Marco Rubio drops out of presidential race after losing in home state
Billionaire Donald Trump and former Secretary of State Hillary Clinton won the Florida primaries Tuesday night, beating out Florida Sen. Marco Rubio (R) and Vermont Sen. Bernie Sanders (D), respectively.
After losing all of Florida’s 99 delegates in Tuesday night’s winner-take-all primary, Rubio bowed out of the presidential race.
“While this may not have been the year for a hopeful and optimistic message about our future, I still remain hopeful and optimistic about America,” Rubio said in his concession speech to a Miami audience.
Rubio spoke about the negativity of the Trump campaign in his speech, even pausing to say to a heckler, “Don’t worry, you won’t get beat up at our event,” referencing recent violence at Trump rallies.
He also spoke about the positivity of his campaign and of his optimism for “the new American century.”
“Where you come from here doesn’t decide where you get to go,” Rubio said. “That’s how the 44-year-old son of a bartender and a maid, that’s how I decided that in fact, I too, could run for president of the United States of America.”
Trump also won the majority of votes in Illinois and North Carolina but lost 66 delegates to Ohio Gov. John Kasich (R) in the winner-take-all state.
As of Wednesday afternoon, the race in Missouri between Trump and Sen. Ted Cruz (R-Texas) was still too close to call, with Trump leading by less than one point.
Democratic nominee Clinton also won in North Carolina and Ohio, with one loss to opponent Sanders in Missouri. By the time of print, the race in Illinois hadn’t been decided, with Clinton leading Sanders by one point.
Estero voter Jo Linza said she was confident in voting for Trump as she left her polling place Tuesday afternoon.
“I’m a Trump supporter and proud of it,” Linza said. “It takes extreme measures to get back to where you feel safe in your country. My generation and the generation after that and the generation after that, it’s time we protect the future generations coming and make up the past debt.”
Voter Linda Tam said she had “mixed feelings” about this year’s election Tuesday afternoon.
“I went in knowing who I was voting for, but it took me awhile to get there,” Tam said.
As of 12 a.m. Wednesday morning, Clinton had 1,488 delegates and Sanders had 704. Either candidate needs 2,383 delegates to win the Democratic nomination outright. The Republican candidates have a closer race, with Trump holding 619 delegates, Cruz holding 394 and Kasich holding 167. To safely clench the nomination, a Republican candidate needs at least 1,237 delegates.
The next primaries and caucuses will be held March 22 in American Samoa, Arizona, Idaho and Utah.