Jim Wilson / The New York Times

Presidential hopeful Hillary Clinton takes a photo with voters in Raleigh, N.C. on Tuesday.

March 16, 2016

Professors Analyze Results of Florida, Ohio Primaries

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Gov. John Kasich’s (R-Ohio) home state victory will not slow Donald Trump, while Hillary Clinton cleared her path to the Democratic nomination in Tuesday’s primaries, according to Prof. Lawrence Glickman, history, and Prof. Maria Cristina Garcia, history.

Clinton and Trump emerged as victors in the elections, and Marco Rubio (R-Fla.) dropped out of the race for the Republican nominee.

Rubio decided to suspend his campaign after losing in his home state of Florida. Trump and Clinton were both declared winners in four states; however, Trump conceded Ohio to Kasich, its governor.

Garcia said she was not surprised by the results of tonight’s Florida primary, because Rubio “seemed unable to carry his home state,” she said.

While Kasich’s Ohio win was also predictable, Rubio’s campaign suspension could significantly benefit the Ohio governor, according to Glickman.

“The fact that he won and Marco Rubio dropped out after getting steamrolled in his home state of Florida means that Kasich might have a little momentum in his battle with Ted Cruz to be the dominant ‘non-Trump’ candidate,” Glickman said.

Glickman added that he believes Kasich’s chances of receiving the nomination remain slim.

“Kasich may have a chance in states with what remains of moderate Republicans, like Pennsylvania and New York,” he said. “Still, it’s probably too little and too late. Winning one state out of 29 that have been contested, especially when it’s his home state, makes it premature to see him as a serious contender to Trump.”

Glickman speculated, however, that the most serious consequence of Kasich’s victory was its effect on the Trump campaign.

“Because [Ohio] is a winner-take-all state, Trump may now have a hard time accruing all the delegates he needs to win the nomination on the first ballot,” he said.

Glickman added that Tuesday was an important night for the Clinton campaign, as Clinton “regained some of the momentum she lost after her stunning defeat in Michigan,” he said.

In fact, Clinton outperformed Sen. Bernie Sanders (D-VT) among low-income white voters in Ohio — a demographic Sanders has been championing — according to Glickman.

“If Hillary can solidify her support among working-class whites, that could really help her, given the strong support she has earned so far among African American voters,” Glickman said. “It will be interesting to see if that pattern holds in Illinois and Missouri.”’

As a researcher of U.S.-Cuba policy, Garcia said she found it remarkable that neither party’s Florida victor “pandered to the hardline pro-embargo Cuban American vote in order to carry the state.”

“For the first time in half a century both the Republican and Democratic victors favored normalization of relations with Cuba,” Garcia said. “The tides have turned.”