By Matthew Pryce, PoliticKING
In what’s become a common occurrence this election cycle, a brash Donald Trump strode to the stage and addressed his supporters (and the nation, by way of all media networks), with his usual, seemingly unprepared remarks.
Riffing on a combination of his typical stump speech, jabs at his opponents, compliments for his opponents, digs at the media, and aggressive sloganeering – Donald Trump’s address was atypically short. He had little to prove as he’d just wrapped up a handful of key states and added to his delegate count on the way to the GOP nomination.
Cast asunder in the wake of Battleship Trump were the two homespun stories on the Republican ticket: John Kasich captured his home state of Ohio and delivered an address further attempting to paint himself as the Anti-Trump candidate – specifically denying the option of taking the “low road to the highest office in the land.”
With Donald Trump nabbing the winner-take-all state of Florida, the last hope for Marco Rubio was snuffed out, just like his run for the 2016 nomination. The New York Times labelled the Florida outcome “a humiliatingly distant second-place finish” and put a bow on what was a very disappointing campaign for a very ambitious young politician. Rubio’s concession speech hinted at future political hopes and bemoaned the divisive state of the current political climate.
At the time of writing, Missouri was too close to call. But, that didn’t stop Ted Cruz from disregarding the Kasich victory in Ohio, and declaring the GOP contest a two-person race. Whether the GOP establishment likes it or not, Cruz might be the last man standing on the way to a Trump nomination.
On the left, it was another good night for the Hillary Clinton campaign. Those declaring #ImWithHer helped Clinton net Florida, Ohio, and likely Illinois. At midnight EST, Missouri represented the lone possible state that could go to Senator Bernie Sanders. (Still too close to call at the time of printing).
With Clinton picking up more states, the Democratic nomination is well within reach.
And yet, there is still optimism in the Bernie camp. Despite the shellacking in today’s contests, U.S. Congressman from Florida, Alan Grayson laid out a possible path to victory for Bernie Sanders. Citing certain regional advantages that still lay ahead for Sen. Sanders, Grayson is still #FeelingTheBern.
Election Day in November is still over seven months away and a lot can change, but one thing is certain: the 2016 campaign has been unforgettable political theater.
Will Trump's shadow darken chances for GOP incumbents? Watch Republican Congressman Brad Wenstrup of Ohio offer his take in this episode of PoliticKING:
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