry, they're frustrated. They're being left behind in this economy."
Americans, he said, are "tired of being looked down upon."
Marco Rubio ended his campaign on Tuesday for the Republican presidential nomination after failing to translate support from the party's establishment into victories in primary states.
Rubio's withdrawal leaves Kasich and Cruz as Trump's last opponents. Cruz has struggled to build support beyond his base of evangelical Christians and Republican Southerners.
Kasich won the republican presidential primary in his home state of Ohio. This win is Kasich's first win in the contest, and he had previously remarked that he would drop out of the race if he could not win in his home state. "I'm so appreciative to the people of the state of Ohio," Kasich remarked regarding his victory. "It's a real election about someone who knows how to fix this country," he continued.
On the democratic side, former Secretary of State Hillary Clinton
had sweeping wins in Florida, North Carolina, as well as in Ohio.
"We are moving closer to securing the Democratic Party nomination and winning this election in November," Clinton
said at a victory celebration in West Palm Beach, Florida.
Reuters contributed to this report.