Washington: Ahead of tomorrow’s crucial primaries, all eyes are on Florida and Ohio where Republican presidential hopefuls Marco Rubio and John Kasich respectively are engaged in a do-or-die battle with party’s frontrunner Donald Trump, whose campaign lately has been marred by unrest.
To stay in the race to the White House both Rubio, 44, and Kasich, 63, need to win the primaries in their respective states, which would likely propel Trump closer to bagging the party’s presidential nomination for the November 8 elections.
US poll: All eyes on Florida, Ohio The events tomorrow has been dubbed “Super Tuesday 2.0”, when five states will go to the polls including Florida, Illinois, Missouri, North Carolina and Ohio as well as the Northern Mariana Islands.
More than 360 delegates are stake in the primaries in these five states, electioneering before which has seen an unprecedented level of violence and protests at public rallies of Trump, who had to cancel his Chicago meeting as groups of supporters and protesters clashed on Friday night.
In Ohio, its popular governor Kasich is in a tight race with Trump, latest opinion polls said yesterday.
To give a boost to his campaign, the former Republican presidential nominee Mitt Romney has announced that he would campaign in favour of Kasich in Ohio. The strategy for Romney, who has openly called for defeat of Trump, is to prevent the outspoken New Yorker from winning the majority of the delegates so that the final decision on the nomination is taken at the Cleveland convention in July.
In a fast-changing political equation, Trump, 69, last night announced to cancel his rally in Florida and instead campaign in Ohio, which his managers said would be attended by thousands of people.
In order to seal the deal, Trump desperately needs to win both Florida and Ohio - which are winner-takes-all states.
Trump has won primaries and caucuses in 14 states and has 460 delegates, but he is just 100 delegates ahead of nearest rival Senator Ted Cruz who has won seven states and has 360 delegates.