Trump, Clinton triumph in Fla; Rubio drops out

Posted at 8:29 PM, Mar 15, 2016
and last updated 2016-03-15 23:31:59-04
ELECTION RESULTS | Get Real-time updates here
  • CLINTON WINS: Florida, Ohio & North Carolina
  • TRUMP WINS: Florida, Ohio & North Carolina
Donald Trump claimed Florida, the biggest delegate haul of Tuesday night's five Republican primary elections, by sweeping nearly all categories of voters— men and women, rich and poor, the highly educated and those without college degrees.
Trump's appeal with Florida's educated Republican voters notably broke from the trends seen in most other states like North Carolina and Illinois where the billionaire won with a coalition of white, less educated and lower income voters.
On the Democratic side, Hillary Clinton beat Vermont Sen. Bernie Sanders in Florida, North Carolina and Ohio, largely thanks to widespread support from black voters.
According to early results of exit polls conducted for The Associated Press and television networks by Edison Research, Clinton's policies were seen as more realistic while voters in two states where Sanders was running strong found him more inspiring than former secretary of state.
Ohio Gov. John Kasich won his home state by drawing Republican voters looking for an experienced candidate. He also attracted more moderate Republicans and those who have college degrees.
Other highlights from the exit polls:
Early exit polls in Florida indicate Trump won about half of whites and nearly 3 in 10 Hispanics. He was also backed by most voters without a college degree, and about 4 in 10 of those with a college diploma.
Most GOP voters in Florida are looking for a political outsider and three-quarters voted for Trump. Four in 10 are angry with Washington and 6 in 10 of them prefer Trump.
Trump was backed by nearly two-thirds of those who would like to see immigrants who are here illegally deported; those who want to give workers without documentation a chance to apply for legal status divided their votes closely between the two.
For Florida Sen. Marco Rubio, who ended his campaign Tuesday, it was a rough night across nearly all demographics.
Rubio was backed by voters looking for experience, by voters who are not so negative about politics and the government and by those opposed to denying Muslims entry into the country. Unfortunately for him, those voters made up a small portion of Republicans who turned out.
Trump prevailed in North Carolina and Illinois with support from a familiar group of voters for him.
In those states, he earned the support of voters without college diplomas, those with lower incomes and people looking for a president from outside the political establishment.
And in North Carolina, the exit poll showed that Trump won a majority of veterans.
In Illinois, Missouri and Ohio, Clinton was supported by about two-thirds of black voters, similar to her level of support among black voters in Michigan last week, where her margin among the key group was not enough to propel her to victory.
In Florida and North Carolina about 8 in 10 black voters supported her, which is closer to her average margin in previous states. She also was supported by about 7 in 10 Hispanic voters in Florida.
In each of the three states Clinton won, more than three-quarters of voters said her policies are realistic, while only half of North Carolina and Florida primary voters said Sanders had realistic policies.
In Missouri and Illinois, two-thirds of voters say Sanders' ideas are realistic. But even in Missouri and Illinois, voters were slightly more likely to call Clinton's policies realistic, with more than 7 in 10 voters saying that.
But Sanders appeared to attract voters looking for inspiration.
More than half of Democratic primary voters in Illinois and Missouri say Sanders inspires them about the future of the country. In both states, about 4 in 10 said Clinton inspires them.
Voters in the Democratic primaries in Illinois and Missouri are divided over whether international trade costs the U.S. jobs. The voters who say trade takes jobs from Americans tend to back Sanders; those who consider trade beneficial generally support Clinton.
In Ohio, Kasich was supported by three quarters of those looking for a president with political experience.
The governor also drew moderates and those identified as somewhat conservative. Kasich's supporters were also more likely to be college graduates, while Trump was the favorite of those without a college degree.
Kasich was supported by about 6 in 10 voters saying they most want a candidate who shares their values. And most voters who feel like they're getting ahead financially supported Kasich.
As seen in earlier primaries, voters who made up their minds close to the primary were less inclined to support Trump. Of the Republicans in Ohio who decided in the last week, more than half preferred Kasich.
The surveys were conducted for The Associated Press and television networks by Edison Research as voters left their polling places at 30 to 40 randomly selected sites in five states holding primary elections Tuesday.
Preliminary results include interviews with 759 to 2,019 Democratic primary voters and 855 to 2,743 Republican primary voters in each state. In Florida, North Carolina and Ohio, the results also include telephone interviews with early and absentee voters.
The results among all those voting in each contest have a margin of sampling error ranging of either plus or minus 4 percentage points or plus or minus 5 percentage points.