Mega Tuesday was a long day and a very narrow victory for Trump in Missouri with just a .1 percent lead over Ted Cruz, but with four state wins, Trump now has more than half the delegates needed for an outright victory.
Gov. John Kasich won his home state of Ohio, but that’s his first actual win. With 66 delegates from the winner-take-all state in his column now plus nine more from North Carolina where he came in third, he now has at least 138 delegates. While he can’t win the nomination mathematically, he could still potentially be a contender at a brokered convention.
Florida Senator Marco Rubio was the night’s biggest loser. Not only did he lose his home state to Donald Trump by a resounding 19 point margin, but he came in last place in all four of tonight’s other contests. He has officially suspended his campaign.
Ted Cruz added some delegates to his comfortable second-place total, but fewer than Kasich won and far fewer than Trump. Even with his razor-thin loss in Missouri, the fact remains that Cruz failed to win any of the five states up for grabs today and came in a distant third in Florida and Ohio. He’s far from out, but his prospects for victory took a big hit tonight.
The race will likely remain unsettled until the very end. More than 300 delegates will remain unawarded until the final five contests on June 7th, and mathematically neither Cruz nor Trump can win enough delegates before then to clinch the nomination.
Barring a massive drop off in support for Cruz or Trump, however, neither candidate will have enough delegates to actually win the contest outright, and the GOP nominee will remain undecided until the Republican Convention in mid-July. With Hillary Clinton already the presumptive nominee for the Democrats, the fractured GOP finds itself at a significant disadvantage as its protracted nomination battle drags on until at least the first week of June if not until the latter half of July.
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