Donald Trump celebrated his "massive win" early on Twitter

By Tierney McAfee
Updated March 15, 2016 08:40 PM
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Credit: Chip Somodevilla/Getty

Donald Trump won the Republican Florida primary Tuesday evening, taking a big lead as the first results rolled in on Super Tuesday 2. Wins in Illinois and North Carolina would follow.

CNN reported that John Kasich won his home state of Ohio, a victory that makes it more difficult for Trump to be the likely nominee heading into the Republican National Convention.

“This is the little engine that can,” Kasich told CNN. “People said we wouldn’t be at that place. For people who like the underdog it’s pretty cool. We’re excited.”

In Florida, Trump won 45.4 percent of the vote, dealing a crushing blow to the campaign of Sen. Marco Rubio, who earned only 27.6 percent support in his home state.

The Florida senator announced in a concession speech that he was pulling out of the 2016 race, saying, “While this may not have been the year for a hopeful and optimistic message about our future, I still remain hopeful and optimistic about America.”

“While it is not God’s plan that I be president in 2016 or maybe ever, and while today my campaign is suspended, the fact that I’ve even come this far is evidence of how special America truly is. And all the reason more whey we must do all we can to ensure this nation remains a special place.”

Meanwhile, Trump said in his victory speech, “This country is going to start winning again. We don’t win any more.We’ve had such incredible support. We have to bring our party together.”

Before the Florida contest was called, Trump declared an early victory for himself, taking to Twitter to say, “Word is that, despite a record amount spent on negative and phony ads, I had a massive victory in Florida. Numbers out soon!”

The GOP front-runner nabbed all 99 GOP delegates up for grabs in Florida, as the state awards its Republican delegates on a winner-take-all basis.

On the Democratic side in Florida, Hillary Clinton won a decisive victory over Bernie Sanders, earning 64.8 percent support while the Vermont senator took 33 percent, according to CNN.

Clinton won 136 of the total available 214 Democratic delegates, which Florida awards on a proportional basis.