Hillary Clinton rolled up primary victories in Florida, Ohio and North Carolina on Tuesday, dealing a severe blow to Bernie Sanders' bid to slow her march toward the Democratic presidential nomination.
"We are moving closer to securing the Democratic Party nomination and winning this election in November," Clinton told cheering supporters in Florida, calling it "another Super Tuesday for our campaign."
Clinton also was competing against Sanders in two other Midwestern states, Missouri and Illinois. But her primary night trifecta strengthened her already formidable pledged delegate lead, and the former secretary of state said she expected to have a more than 300-delegate edge by the end of the day.
Sanders, addressing supporters in Phoenix, said his campaign had "come a long way" but made no mention of Tuesday's results during an hourlong speech. "You do not have to accept the status quo. We can do better. Don't let people tell you that you can't think big," he said. Clinton and Sanders did not speak on primary night, aides said.
Florida was the biggest delegate prize and Clinton's victories put her in a position to end the day with about two-thirds of the delegates needed to clinch the nomination.
With the three wins, Clinton will pick up at least 253 delegates while Sanders will gain 124. Many delegates remain to be allocated pending more complete vote totals.
According to an analysis by The Associated Press, Clinton held 1,488 of total delegates when the count includes superdelegates, who are elected officials and party leaders free to support the candidate of their choice. Sanders has 704 total delegates, including superdelegates.