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CNN LIVE EVENT/SPECIAL
Super Tuesday 2 Coverage; Donald Trump News Conference Tonight 9PM ET On CNN; Standing By For Clinton, Trump To Speak; TrumpWins Florida, Kasich Wins Ohio; CNN Talks Live With Kasich After Ohio Win; Clinton Wins FL, NC, and Ohio. Aired 8-9p ET
Aired March 15, 2016 - 20:00 ET
THIS IS A RUSH TRANSCRIPT. THIS COPY MAY NOT BE IN ITS FINAL FORM AND MAY BE UPDATED.
[20:00:00] WOLF BLITZER, CNN HOST: At the top of the hour, all the polls will be closed and we got some critical information to release to all of our viewers. Stand by. We've got some major projections to deliver at the top of the hour which is right now.
A huge win, we project, for Donald Trump in Florida. Donald Trump will win all 99, all 99 delegates, winner take all in Florida. CNN projects Donald Trump is the big winner in Florida tonight. Huge win for Donald Trump.
Also in Florida, another projection. Hillary Clinton, we project, also will win Florida. A big win for Hillary Clinton in Florida. This is an important moment for Hillary Clinton, important moment for Donald Trump. They both win Florida.
Let's get a key race alert right now. We got key race alerts. We got a race under way in Missouri, though, right now we cannot make projections, but based on the CNN exit poll estimates, we have, look at this in Missouri on the Republican side, Ted Cruz is slightly ahead of Donald Trump, 43 percent, 40 percent for Donald Trump, 10 percent for John Kasich in third place. Look at that. Very, very close in Missouri. We have not been able to make a projection.
On the Democratic side, look at this. Also could be a surprise, 51 percent, 51 percent for Bernie Sanders according to our exit poll estimate, 49 percent, 48 percent for Hillary Clinton in Missouri. A close race, very, very close in Missouri. Very close on the Republican side and the Democratic side.
Let's take a look at Illinois right now. The polls are closed in Illinois. Look at how close it is in Illinois right now, 38 percent, our estimate, for Donald Trump based on the exit poll information, 34 percent for Ted Cruz. Only 19 percent for John Kasich.
In Illinois, on the Democratic side, our estimate, 51 percent for Bernie Sanders, 49 percent for Hillary Clinton. Very, very close.
We got a race on our hands in Illinois on the Republican and the Democratic side. Once again, remember, these are exit polls. They are estimates. They are based on our early survey of voters as they left their polling locations. The final outcome may be different. We can expect these numbers to change throughout the night. Let's take a look at the states won so far. Look at this. Look at
this on the Republican side. The dark red is Donald Trump. He has got a, with the exception of Texas, he's got virtually a clean sweep of the south. He's won a lot of states. Right now Donald Trump we projected just wins in Florida.
Take a look at the map on the Democratic side. The dark blue is Hillary Clinton with the win we projected in Florida. She has got a clean sweep in the south right now. Hillary Clinton, very impressive wins in the Democratic side for Hillary Clinton, on the Republican side for Donald Trump.
Let's go over to Jake.
JAKE TAPPER, CNN CHIEF WASHINGTON CORRESPONDENT: Thanks, Wolf.
Close races in Missouri and Illinois but not in Florida and we have called, CNN has called the races in Florida for Hillary Clinton and for Donald Trump.
Let's go to Brianna Keilar in West Palm Beach with the Clinton campaign.
A big night for Hillary Clinton. A big win, the state of Florida, Brianna.
BRIANNA KEILAR, CNN SENIOR POLITICAL COMMENTATOR: A very big win here in Florida, Jake. This crowd going wild. A lot of excitement here at the West Palm Beach convention center and also of interest when Donald Trump was projected as the winner in Florida. So many boos, thumbs down really across the crowd here which just explains why not only Hillary Clinton, but Bernie Sanders have been talking so much about Donald Trump. It really does rile up the crowd here.
But looking at these other states as well, because there is a lot of focus on them, the Clinton campaign has led us to believe here in recent days that they are resign to losing Missouri. The state that thought might be an issue next would actually be Ohio and that Illinois, they had a better chance of keeping. So that is what they are looking at as they see these early expectations coming in.
TAPPER: All right, Brianna Keilar at Clinton campaign headquarters.
And now, let's go to the Republican front-runner, Donald Trump, CNN has projected Donald Trump will be the winner of the Florida Republican primary. And Jim Acosta in Palm Beach at Trump campaign headquarters. Let me just read you this quote from Marco Rubio in March 8th, words I'm sure he wishes he could take back. "I believe with all my heart the winner of Florida primary will be nominee of the Republican Party."
JIM ACOSTA, CNN SENIOR WHITE HOUSE CORRESPONDENT: That's right, Jake. And just in the last couple weeks, Rubio's people, Rubio, himself, have guaranteed that he was going to win the state of Florida. That did not happen. Donald Trump is now the winner of the state of Florida. And I can tell you from talking to people inside the Trump campaign, they see this as a knockout blow to Marco Rubio. Yes, there was some chatter in some news reports earlier today that maybe Marco Rubio might soldier on even after losing his home state. But I would think by this large of margin, you have thrown in the towel at this point. And that is essentially what Donald Trump wanted to accomplish tonight. He wanted the double knockout punch. He wanted to knock out Marco Rubio in Florida, and John Kasich in Ohio. It appears at this point that inside the Trump campaign, they feel like they may only accomplish one-half of that objective. They don't know if they can get Kasich out of the race in Ohio. But, again, they asked the question, after tonight even if John Kasich wins, where does he win after this? How does he stop Donald Trump from winning the nomination?
Those are some hard questions for these other campaigns to answer. But I'm guessing tonight they're feeling pretty good about what things are looking like here in Florida, a very, very big victory for Donald Trump - Jake.
[20:05:18] TAPPER: Jim Acosta in Palm Beach at Trump campaign headquarters.
And let's take a moment as this race as we've called Florida for Donald Trump for the Republican primary to talk for a second about Marco Rubio. Marco Rubio who burst onto the scene six years ago basically such a strong Republican candidate, a tea party candidate, that he chased the incumbent Republican governor out of the party, Charlie Crist became an independent and he won the party nomination with 85 percent of the vote, went on to win the Senate race with almost 50 percent of the vote in a three-way race and, boy, how the mighty have fallen.
DANA BASH, CNN CHIEF CONGRESSIONAL CORRESPONDENT: The mighty have fallen. And not just Marco Rubio but Jeb Bush. They were two Florida Republican titans in this race. Neither of them won the Florida Republican primary. It was Donald Trump.
TAPPER: And --
BASH: And it's kind of remarkable to think about it.
TAPPER: And everything, of course, in politics is timing, and it's not that Rubio was a bad candidate or that Jeb Bush was a bad candidate, but this was just not the year. The Republican electorate was not looking for the kind of sunny, inclusive Republican face that both Rubio and Jeb Bush tried to personify.
BASH: That's right. And, you know, we're already hearing from people close to Rubio and we did really all day long kind of trying to begin to weave the narrative that they hope people discuss afterwards, after we assumed he would lose and perhaps likely drop out of the race. Regardless, the reasons for this moment are going to be studied for years to come.
BASH: Because it is true that he was kind of the guy from the future, the guy who could -- that the Hillary Clinton campaign they said they were most concerned about running against because of the fact that he brings upon a new generation for Republicans.
But one thing I will say is that as much as they push back about the fact that he went off brand and went hard against Donald Trump and, you know, used vulgar language, it seems as though you can pinpoint the beginning of the end for him with Chris Christie's very, very tough punch in that debate in New Hampshire.
TAPPER: Yes, it was a murder/suicide as they said.
Anderson, to you.
ANDERSON COOPER, CNN HOST: As they say. S.E. Cupp, what do you make of this? For Rubio, do you see any -- I mean, do you see him getting out?
S.E. CUPP, CNN POLITICAL COMMENTATOR: Well, first of all for anyone tuning in, I just want you to know, he didn't die. OK? I understand there's, like, a funeral mood around --
COOPER: Politically --
CUPP: No, politically, he didn't die, either. Marco Rubio is very young. Marco Rubio has a very promising political future. Anyone that has been felled in this cycle by Donald Trump will be able to blame this unexpected crazy phenomenon looking back and saying, look, it wasn't me, maybe there was some tactics I would have done differently, but it wasn't -- the time wasn't right for me. I think the time will be right for Marco Rubio in the future.
One thing I think we can mourn at this funeral is this idea of optimism, right? I mean, that was what I loved about Marco Rubio. This idea that not only can we make, you know, country a better place for more people, but we can bring more and different kinds of people into the Republican Party. That's important to me, it's not important to Donald Trump. I don't think Donald Trump gives a crap about the Republican Party or the future of the conservatism. So that's -- that's something that we'll be mourning. And clearly, the mood of the country was not with Rubio who was saying, you know, let's look forward, let's be hopeful. I think most, or at least a plurality of voters, took that optimism and said, shove it.
COOPER: Jeffrey lord, was it just not Marco Rubio's time?
JEFFREY LORD, CNN POLITICAL COMMENTATOR: Yes, I don't think it was Marco Rubio's time. I have to say to some extent I agree with S.E. I mean, politician after politician after -- Bill Clinton lost his re- election race for governor of Arkansas back in, what, 1980 after a two-year term. Richard Nixon legendarily, Ronald Reagan lost the White House in 1968 or lost a run for it. I mean, politicians immemorial keep coming back so I don't think Marco Rubio is finished here.
But clearly, there are a lot of bad judgments here. I mean, this is, I hate to say this, this is humiliating here tonight. And so -- VAN JONES, CNN POLITICAL COMMENTATOR: It's tough because I mean, if
you add his vote and Kasich, I mean, Trump still wins. I mean, like right now, Trump has almost got all their votes together. I think that's bad.
Look, I think, though, everybody keeps saying he's got to get out, he's got to get out. I think if you're Rubio, there's a personal reason that it's hard to get out. It's not the obvious one. His family fled Cuba because of a strongman who came to power and from his point of view was violent, was irresponsible, and I think he looks -- when you see Rubio saying, I just don't know if I can get there emotionally, that's not just political calculation about I'm going to trick these people. I think he is saying, I don't know if I, knowing what strongmen do, what authoritarians do, if I can support this guy. So I think you got to give him a moment to figure out what he's going to do going forward.
[20:10:21] COOPER: Well, there is a question between difference for him getting out and supporting Donald Trump.
PAUL BEGALA, CNN POLITICAL COMMENTATOR: Doesn't matter if he gets out, he's through. He is not going to have any effect on the race anyway. He is a guy with a great future behind him, you know. It's different when you lose a primary among your own voters, among your own party, in your own state. That's just crushing.
COOPER: So you think his political career is over?
BEGALA: Look. Life is long, you know, and we all wish him well. But I mean, there is just nothing --.
COOPER: The third blah that was particularly heartfelt.
CUPP: After losing in a primary to another Democrat who had no --
BEGALA: She went the whole distance with Barack Obama --
CUPP: I understand.
BEGALA: Look, I may be wrong. Everybody said, oh, he's the one you should be scared of. And I kept saying, I don't know yet. I don't know. He had a glass jaw. When Chris Christie hit him, he crumpled like a --
COOPER: Let him finish.
BEGALA: Because he didn't have any core. He was the darling of the consultant class, the chattering class, the political class and the donor class but the voters saw there was no there, there. He was not the Republicans' Barack Obama, he was the Republican's John Edwards.
UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: That's harsh, Paul. That is harsh.
CUPP: He's a man of character, he's a man of passion, he's a man with an intent and very personal, compelling personal story.
JONES: The tears I cry for Marco Rubio is the moment he stood out there with Scott -- here he comes.
COOPER: I'm hearing Marco Rubio being introduced. Are we going to that? Let's go to that.
SEN. MARCO RUBIO (R), PRESIDENTIAL CANDIDATE: Thank you. Thank you.
CROWD: Marco! Marco! Marco!
RUBIO: Thank you. Thank you, guys, very much. Thank you so much. First of all, thank you, all, for everything. I want to begin by -- I haven't had a chance to speak to him yet but I want to congratulate Donald Trump on his victory, a big victory in until physical.
RUBIO: No, no, no, no, no. No, no, no. He -- no, guys, we live in a republic and our voters make these decisions and we respect that very much and it was a big win. And I want to begin by thanking all of you here today and I want you to know I am the beneficiary of the best group of supporters, the hardest working people I've ever been associated with. I'm so grateful to you guys. Thank you. And not just here in Florida. Not just here in Florida, but around the country.
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: We love you, Marco!
RUBIO: I love you, too. I want you to know that you worked as hard, not just here, but all over the country. I want to talk to people in Iowa, in New Hampshire, in South Carolina, and in the great state of Minnesota where I won and the territory of Puerto Rico, and Washington, D.C. All over. We had a great team. We have a great team. And I'm so grateful for all the help that you guys have given us. I just want you to know there's nothing more you could have done. You worked as hard as anyone worked. I want you to know we worked as hard as we ever could.
Well, America is in the middle of a real political storm, a real tsunami. And we should have seen this coming. Look, people are angry and people are very frustrated. It really began back in 2007/2008 with this horrifying downturn --
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: We love you, Marco! Run for president.
RUBIO: Don't worry, you won't get beat up at our event. People are very frustrated about the direction of our country.
CROWD: Marco! Marco! Marco! Marco!
RUBIO: Thank you. We -- thank you. People are frustrated. In 2007 and 2008, there was a horrible downturn in our economy and these changes to our economy that are happening are disrupting people's lives. And people are very upset about it. And they're told that, you know, people are angry, they're frustrated. They're being left behind by this economy and then they're told, look, if you're against illegal immigration, that makes you a bigot and if you see jobs businesses leaving to other countries, you have no right to be frustrated. They see America involved in the world and Americans spending money and losing their lives and they see that there's very little gratitude for all the sacrifice America makes. And quite frankly, there's millions of people in this country that are tired of being looked down upon. Tired of being told by these self-proclaimed elitists that they don't know what they're talking about and need to instead listen to the so-called smart people.
And I know all these issues firsthand. I've lived paycheck to paycheck. I grew up paycheck to paycheck. I know what it's like to have to figure out how to find the money to fix the air conditioner that broke last night. I know my parents struggled. I know millions of people that are doing that. I know immigration in America is broken. No one understands this issue better than I do.
My parents are immigrants. My grandparents were immigrants. Jeanette's parents were immigrants. I live in a community of immigrants. I've seen the good, the bad and the ugly. I battled my whole life against the so-called elites. The people who think that I need to wait my turn or wait in line or it wasn't our chance or it wasn't our time. So I understand all of these frustrations. And yet when I decided to run for president, I decided to run a campaign that was realistic about all of these challenges, but also one that was -- one that was optimistic about what lies ahead for our country.
I know that we have a right to enforce our immigration laws, but we also have to have a realistic approach to fix it. I know that we are living through this extraordinary economic transformation that is really disruptive in people's lives. Machines are replacing them, their pay's not enough. I know it's disruptive, but I also know this new economy has incredible opportunity. I know America can't solve all of the world's problems, but I also know that when America doesn't lead, it leaves behind a vacuum and that vacuum leads to chaos. And most of all, I know firsthand that ours is a special nation because where you come from here doesn't decide where you get to go. That's how a 44-year-old son of a bartender and a maid, that's how I decide that, in fact, I, too, can run for president of the United States of America.
(CHEERS AND APPLAUSE)
RUBIO: So from a political standpoint, from a political standpoint, the easiest thing to have done in this campaign is to jump on all those anxieties I just talked about. To make people angrier. Make people more frustrated. But I chose a different route and I'm proud of that.
(CHEERS AND APPLAUSE)
RUBIO: Because that would have been -- that -- in a year like this, that would have been the easiest way to win, but that is not what's best for America. The politics of resentment against other people will not just leave us a fractured party, they're going to leave us a fractured nation. They are going to lead us as a nation where people literally hate each other because they have different political opinions. But we find ourselves at this point is not surprising. For the warning signs have been here for close to a decade.
In 2010, the tea party wave carried me and others into office because not enough was happening and that tea party wave gave Republicans a majority in the house, but nothing changed. In 2014, those same voters gave Republicans a majority in the Senate and still nothing changed. And I blame some of that on the conservative movement. A movement that is supposed to be about our principles and our ideas, but I blame most of it on our political establishment.
(CHEERS AND APPLAUSE)
RUBIO: A political establishment that for far too long has looked down at conservatives, looked down at conservatives as simple, simple- minded people. Looked down at conservatives as simply bomb throwers. A political establishment that for far too long has taken the votes of conservatives for granted. And a political establishment that has grown to confuse cronyism for capitalism and big business for free enterprise.
I endeavored over the last 11 months to bridge this divide within our party and within our country because I know that after eight years of Barack Obama, this nation needs a vibrant and growing conservative movement and it needs a strong Republican party to change the direction now of this country or many of the things that are going wrong in America will become permanent. And many of the things that make us a special country will be gone.
America needs a vibrant conservative movement, but one that's built on principles and on ideas, not on fear, not on anger, not on preying on people's frustrations.
(CHEERS AND APPLAUSE)
RUBIO: A conservative movement -- a conservative movement that believes in the principles of our constitution, that protects our rights and limits the power of government. A conservative movement committee to the cause of free enterprise. The only economic model where everyone can climb without anyone falling. A conservative movement that believes in a strong national defense and a conservative movement that believes in the strong Judeo-Christian values that are the formation of our nation.
(CHEERS AND APPLAUSE)
RUBIO: But we also need a new political establishment in our party. Not one that looks down on people that live outside of the district of Columbia, not one that tells young people that they need to wait their turn and wait in line, and not one that's more interested in winning elections than it is in solving problems or standing by principles.
(CHEERS AND APPLAUSE)
RUBIO: And this is the campaign we've run. A campaign that is realistic about the challenges we face but optimistic about the opportunities before us. A campaign that recognizes the difficulties we face, but also one that believes that we truly are on the verge of a new American century. And a campaign to be president -- a campaign to be a president that would love all of the American people. Even the ones that don't love you back.
(CHEERS AND APPLAUSE)
RUBIO: This is the right way forward for our party. This is the right way forward for our country. But after tonight, it is clear that while we are on the right side, this year, we will not be on the winning side. I take great comfort in the ancient words which teaches us that in their hearts, humans plan their course, but the Lord establishes their steps. And so, yet, 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.
(CHEERS AND APPLAUSE)
RUBIO: And how can I not? How can I not? My mother was one of seven girls born to a poor family. Her father was disabled as a child. He struggled to provide for them his entire life. My mother told us a few years ago she never went to bed hungry growing up but she knows her parents did so they wouldn't have to. She came to this country in 1956 with little education, no money, no connections. My parents struggled their first years here. They were discouraged. They even thought about going back to Cuba at one point, but they persevered. They never became rich. I didn't inherit any money from my parents. They never became famous. You never would have heard from them if I'd never run for office. And yet I consider my parents to be very successful people because in this country, working hard as a bartender and a maid, they owned a home and they retired with dignity. In this country, they lived to see all four of their children live better off than themselves. And in this country, on this day, my mother who's now 85 years old, was able to cast a ballot for her son to be the president of the United States of America.
(CHEERS AND APPLAUSE)
RUBIO: And so --
CROWD: Marco! Marco! Marco! Marco!
RUBIO: Thank you. And so --
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: We love you, Marco!
RUBIO: 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 why we must do all we can to ensure that this nation remains a special place.
I ask the American people, do not give into the fear, do not give into the frustration. We can disagree about public policy, we can disagree about it vibrantly, passionately, but we are a hopeful people and we have every right to be hopeful. For we in this nation are the descendants of go-getters. In our veins runs the blood of people who gave it all up so we would have the chances they never did. We are all the descendants of someone who made our future the purpose of their lives. We are the descendants of pilgrims, we are the descendants of settlers, we are the descendants of men and women that headed westward in the great plains not knowing what awaited them. We are the descendants of slaves who overcame the horrible institution to stake their claim in the American dream. We are the descendants of immigrants and exiles who knew and believed that they were destined for more and that there was only one place on earth where that was possible.
This is who we are. And let us fight to ensure that this is who we remain. For if we lose that about our country, we'll still be rich and still be powerful, but we will no longer be special.
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: We'll keep fighting!
RUBIO: And so, I'm grateful to all of you who have worked so hard for me. I truly am. I'm grateful to my family, to my wife, Jeanette, who has been phenomenal in this campaign.
(CHEERS AND APPLAUSE)
RUBIO: To my four kids who have been extraordinary in this campaign.
(CHEERS AND APPLAUSE)
RUBIO: And I want you to know that I will continue every single day to search for ways for me to repay some solve this extraordinary debt that I owe this great country. And I want to leave with an expression of gratitude to God. In whose hands all things lie.
He has a plan for every one of our lives. Everything that comes from God is good. God is perfect. And he has things planned for all of us. And we await eagerly to see what lies ahead. And so I leave tonight with one final prayer. And I use the words of King David because I remain grateful to God.
Your, oh lord, is the greatness, and the power and the glory and victory and the majesty, indeed everything that is in the heavens and the earth. Yours is the dominion, oh Lord, and you exalt yourself as head overall. Both riches and honor come from you and you rule over all. And in your hand is power and might and it lies in your hand to make great and to strengthen everyone.
May God strengthen our people. May God strengthen our nation. May God strengthen the conservative movement. May God strengthen the Republican Party. May God strengthen our eventual nominee. And may God always bless and strengthen this great nation, the United States of America. Thank you, and god bless you all. Thank you very much.
[20:26:43] COOPER: Very difficult speech for Marco Rubio, and a very difficult fall for him in his political campaign. David Axelrod, I mean, it is a tough thing to do.
DAVID AXELROD, CNN SENIOR POLITICAL COMMENTATOR: It is. It's always a tough thing to do. And you saw both the strength and weakness of Marco Rubio right there. Very inspiring speech, but, and he talked about building a bridge to all factions of the Republican party, but there's an element of trying to be all things to all people there, and when you're running particularly within a party, you have to have a base and he never had a base. He tried to be everybody's favorite and ended up as nobody's chase.
GLORIA BORGER, CNN CHIEF POLITICAL ANALYST: You know, he began as an insurgent when he won his Senate seat in 2010, and he became the establishment darling in 2016 and yet in this speech tonight, he came out against the establishment and said, you know, that the establishment has always looked down on conservatives and so you see as saying, this kind of mixed message that you get from Marco Rubio. I think it was a quintessential Rubio speech which is why people are so attracted to him and didn't work this time. He never had the momentum he wanted.
COOPER: Let's go back to Wolf.
BLITZER: Thanks very much, Anderson.
We're getting ready for the second major projection on the Democratic side right now. CNN projects Hillary Clinton is the winner in North Carolina. Based on all the information, the actual votes that have come in, the exit poll information, Hillary Clinton wins. Hillary Clinton wins North Carolina. Let's go to Brianna Keilar right now. She's over at Hillary Clinton headquarters in West Palm Beach where the crowd is obviously very excited, Brianna.
KEILAR: They are. They're hearing the news live from CNN. You can hear them behind me. Very excited for this projection, 107 delegates here. And Wolf, I will tell you, talking to the Clinton campaign, they thought that this might be certainly a place they were going to win, but they thought that Bernie Sanders might be able to tighten up the margins. He spent a considerable amount of ad money in this state. But at the same time, what they're really emphasizing here is this blowout win in Florida, and also they're hoping for that in North Carolina and the campaign is making the case that if you have two big wins in these states, it's a much bigger deal than having close races in Missouri, Ohio, and Illinois.
Of course, math maybe isn't the most inspirational argument even if you can't totally argue with it, and that's why Hillary Clinton and her campaign is really keeping an eye on Ohio. Not just for her, but for Donald Trump because if she does come out of this state still with a primary battle on her hands, she certainly doesn't want to be facing someone in a primary battle and then also facing someone else who appears to be a presumptive nominee with the general election battle. A two-front battle politically.
BLITZER: Brianna, thanks very much.
Hillary Clinton, the winner in North Carolina. That's her second state, we projected she wins in Florida, now in North Carolina.
Let's get a key race alert on the seven other contests still outstanding. We'll start on the Republican side in Ohio. Right now, 12 percent of the vote is in. The governor, John Kasich, he's ahead of Donald Trump 44.3 percent to 32.3 percent for Donald Trump. Ted Cruz a distant third. Kasich right now with 12 percent of the vote in. He's ahead by 24,000, almost 25,000 votes. Winner take all in Ohio, 66 delegates at stake. Kasich ahead.
[20:30:12] In Missouri, very, very early. Only less than 1,000 votes are in right now. You can see Donald Trump has 48.6 percent, 32.3 percent for Ted Cruz, Marco Rubio who's just dropped out of the contest, 8.5 percent in Missouri.
Let's take a look at Illinois also. Very early. Only a few thousand votes are in. Donald Trump has the lead, 44.2 percent. 22.4 percent for Cruz. Kasich, 20.9 percent. Less than 1 percent of the vote is in Illinois. Right now very early in that contest.
In North Carolina, 24 quarter of the vote is now in. That's a significant number. Trump is ahead in North Carolina, 40.3 percent. 34.4 percent for Cruz. 12.6 percent for Kasich. Trump ahead by almost 19,000 votes with a quarter of the vote in in North Carolina right now.
Let's take a look on the democratic side, a key race alert. We'll start off in Ohio right now. 10 percent of the vote is in. Hillary Clinton maintains a significant lead over Bernie Sanders. 67.8 percent to 31 percent for Bernie Sanders. She's beating him right now by more than 65,000 votes. 10 percent of the vote in Ohio is in. Very important state right now. 143 delegates at Stake.
In Missouri, very early. Maybe 200 or 300 votes are in. You see Hillary Clinton is ahead 62.7 percent, 30.8 percent for Bernie Sanders. So this is very, very early in Missouri. 71 delegates at Stake in the state of Missouri.
In Illinois, 3 percent of the vote is now in. Hillary Clinton has a lead, 54.5 percent to Bernie Sanders' 44 percent. She up by almost 5,000 votes, but remember, very early in Illinois. 3 percent of the vote is in.
Let's take a look at the States won so far on this important Super Tuesday night. On the Republican side, we have projected that Donald Trump is the winner in Florida. On the Democratic side, we projected that Hillary Clinton is the winner in Florida and North Carolina.
We're expecting to hear, by the way, from Donald Trump very soon. We're also expecting to hear from Hillary Clinton very soon. We'll have live coverage of all of this. Let's take a quick break. Much more right after this.
[20:35:22] BLITZER: We're standing by to hear from Hillary Clinton. She's getting ready to speak. She has won -- we have projected she is the winner both in North Carolina and in Florida. We're also waiting to hear from Donald Trump momentarily. He will be speaking as well. Stand by for that. We have a key race alert right now. Let's take a look at Florida right now. Let's start on the Republican side. You can see Donald Trump, we projected he's the winner with 85 percent of the vote is in. He's got 45.5 percent. 27.1 percent. Cruz 17 percent. Trump is the winner in Florida.
In Missouri right now, we're getting some numbers. Several thousand votes are now in. 1 percent about. Donald Trump has a lead, 34.1 percent over Ted Cruz, 26.8 percent. Marco Rubio, 17.8 percent, he's just dropped out. 12 percent for John Kasich.
In Ohio right now, 15 percent of the vote is in. Remember, 66 delegates at Stake. Winner take all in Ohio. Kasich is ahead 43.4 percent. Trump is in second place, 33.7 percent. Cruz in third place, 14.4 percent. Marco Rubio, 5.9 percent. Kasich's ahead by almost 25,000 votes with 15 percent of the vote is in.
Let's go over to John King. We're watching very, very closely what's going on in all of these contests. You're studying these numbers.
KING: And on the Republican side, we are now entering what I'll call a fascinating game of chess for the night because Donald Trump gets the 99 winner take all out of Florida so the big question is how much does Donald Trump grow tonight? Well, if John Kasich can hold onto Ohio, 66, 67 delegates here, winner take all, 66 those would all go to John Kasich if this holds. 15 percent of the vote in. A 10-point lead just shy of that right now. We'll watch as these results come in.
Ohio will be the biggest pool of delegates. But then, how Ted Cruz does in is other three states could be critical. Missouri right now, got barely nothing in, just 1 percent of the vote is close rise so these numbers mean almost nothing. And we're expecting it a tight race here you showed some of the exit polling early on tonight.
It's not winner take all. Its statewide winner gets some and then the rest is done by congressional district. So no matter who come on top. Is there a delegate split here? Can Ted Cruz pick up delegates in Missouri? Critical tonight.
Next story in Illinois just this same calculation, it's a hybrid state. Statewide winner gets some then you go by district. What happens here there go in saw that matter and you can see this shaping up as well over here in North Carolina, Wolf, as you see the results come in right now. Very close race at the moment. Just have 30 percent of the vote in, 39 to 35 percent or 40 to 35 as you round up for both of them. And you see the map starting to fill in. This is critical for Ted Cruz out here in the Western part of the state. Asheville area, he's leading but not by as big a margin as he would have to try to pull it off.
I want to go back in time to show you this state. This state has never mattered in the past. It's votedt later in the most recent primaries. So if you look at 2008, 2012, it was a walk away which makes it a fascinating state now in 2016 because it's early, not very a key point in the calendar. Right now Ted Cruz winning by a decent margin in the rural area here. We'll see what happens when Durham comes in.
So if you look at the map right now and, you know, that Florida is now for Trump, 99 delegates there, what happens not only in Ohio where Kasich leads but those other three states which shapes up right now as a Cruz/Trump tug-of-war for delegates? That will have a huge effect on the map at the end of the night before we can talk about what is the likelihood of an Open Republican Convention going out tonight.
BLITZER: Let's take a look at the democrats so the outstanding contests first let's start off with Ohio.
KING: Ohio at the moment is 12 percent of the vote in. And nobody expects this margin to stand. If you're Hillary Clinton's campaign, you're very glad to get off to an early start. I will show after that early start up in Cuyahoga County, large African American vote here, this is critical to Secretary Clinton's chances. And just 0 percent but the early results there show her up well ahead there which is very important to keep that number.
Also down here in Franklin County, the Columbus area, around here, and, again, very early results. At the moment, a big margin. If she can hold those margins there and as much like in the republican race, to do this just this the diagonal down the state, Hamilton County around Cincinnati again you see 0 percent. So were very early on here. You're encouraged if you're the Clinton campaign at 12 percent this the map is filling in the way you want it to but there's no guarantee that will continue.
BLITZER: Let's take a look at Illinois right now.
KING: And you move over to Illinois where at the moment, 10 percent a closer race so far. As you can see, we've got hardly anything and the results we do have are coming in from the City of Chicago proper so far. 24 percent of the city is in. Hillary Clinton with a 10-point lead there. Remember, Bernie Sanders has made Mayor Emanuel the issue in this campaign as much if not more than Secretary Clinton. We'll see how he does in the City of Chicago proper.
And then the tiny suburbs on the Lake, Lake county. You see Hillary Clinton with a decent lead there right now. But we're very early on. We got almost nothing coming in there then you can pop over and look at the early Missouri results.
[20:40:02] Again, just 2 percent of the votes. So in those other Battleground States, Hillary Clinton won big in Florida, up way big. Very tradition way the vote is coming in North Carolina as well. See this is her part of the campaign. The question is, early results have Hillary Clinton leading in the other three big prizes but we got some votes to count.
BLITZER: She got a clean sweep throughout the Southwest for Hillary Clinton especially now that she has won North Carolina. We projected that. We projected Florida for her as well. Anderson, back to you.
COOPER: Paul Begala is a supporter of Hillary Clinton. How are you seeing the night shape up so far? PAUL BEGALA, CNN DEMOCRATIC STRATEGIST: Well, where so far where Hillary has won in the past, she's won big. Where Senator Sanders has won, he's won tight. And, so looks like the exit polls, the races we called in North Carolina and Florida, she's won very big. That matters because this is a delegate game. When you win big, you get push a larger share.
When Senator Sanders win and he has one and the uncertain were primaries is as past as goes forward. He is so far intended to win narrowly. It's going to make if it's not already mathematical impossible, before these two primaries she won tonight, Hillary had a lead of 215 delegates that's larger than any lead Barack Obama ever had over Hillary the last time there was a contested Democratic Primary and the math becomes simply insurmountable. And that may be the case when we wake up tomorrow morning.
COOPER: And Van, in Illinois how big a problem is Rahm Emanuel for Hillary Clinton?
VAN JONES, CNN POLITICAL COMMENTATOR: Well, we got three people here who served with him in various White Houses. I believe
COOPER: That's why I asked you.
JONES: So we might have a debate about this. But, look I think Rahm Emanuel went to Chicago as Obama's guy. The guy who gave up a chance to be speaker of the house to be the Chief of Staff to President Obama in the toughest period that the country's seen in a long time and did a great job.
He has become a very a disliked person among progressives and African Americans in Chicago mainly because of the police brutality problem and the way he's dealt with it. The fact that people feel he had that videotape that somehow he was a part of hiding the videotape that showed a police murder
COOPER: Has Sanders successfully linked him to her
JONES: Sanders brilliantly said, actually took Rahm Emanuel's endorsement of Hillary Clinton and used it against Hillary and said I don't want your endorsement. And so you're going to see now whether or not of that worked and you have to look at the black vote and see how it played, but I do think that Rahm Emanuel wound up being a net harm to Hillary Clinton than a gain. That wouldn't have been true a few years ago. Definitely true this year.
COOPER: And Jeffrey Lord, as we're awaiting Donald Trump's news conference, statement, victory lap whatever it's going to be tonight because we never really can tell, it is clearly shaping up to be a very good night for Donald Trump, certainly obviously in Florida most importantly of all.
JEFFREY LORD, CNN POLITICAL COMMENTATOR: Yeah. I mean, not only does he win the primary, he gets the delegates and knocks out a major opponent. I mean, that's 3 for 3 right there. So now -- he'll go on.
S.E. CUPP, CNN POLITICAL COMMENTATOR: Now Rubio is a major opponent. I like that. Say that again, Jeffrey.
JONES: Donald Trump is, like, King Kong just stepping on buildings, you know.
COOPER: We got to take a quick break. We're awaiting statements not only from Donald Trump, obviously from Hillary Clinton, Bernie Sanders and others. We're going to continue our coverage in just a moment. More states to come in. More votes to be counted. Stick around.
[20:46:18] BLITZER: Got a major projection to release to our viewers right now. This is very, very big.
CNN projects that John Kasich is the winner of the Ohio Republican Presidential Primary. This is his first win so far in this election cycle. He needed this win presumably to stay in the race. Remember, 66 delegates are at stake in Ohio. It's winner take all. It's a very, very big win for John Kasich. He needed it. He said he would drop out if he didn't carry his own state. CNN projects John Kasich is the winner in Ohio.
Let's go to Phil Mattingly, he's joining us now from the Kasich headquarters over there. I guess they just saw us make that projection. Phil, they're pretty excited over at Kasich headquarters.
PHIL MATTINGLY, CNN CORRESPONDENT: Yeah, no question at all, Wolf. They're actually seeing these on their mobile devices right now passing it around. Word passing, crowd starts going crazy behind me, and then people actually start rushing up, they weren't ready for this at all. Everybody now rushing to the stage.
John Kasich just a couple minutes ago was actually shooting baskets behind a barrier here at Baldwin Wallace College. He will be coming out shortly to celebrate this. And Wolf, you can't underscore how important this is for the Kasich campaign. They really put all their chips on the table in this race right now.
If they were to lose, John Kasich's campaign would have ended. Now I talked to him shortly before we made this projection. I went back and he was watching the results with his wife. He said that he believes he will be taking some serious momentum out of this race today and moving it forward. There are a lot of questions within the Republican Party about what his pathway is next.
Wolf, his advisers say he will be hitting the road trying to have a national campaign. Most important as you look at that going forward, if they want to have a national campaign, they have to have money. His team believes today most importantly than anything else they will be able to raise major financial help going forward.
They think they can pick off some of Rubio's supporters. And Wolf, what you hear behind me right now is the O-H-I-O chant going on, it's something you hear all over the state, something you hear at Ohio State University football games. Now, the crowd once again getting very excited as they see the projections come in, Wolf.
BLITZER: John Kasich, the winner, the governor of Ohio carries his own state. A very important win for him. He said he would drop out if he didn't win. He wins his home state of Ohio. A big win. A big win. They're watching CNN Jake, as we speak right now. Clearly they're very, very happy he has managed to do what he really needed to do.
JAKE TAPPER, CHIEF WASHINGTON CORRESPONDENT, ANCHOR: Yes, they're happy. He has survived and will live to fight another day. His path going forward will be that he hopes to do well in the other winner- take-all states that are coming up including Wisconsin, Pennsylvania, Indiana, California, also hoping to do well in some of the proportional states like New York, Oregon, and Washington. But he does need money and he doesn't have what he needs and he's facing two very formidable opponents. He has now won one state.
DANA BASH, CNN WHITE HOUSE CORRESPONDENT: That's right.
TAPPER: One state.
BASH: His home state. And I think that this is as much about Donald Trump as it is about John Kasich for the narrative of tonight's purposes because this robs Donald Trump of running the board. It robs him of his nomination being an almost sure thing and it makes it a lot tougher for him to get the magic number of delegates, 1,237, he needs before the convention.
So it really means that this is going to be a long haul for Donald Trump, maybe for John Kasich, and maybe for Ted Cruz and so Donald Trump is going to be able to have a very important victory speech about Florida, but he sure would have had a very different speech had Ohio gone differently.
TAPPER: Yeah, the big question now is, will any of the republican candidates still standing,Trump, Cruz, and Kasich, be able to reach that magic number of delegates, 1,237, before the convention or will they all take it to the convention where there will be a contested convention.
[20:50:15] David Chalian our David Chalian, our political director, is in CNN election headquarters. David, how did governor Kasich win his home state?
DAVID CHALIAN, CNN POLITICAL DIRECTOR: Yeah, so first let's take a look at the moderates in Ohio because a quarter of the Republican electorate, Jake, in the primary today call themselves moderate and Kasich wins them big. So they made -- they definitely contributed to his win here. He wins 57 percent to Trump's 34 percent, Rubio at 4 percent of the moderates.
And take a look at these Economy voters. This was Trump bread and butter in many states we have seen. Here John Kasich wins the voters who say that the economy and jobs are their top issue, and by the way, that's 39 percent of voters today. He wins them 50 percent to Trump's 34 percent, to Cruz's 11 percent and this may be the biggest answer as to how Kasich won Insider -- we got to go to Wolf Blitzer, sorry, we'll get back to that in a moment.
BLITZER: We certainly will.
We got a special interview right now, John Kasich, the governor of Ohio, winner of Ohio Republican Presidential Primaries joining us on the phone right now. Governor, congratulations on your very important win in your home state of Ohio I know you're going to be speaking to your supporters soon but give us your reaction. How excited are you?
KASICH: We're all very, very happy, Wolf. We've run a positive campaign and one that, you know, shows the record of balancing budgets and cutting taxes and most important growing jobs and leaving no one behind. And I'm just so appreciative of the people of Ohio that's my third straight statewide win and we got one more to go.
We'll have one more to go this fall when we beat Hillary Clinton here because I'm in the best position to beat her and we're going to get a lot of momentum. We have a lot of people now joining us who they were on the sidelines. They want to come now, both, i heard Jake Tapper saying well, he doesn't have any money. I mean, tell Jake I'll have all the money we need, okay?
And we also are lining up great political support and, look, look at these people how happy they are and you know what it is? What it is is it's a real election for somebody that knows how to fix the country, the economy. That's what this is about. And we're fired up I'm going to Philadelphia tomorrow I think we'll have a great event in Philadelphia, and we're just all thrilled my wife and my kids are here and my sister-in-law, the whole family, and many, many volunteers.
BLITZER: Let's talk a little bit about your path forward right now. You got all 66 delegates in your home state of Ohio. Walk us through there's still an enormous number you need to capture the Republican presidential nomination.
KASICH: Yeah. Well there's over 1,000 delegates yet to be selected. We're going to be working all across this country like I say, we're in Pennsylvania tomorrow will be heading of Eastern Seaboard I'm going to get in a covered wagon and hope for a big breeze and we're going to head out to the West, we're going to go out to Colorado and go to Maryland, by the way, down on the Eastern shore. We'll be out in California where i think we'll be very competitive.
Look, this is the little engine that can. People said we wouldn't be at this place, said we weren't going to be able to make it so for those people that like the underdog, for that person in the March madness that can go from the bottom seed all the way up now, there's three of us left, it's pretty cool. So we're excited, Wolf.
BLITZER: You think you're going to be able to go all the way to the convention and see what happens at the convention if no one gets that 1,237, that magic number need to capture the nomination?
KASICH: Oh, yeah, look, I may go to the convention before this is over with more delegates than anybody else. There's 1,000 yet to pick and look, we've only been paid attention to for about the last two or three weeks. I've had more attention in the last three weeks than i had in the last six months.
So people are timely starting to hear the message of success in Washington,balancing the budget, job growth in Ohio, turning it around, job growth and, Wolf, at the same time all that has happened, we've left no one behind. We helped the mentally ill, the drug addicted, the working poor. We're proud of what we've done. We want to bring the country together and not divide this country anymore.
That's why this was such a big victory tonight because what it does is it says you want to go and divide them? OK. You came to Ohio, you threw everything you had at me, and guess what, it didn't work because we know that we need to unite this country and be Americans and not spend our time dividing people in this country.
BLITZER: Governor Kasich, congratulations 66 delegates in Ohio. You capture them all it's a winner-take-all state. Congratulations. We'll see you out there on the campaign trail.
KASICH: Well, we'll see you tonight. I'm going to be out here to make a speech pretty soon to all the supporters and the people of Ohio, I love you.
[20:55:00] I love you. Fight for you every day. Thanks.
BLITZER: We'll have live coverage of all the speeches tonight governor, thanks very much. We have another major projection to report to you right now. Hillary Clinton wins Ohio Hillary Clinton is the winner of the Ohio Democratic Primary. This is another big win for Hillary Clinton. This is what she really wanted.
There was fears in her camp that after Michigan, she might have some problems, but she does win in Ohio, a big win, a big win for Hillary Clinton.
Let's go to Brianna Keilar over at Hillary Clinton headquarters. They're cheering right now. I guess they heard our projection. You're in West Palm Beach. We're getting ready to hear from her soon as well, Brianna, but set the scene for us.
BRIANNA KEILAR, CNN CORRESPONDENT: Yeah, that's right, Wolf. We expect Hillary Clinton will be here at any time now. You can see, obviously, this crowd is very thrilled that Hillary Clinton has won Florida and Ohio and the campaign is thrilled as well.
I was told by an aide that the Brooklyn headquarters erupted in hugs and chants of "I believe that we will win." Now, I'm also told by another aide that they believe, the campaign believes they're going to approach with these wins a 300 delegate lead over Bernie Sanders.
We expect that will be the argument moving forward that she will have a lead over him and that he will not be able to catch up as soon as the same time, I just spoke with Hillary Clinton's -- back to you, Wolf.
BLITZER: Brianna, stand by. We're going to take a quick break. We're waiting to hear from Hillary Clinton. We're waiting to hear from Donald Trump. Big winners tonight.
Our special coverage continues right after a quick break.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
HILLARY CLINTON, (D) PRESIDENTIAL CANDIDATE: You know, although we're waiting for final results in Illinois, in Missouri, we know we will add to our delegates lead to roughly 300, with over 2 million more votes nationwide.
We are moving closer to securing the Democratic Party nomination and winning this election in November.
[21:00:03] You know, because of all of you and our supporters across the country, our campaign has urged more votes than any other candidate.