While Gov. John Kasich clinched a must-win primary victory in his home state of Ohio on Tuesday, Donald Trump trounced his remaining Republican rivals elsewhere by claiming victories in Illinois, North Carolina, and Florida.
Following his defeat to the billionaire reality show host in the winner-take-all Florida primary, Sen. Marc Rubio suspended his campaign, leaving only Kasich and Ted Cruz as the two candidates left standing against Trump.
"After tonight it is clear that while we are on the right side, this year we will not be on the winning side," Rubio told supporters as he conceded the results.
As of this writing, the Republican primary in Missouri—where Trump and Cruz were neck-and-neck—has yet to be called.
Despite Trump's wins, Tuesday night's results—specifically Kasich's win in Ohio—are widely seen as increasing the chances of a contested GOP convention. As Politico reports:
The political calculations going forward for Cruz and Kasich are complex. Kasich has embraced the fact that he has no chance to win outright, and instead signaled in [a] CNN interview plans to cherry-pick more moderate states like California, Connecticut and Delaware.
The results also are likely to cause the anti-Trump forces within the GOP to reassess their position. Trump won handily in Florida despite a two-week period when Trump was subjected to more than $10 million in negative advertising.
Following his win in Ohio, Kasich told a crowd of supporters he would continue to run an issue-oriented and positive campaign as a way to counter the bluster and incendiary nature of Trump's message.
"We’re going to go all the way to Cleveland and secure the Republican nomination," Kasich said to cheers and chants of his name. "We’ve got one more trip around Ohio this coming fall and we will beat Hillary Clinton and I will become President of the United States."