Republican presidential candidate Donald Trump is confident that he will have have fully secured the GOP if he prevails in the upcoming Florida and Ohio primaries (video below).
On March 9, Trump sat down with CNN’s Anderson Cooper to discuss the current state of the Republican presidential race. The business mogul agreed with Cooper that both Florida and Ohio primaries would be invaluable victories for his campaign.
Both states will be decided on March 15. Both are delegate-rich and are winner-take-all. If Trump wins both, he would rocket to a lead that the other Republican candidates would likely find insurmountable.
“I think if I win those two, I think it’s over,” Trump said. He pointed out that winning those contests would effectively end the presidential hopes of Republicans Sen. Marco Rubio of Florida and Gov. John Kasich of Ohio.
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“It’s with fighters,” Trump continued. “If you knock ‘em out, nothing can happen.”
Both Rubio and Kasich’s campaigns are running on fumes. The Florida senator has only won two primary contests and he has had increasingly poor showings. Kasich has yet to win a state.
Both are placing their chips on their home states to rack up big wins and slow Trump’s momentum.
During a March 9 Florida town hall hosted by MSNBC, Rubio said that his campaign was applying all of its focus on the Sunshine state’s primary. He even expected it to negatively impact him in other Mar. 15 states, but said that it was necessary.
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“Even if I had done really well in all these previous states, if I had not done well in Florida, it would be trouble for our campaign, so we need to win here,” Rubio said. “That’s our priority. We’re focused on it like a laser and we’re going to win,” reports NBC News.
The senator’s optimism is in the face of a number of polls that indicate he is trailing Trump by double digits in Florida.
Kasich's chances in Ohio are looking sunnier, with most polls still showing more support for Trump but by a smaller margin. A recent Fox News poll even puts Kasich in the lead, the Columbus Dispatch reports.
“It’s exactly where we thought we would be, and we’re satisfied,” Kasich told supporters at an Illinois rally. “The money’s coming in, more endorsements — it’s all going our direction… and I’m beginning to surge because for the first time in this campaign, people are finally beginning to hear my message.”
Meanwhile, Trump is also feeling very confident. The business mogul told Anderson Cooper that the GOP’s “Never Trump” movement — the effort to stop him from winning the nomination — was “mortally wounded."