A Big Night for Clinton
Democrat Hillary Clinton takes four of five states; Republican Donald Trump wins three states but loses key state of Ohio.
Hillary Clinton has reaffirmed her position as the Democratic front-runner by defeating Senator Bernie Sanders of Vermont in almost all of the presidential primaries held Tuesday. The former secretary of state racked up victories in Florida, Ohio, Illinois, and North Carolina. She may have also won Missouri. As of Wednesday morning, that race was too close to call for both Democrats and Republicans.
Clinton’s wins are a big boost for her campaign. Just one week ago, Sanders pulled out a surprising victory over Clinton in Michigan. But now, she once again has the momentum in the race.
“We are moving closer to securing the Democratic Party nomination and winning this election in November,” Clinton said.
For the Republicans, billionaire businessman Donald Trump won in Florida, Illinois, and North Carolina. Trump’s overwhelming victory in Florida knocked Florida Senator Marco Rubio out of the race. Rubio has done poorly in the race for the Republican nomination, and losing his home state of Florida was the final blow to his candidacy. That means the Republican contest now includes only Trump, Ohio Governor John Kasich, and Senator Ted Cruz of Texas.
Trump lost the key state of Ohio to Kasich. Ohio was one of the big prizes for Republicans because it had a significant number of delegates up for grabs.
The Delegate Math
In primaries and caucuses, candidates are competing to get the most delegates. Delegates are members of a political party who will nominate the party’s official candidate at their convention this summer. The number of delegates awarded by each state is based on population. States with more people have more delegates, so doing well in states with the biggest populations is important for candidates.
Both the Florida and Ohio Republican primaries were extremely important because the winners in those states get all of their delegates. Until now, delegates have been awarded to Republican candidates proportionally, or based on what percentage of the vote they win. But now, in some states, including Florida and Ohio, the candidate who wins the most votes will get all of those states’ delegates. The Democrats will continue to award delegates proportionally.
The winner of the Democratic nomination must have at least 2,383 delegates. So far, Clinton has won 1,094 delegates, while Sanders has won 774. The Republican nominee must have at least 1,237 delegates. Trump has 621, Cruz has 395, and Kasich has 138.
The next primaries will be held in Arizona and Utah on Tuesday, March 22. Democrats will also hold a caucus in Idaho that day.