Another major primary election day, dubbed “Super Tuesday 3,” has just begun, with the polls closing in the state of Florida.
Five states are in play today, with the other four being Ohio, North Carolina, Missouri and Illinois.
All of the major polls showed Donald Trump with a commanding lead in the Sunshine State, and indeed, the winner is Donald Trump.
He didn't even wait for the polls to close to declare victory:
As the polls closed in part of Florida at 7 pm EST, the votes were piling in for Trump.
The western half of the state was still voting until 8 pm EST, but the math was not in Marco Rubio's favor, and it's now clear that Trump will take all 99 of Florida's delegates.
Going into the race, the Real Clear Politics polling average pinned Trump with an 18.3% lead across several different polls.
Trump campaigned in Florida with his traditional tactics: Large rallies and domination of the news cycle. He also enlisted the help of Sarah Palin, one of his most notable supporters.
Trump's campaign activities included outbreaks of violence at recent rallies, which Republican and Democratic leaders condemned in unison.
Ted Cruz also campaigned hard in Florida. Prior to the primary, he announced a team of 375 elected officals boasting “incredible support from courageous conservatives all across the state of Florida,” adding:
“I’m honored to have so many of Florida’s top leaders supporting our campaign heading into the March 15th primary.”
Ohio Governor John Kasich conducted a relatively small amount of campaigning in Florida, opting instead to bolster support in his home state. Kasich looked to solidify his lead in Ohio by campaigning with former GOP presidential nominee Mitt Romney.
The GOP battle in Florida came just one week after the debate at the University of Miami, which featured toned down candidates focusing on policy over their regular attacks.
Rubio never held the first place spot, according to the same polling average. Heading into the Florida primary, Rubio campaigned heavily, betting it all on his home state.
Rubio finished his campaigning in Florida with a primary night celebration in Miami, wrapping up a hard fought campaign in the Sunshine State.
Marco Rubio made it clear repeatedly that he won't drop out of the race, regardless of the results of Florida.
Next up in the race for the Republican nomination are the primaries in Arizona, American Samoa, and Utah, where 107 delegates will be up for grabs.
Both Arizona and Utah will be closed primaries, while American Samoa will be open with 9 unbound delegates at stake.