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Analysis, background reports and updates from the PBS NewsHour putting today's news in context.

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    U.N. mediator for Syria Staffan de Mistura speaks to media on the U.N. sponsored Syria peace talks in Geneva, Switzerland March 14, 2016.  REUTERS/Ruben Sprich - RTX291C7

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    JUDY WOODRUFF: Tomorrow marks five years since Syria’s brutal civil war began, killing hundreds of thousands and displacing millions more.

    The humanitarian situation remains the most dire since the Second World War, as halting peace talks toward a resolution begin again.

    Chief foreign affairs correspondent Margaret Warner begins our coverage.

    MARGARET WARNER: Huddled together, hand in hand, hundreds of migrants streamed out of a camp in Northern Greece today. They trudged along muddy trails and forded surging rivers in search of a break in the border fence.

    MAN: We hope we can cross because we are a lot of people. Our number is big now.

    MARGARET WARNER: They’re fleeing the overcrowded, rain-soaked Idomeni camp, where they have been stranded since its northern neighbor Macedonia closed its border to refugees last week. Many are Syrians fleeing the war in at home.

    In Geneva today, the first round of United Nations-brokered peace talks aimed at ending that conflict got under way, as U.N. special envoy to Syria, Staffan de Mistura, hosted Syria’s ambassador to the U.N.

    STAFFAN DE MISTURA, UN Special Envoy for Syria: We believe that we should have at least a clear road map. I’m not saying an agreement, but a clear road map, because that’s what Syria is expecting from all of us.

    As far as I know, the only plan B available is return to war, and to even worse war than we had so far.

    MARGARET WARNER: The start of talks come as a tenuous cessation of hostilities in Syria entered its third week.

    Today, five years since the conflict began, UNICEF painted a dire picture for the country’s children. One in three Syrian children has been born since the war broke out. And 8.4 million, or nearly 80 percent of Syrian children, are affected by the violence, either within the country or as refugees elsewhere.

    Meanwhile, the U.N. Refugee Agency, UNHCR, reported that 46 percent of the more than 150,000 refugees inundating Europe this year came from Syria. Those numbers outpace last year’s, when a record one million people fled to Europe.

    Many make the perilous sea crossing from Turkey to Greece, but now, because Balkan borders are blocked, thousands are stranded in Greece. At an E.U. summit last week, Turkish Prime Minister Ahmet Davutoglu offered to take back huge numbers of migrants in exchange for $3 billion in aid and progress on Turkey’s joining the European Union.

    The E.U. summit with Turkey resumes later this week, but the U.N. Refugee Agency has strongly objected to the deal, saying it would violate the European Human Rights Convention.

    That’s where Jeffrey Brown picks up the story.

    JEFFREY BROWN: And joining me is the new head of that agency, Filippo Grandi, United Nations high commissioner for refugees.

    Welcome to you.

    FILIPPO GRANDI, UN High Commissioner for Refugees: Thank you.

    JEFFREY BROWN: Let’s start with that tentative deal that Margaret was just talking about between the E.U. and Turkey. What is your objection to having Turkey bring back some of those refugees?

    FILIPPO GRANDI: I think we should put this in context.

    Turkey is the country that hosts the largest number of Syrian refugees. We have heard it 2.7 million. In fact, it’s the countries that host the largest numbers number of refugees worldwide, all kinds of refugees.

    And we have always promoted the idea that the responsibility of hosting Syrian refugees should be shared more widely. Many of them have reached Europe together with refugees of other countries, and we have always encouraged Europe to manage that flow in an orderly way.

    Unfortunately, this wasn’t done. Chaos has followed. What we see in Greece today is very worried. Europe is reacting in an emergency manner and is now proposing to — is now discussing with Turkey the possibility of sending back to Turkey some of these people. Now, what we’re seeing…

    JEFFREY BROWN: Would that not create more of an order — orderly passage?

    FILIPPO GRANDI: Well, first of all, it needs to be done, and if it is done, it is called technically readmission of refugees from one country to the other.

    It needs to be done in a manner that respects the human rights, the rights of these refugees. So, what we’re saying to Europe, what we’re advising Europe, if it is done, it needs to be done in a manner that fully, fully ensures the guarantees for the people that go back that their protection and their rights are observed.

    JEFFREY BROWN: Speaking of Turkey and other countries that border Syria, where there are so many refugees, and so many financial precious on these countries — now, you have had a lot of pledges of money. Do they get — do they have the resources to handle the refugees they have? Or is the money coming through that you need?

    FILIPPO GRANDI: There was a conference in London at the beginning of February in which $11 billion were pledged to support refugees and hosting communities and host countries in the region.

    Some of that money has been paid and — pledged and paid, but we haven’t got the full picture yet. What we are telling donor governments is that those pledges need to be expedited, because, for people on the ground, results have to be tangible and visible. Otherwise, the risk is that they will move on and also try to reach Europe.

    JEFFREY BROWN: When you look at countries in Europe closing their borders, you look at political trends, even this weekend elections in Germany, do you see the tide turning against refugees in Europe?

    FILIPPO GRANDI: We see a hardening of the position of certain governments in respect of receiving refugees.

    What we are, of course, telling Europe is that the responsibility to take care of refugees should be shared globally. This is — Syria has shown that this cannot be any more the responsibility of two, three countries bordering the country at war, Syria in this case, but has to be shared more widely, including by Europe.

    JEFFREY BROWN: So, thousands of refugees now stranded in Greece, right? What should be done for those? What is the situation there? How dire is it? And what should be done for those people in the short term?

    FILIPPO GRANDI: The situation is dire.

    People were trying to move on for Greece. The northern border was closed, so now about 40,000 are stranded there, and more are coming. The important thing is to find adequate sites to host them temporarily until solutions are found, including, perhaps, relocation through Europe, a decision that Europe made many months ago, but which it didn’t implement.

    JEFFREY BROWN: Well, what do you — you were talking earlier about donor countries, the pledges you have received. I wonder about the United States. What do you want to see come from the United States? Is it more money? Should the United States take in more refugees?

    FILIPPO GRANDI: The United States is the largest donor country to refugee programs.

    And it’s also the country that takes the largest number of resettled refugees from old nationalities. Of course, the number of Syrians that all countries are taking through resettlement~ and other legal means of transferring them from one country to the other, of course, those numbers are still inadequate, compared to the 4.7 million that are hosted by the countries neighboring Syria.

    JEFFREY BROWN: So, why is this so tough to crack? I mean, why does it seem to get worse? Why is there intransigence from governments that keeps people in this flight? And how long do you think the world has?

    FILIPPO GRANDI: I think there’s a mixture of motives that have made governments and sometimes public opinion more resistant to hosting refugees.

    There are economic reasons, economic downturn. There’s security reasons, the fear, the unjustified fears that refugees bring terror. Refugees flee terror. They don’t bring terror to countries. Their arrival is very carefully vetted, so there should be no fear.

    But there is an irrational fear, which is, in many countries, fueled by political propaganda.

    JEFFREY BROWN: And Margaret’s piece was talking about the potential prospects for a peace settlement, but who knows, right?

    Do you expect, for the time being, that the flight of refugees will continue?

    FILIPPO GRANDI: Until there is war, people will try to flee.

    This is in human nature. People are afraid of bombs, of destruction and want to go away. That is why what has happened in Geneva today, five years after the beginning of the war, the resumption of peace talks, is so important. It must succeed.

    JEFFREY BROWN: Filippo Grandi is U.N. high commissioner for refugees.

    Thank you so much.

    FILIPPO GRANDI: Thank you.

    The post Syrian peace talks begin, but the migrant crisis remains dire appeared first on PBS NewsHour.


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    Photo by David McNew/Getty Images

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    JUDY WOODRUFF: Now the start of a new election-year series about the economic lives of Americans, the frustrations many face trying to get ahead, and the forces shaping the economy.

    In many way, the recovery seems solid. The unemployment rate is at its lowest level since the recession, and there’s been six consecutive years of job growth. But many Americans say they don’t feel it.

    Our new multimedia series will explore why and how economic forces are affecting individuals, a joint project of the “NewsHour,” Marketplace and PBS’ “Frontline.” We’re titling it How the Deck Is Stacked.

    Kai Ryssdal is the host of Marketplace. And he will be working on this series with us. He joins us from Los Angeles tonight to discuss a new poll commissioned by Marketplace looking at these issues.

    So, Kai, welcome.

    You are going to be tackling something we have been trying to understand for a long time.

    KAI RYSSDAL, Host & Senior Editor, Marketplace: Yes, we are.

    You see people consistently rate the economy as the number one thing they’re worried about in this country. It tops even terrorism and national security in most recent polls from other organizations.

    So, we wanted to know why. What is it about people’s individual economies that makes them say, this is the most important thing for us?

    So, we went out with Edison Research, and we said to people, 1,000 people across the country, why? What is going on? What are you feeling in your own personal economy? And that’s what this poll is all about.

    JUDY WOODRUFF: And you start with some new numbers that quantify people’s attitudes.

    There was a percentage there I found striking who say they are sometimes or frequently anxious about their financial situation.

    KAI RYSSDAL: Two thirds of people in this country, 61 percent of people, say they are sometimes or frequently anxious about what’s going on in their lives.

    And that’s a bunch of things, right? It’s making car payments. It’s their jobs. It’s where they see their future. It’s if they have got enough saved for retirement. They are not feeling the thing that the numbers, which you cited in the beginning, tell them they should feel.

    Jobs are up. We have added a million jobs in this economy since the last time we went out in the field in September, and yet people aren’t feeling it. And that, to me, is the most interesting thing, that what’s going on here is not being widely shared down at the middle and bottom ranges of this economy.

    JUDY WOODRUFF: And, Kai, you also found that the anxiety is higher among African-Americans and among Hispanics.

    KAI RYSSDAL: Right.

    They’re the ones who have not saved for retirement. They use payday loans more. They see problems with their inheritances. All of these things that the rest of us are feeling sort of day in and day out — and I should say, by the way, that you have to separate the wealthiest part of this economy from the rest of it. Right?

    But if you get down below the 1 percent, the 5 percent, there is deep economic stress, and African-Americans and Latinos are feeling that more acutely than anybody.

    JUDY WOODRUFF: Now, you asked a specific question about — that I found fascinating — about how people would handle an unexpected expense.

    KAI RYSSDAL: Right.

    So, we asked people, if you had an unexpected expense of $1,000 today, right now, would you be able to handle it? And we asked it because you can get $1,000 like that. You have a fender-bender, you trip on a curb, and there’s a thousand bucks.

    And so we said, would you be able to make that payment? Fifty-nine percent of people said they would have difficulty making the payment. And more importantly, and really more troubling, is that fully half of that group said they have nowhere to turn for help. They don’t have a friend, they don’t have a relative that could help them out with $1,000.

    And when you think about how easy it is in this economy today to turn around and be hit with a $1,000 bill for some kind of expense, that’s a big issue.

    JUDY WOODRUFF: You also got some interesting results when you asked people about the role they feel Washington has played in all this, how angry they are specifically at the nation’s capital.

    KAI RYSSDAL: There is some discontent.

    I mean, and there are some racial and ethnic crosscurrents in there that you have to sort of parse out. But — and as you see out on the campaign trail today, nobody is very happy with it going — what’s going on in Washington. You see that in Democrats, and you see it in Republicans. You see it in independents.

    People are not satisfied with what’s going on. But — and this is also really interesting — there is great support for a government safety net. People want the government. They just don’t want it the way it is right now.

    JUDY WOODRUFF: And that one, I know you are going to keep trying to understand.

    But tell us a little bit, finally, Kai, where you are going to be going, what parts of the country and what kinds of questions you are going to be trying to understand.

    KAI RYSSDAL: Right.

    So what we’re going to do is, we’re going to go out with “Frontline” and some folks from the “PBS NewsHour,” and we’re going to find the stories that tell the people side of this thing, right?

    And I will give you an example. I was in Tuscaloosa, Alabama, a number of months ago working for a Marketplace story. And we met a woman who is a Ph.D. student in material science at the University of Alabama, right? She’s a hard scientist. She is going to get a job in this new economy no matter what, right?

    She’s working at a barbecue joint in Tuscaloosa, Alabama to make ends meet. She’s got $192,000 worth of debt. As I said, she’s going to get a job once she gets her degree.

    But what she said — I said, how do you feel? What’s it like out there as you think about the future? And she said: “I’m scared. I’m scared.”

    And so we’re going to find the stories that sort of pull that thread through, why people aren’t feeling good about what, according to the numbers, is a rising economy.

    JUDY WOODRUFF: Well, we are looking forward to the entire series, going to be working with you, talking to you throughout the rest of this election year and beyond.

    Kai Ryssdal, thank you very much.

    KAI RYSSDAL: You bet.

    JUDY WOODRUFF: And we want to hear more from you about where we should go and what issues you feel should be part of our series.

    The series is funded in part by the Corporation for Public Broadcasting.

    You can go to our Web site, and you will see a place where you can give us your feedback on how the deck is stacked.

    The post What job growth? Voters remain pessimistic about the economy appeared first on PBS NewsHour.


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    PoliMon

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    GWEN IFILL: Ohio is key, but votes in Florida, Illinois, Missouri and North Carolina could also determine the future of the race for Democrats and Republicans.

    For that, we turn to Politics Monday, with Amy Walter of The Cook Political Report and Stuart Rothenberg of The Rothenberg & Gonzales Political Report.

    Welcome to you both.

    Amy, I want to start with you.

    For every candidate not named Trump, how critical is tomorrow?

    AMY WALTER, The Cook Political Report: Very critical.

    Of course, Trump is — it is important as well. But I think there are two people whose future begins or ends tomorrow. One of those is Marco Rubio, who’s been hunkering down in Florida, hoping that maybe that those polls showing him down double digits are wrong and things can turn around in the last few hours here before voting begins. Sort of doubtful.

    If he loses his home state, he doesn’t move on. John Kasich, of course, as we just learned in the piece before this, counting on Ohio to deliver him the home state. However, that doesn’t mean that John Kasich is in the hunt for the nomination. All it means is that he denied Donald Trump the ability to sort of run away with the day and amass enough delegates to stay on the path to winning the 1,237 delegates he would need to be the outright nominee before we hit the Cleveland, before we hit the Cleveland Republican Convention.

    Kasich would still be a spoiler, in other words, splitting up the votes once again between the Trump and the non-Trump, and probably leading us to what could be a contested convention.

    GWEN IFILL: So, Stu, for a while, it was Marco Rubio as a non-Trump and now it’s John Kasich?

    STUART ROTHENBERG, The Rothenberg & Gonzales Political Report: Well, that’s what it looks like, because Rubio seems to be floundering in the polls in his own state and other states.

    Somehow, the air went out of the balloon pretty quickly for Marco Rubio, and now all the attention is on John Kasich. Amy is right. And it’s really sort of funny. This is — Kasich has not put together a national campaign for the Republican nomination.

    He’s fought in a couple of states. Michigan, he came in narrowly in third. And it’s almost as if, if he wins Ohio, it’s almost as if he’s the favorite son. And there’s a question as to whether he can broaden his appeal beyond that.

    But I think the Kasich people will say, we’re the only game in town. We’re the only establishment game in town. Even though John Kasich says he’s not establishment, that is who backing him.

    GWEN IFILL: Let’s say…

    (CROSSTALK)

    STUART ROTHENBERG: Sure.

    GWEN IFILL: … at this point.

    Amy, aside from Ohio and Florida, which we have heard so much about, we’re also seeing primaries tomorrow in Illinois, North Carolina and Missouri.

    AMY WALTER: Yes, and for the two parties, you have very different scenarios playing out here.

    The other thing I want to point out is, Ted Cruz is still in this race on the Republican side, and he actually has won more votes and more delegates than John Kasich or Marco Rubio. So, he’s likely to stay in this race as well regardless of where the results are.

    He may be able to pick up a win and pick up some delegates in Missouri. He’s also looking to pick up delegates in Illinois. The question of whether Trump goes is not just Ohio and Florida, whether he can sweep those two states, but whether he does well enough in Ohio — I’m sorry — in Missouri and Illinois that he can pick up enough delegates.

    Because of the way that they proportion out their delegates there, he could actually get a big lead even while he loses Ohio narrowly to John Kasich. So, the math will be very important to watch.

    On the Democratic side, we’re watching for almost a rerun of what we saw on the — in Michigan, which is Bernie Sanders likely to do well Ohio, Illinois and Missouri, Hillary Clinton likely to do well in Florida and North Carolina.

    The challenge for Bernie Sanders is that coming close or winning narrowly isn’t enough for him. He needs now to win at least 55 percent of all the delegates going forward in order to have a chance to catch up with her.

    GWEN IFILL: So, is this one of those cases — I guess on both sides — in which, Stu, you can win or you can lose and you can still keep winning? Does that make sense? If you’re Hillary Clinton, you can lose and you can still get enough delegates that he can’t catch up.

    STUART ROTHENBERG: Right. Right, exactly.

    She has this — she has an advantage right now of 200 in terms of pledged delegates that she won, but she has another over 400 superdelegate advantage. And, as Amy said, each of these states is a little different. And states with large — basically, the red states, Secretary Clinton does really well in the Republican states. In the Democratic states, she doesn’t do so well.

    So, there’s a tradeoff. In that Michigan-Mississippi contest, she lost Michigan, but she won all those delegates from Mississippi, and she ended up winning, even though all the attention was on how she lost Michigan.

    GWEN IFILL: Let’s talk about the down-ballot consequences, because this is not just about the presidential race. Everyone — people who are sitting in the Senate and even the House are watching this all play out very carefully, Amy.

    AMY WALTER: Absolutely.

    And we’re talking about a state like Ohio. Rob Portman, the freshman Republican senator elected in 2010 rather easily, up for reelection this year, he’s already in a very close race with the former governor, Democratic governor of this state.

    With somebody like Trump on the top of the ticket who is as polarizing as he is, it is going to be very tough for Rob Portman not to get pulled under by the Trump phenomenon, and not in a good way. I think he will be a weight on many Republicans running in these swing states, pulling them down.

    You could even see that as the House level, too. It is very hard for me to believe that, with Donald Trump as the top of the ticket, that Republicans could hold the Senate. They’d likely lose the Senate. The only question is how many seats they lose.

    GWEN IFILL: But that said, Stu, all of the talk, all the chatter this weekend about violence at Trump events, it’s not really losing Trump any support at the top.

    STUART ROTHENBERG: There is no evidence of that yet.

    Look, Trump supporters were attracted to him very early. They locked in, and their whole world view is his world view. It basically is a sense that he’s fighting against the media, the political establishment. So, of course, when they attack him, when they portray him as inciting violence, they’re just trying to destroy him.

    And so his supporters, I think, are pretty solid. Now, I don’t think he’s going to lose support there. Now, it may limit his ability to broaden support at any point, but I don’t think it’s shaken up the race dramatically.

    GWEN IFILL: Well, let me ask you both, finally, what are you chances here on Super Tuesday III eve, or whatever we’re calling this? What is your guess about the chances of this leading to a contested convention, Amy?

    AMY WALTER: Gosh, you put me on the spot here.

    GWEN IFILL: Yes.

    (LAUGHTER)

    AMY WALTER: Let’s see. Why do you do that, Gwen?

    (LAUGHTER)

    AMY WALTER: OK.

    I think that — I think Kasich can win Ohio tomorrow. To me, I’m going to look at the margins coming out of Ohio and Illinois before I give you an answer. But I think we could be looking at a contested convention, especially if Ted Cruz also runs well. Stu is totally right. The Trump vote is not moving. It’s a question of where the rest of the vote goes.

    GWEN IFILL: Stu?

    STUART ROTHENBERG: I don’t know, Gwen.

    (LAUGHTER)

    STUART ROTHENBERG: I would say that I agree with Amy that…

    (CROSSTALK)

    STUART ROTHENBERG: Well, I think Trump’s going to have a really good day.

    The question is, can he win enough and how close does he get? Is he going to get 1,237? I’m not sure he’s going to be there, but he may be within spitting distance, and they may not be able to deny him the nomination.

    GWEN IFILL: OK. Well, we will be checking in with both of you on that.

    Amy Walter of The Cook Political Report, Stu Rothenberg of The Rothenberg & Gonzales Political Report, thank you both very much.

    STUART ROTHENBERG: Thanks, Gwen.

    AMY WALTER: You’re welcome.

    GWEN IFILL: We have more politics coverage online, including a story about which GOP candidates have benefited the most from lobbyists. There’s a breakdown at PBS.org/NewsHour.

    The post Will campaigns end after tomorrow’s round of primaries? appeared first on PBS NewsHour.


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    Ohio Governor and Republican U.S. presidential candidate John Kasich speaks at a rally in Strongsville, Ohio March 13, 2016.   REUTERS/Aaron Josefczyk - RTX28Z1G

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    JUDY WOODRUFF: Tomorrow is an important day for the presidential race in both parties, with primaries being held in five major states. One of the biggest prizes is Ohio. No Republican has won the White House without winning the Buckeye State.

    And this year, it’s taken on heightened importance in the effort to derail Donald Trump’s path to the Republican nomination.

    “NewsHour” correspondent John Yang reports from Ohio.

    JOHN YANG: As Ohio Governor John Kasich and Donald Trump crisscrossed the Buckeye State, campaigning for tomorrow’s primary:

    DONALD TRUMP (R), Republican Presidential Candidate: Oh, I love Ohio.

    GOV. JOHN KASICH (R-OH), Republican Presidential Candidate: It’s about time we had an Ohioan become president of the United States. It’s been far too long.

    (CHEERING AND APPLAUSE)

    JOHN YANG: More is at stake than just 66 delegates in this winner-take-all contest.

    GOV. JOHN KASICH: Look, I’m going to win in Ohio.

    DONALD TRUMP: We really want to win Ohio.

    JOHN YANG: Ohio Republicans say they’re battling for nothing less than their party’s future.

    DONALD TRUMP: They don’t like liars.

    JOHN YANG: And the two men’s styles couldn’t be more different.

    GOV. JOHN KASICH: So, we will fix these things when we remember that we’re Americans and not Republicans and Democrats first, but Americans first, and work together and lift this country. We will fix this.

    (APPLAUSE)

    DONALD TRUMP: We’re going to build the wall, folks. Don’t worry about it.

    (CHEERING AND APPLAUSE)

    DONALD TRUMP: Who’s going to pay for the wall?

    AUDIENCE: Mexico!

    DONALD TRUMP: Who?

    AUDIENCE: Mexico!

    JOHN YANG: And it goes beyond style. Party leaders fear Trump isn’t a real conservative, says Paul Beck, a political scientist at Ohio State University.

    PAUL BECK, Ohio State University: That is what is scaring Republican leaders maybe more than anything is that, if Trump gets the nomination and if he wins the presidency, he redefines the party, and he moves the party away from what it has been for almost forever.

    JOHN YANG: That’s why the state party is throwing its full weight behind Kasich.

    MAN: I’m a volunteer for Governor Kasich’s presidential campaign. How are you this evening?

    JOHN YANG: A popular second-term governor and former nine-term congressman.

    MAN: We will protect our favorite son for the White House in 2016.

    (CHEERING AND APPLAUSE)

    JOHN YANG: Franklin County Auditor Clarence Mingo said he wouldn’t support Trump as his party’s nominee.

    CLARENCE MINGO, Auditor, Franklin County: It’s a national embarrassment to have a gentleman who has insulted the disabled, the war record of an American hero like John McCain, insulted minorities. It’s not acceptable. It’s un-American. And I fear that, long term, the nation and the party will pay the price for this conduct.

    JOHN YANG: Matt Borges is the state party’s chairman.

    MATT BORGES, Chairman, Ohio Republican Party: Everyone knows you can’t get a Republican elected to the White House without carrying Ohio. And the candidate who gives us the best chance to get Ohio of course is John Kasich. So, maybe it isn’t so much about stopping Donald Trump as it is about making sure we select the right nominee, and that person should be John Kasich.

    JOHN YANG: But that’s not what voters said at a Trump rally this weekend in Dayton.

    So, what brings you out today?

    BRENDA HARDESTY, Trump Supporter: I want to see this man. He’s the man.

    JOHN YANG: Is he your man for Tuesday?

    BRENDA HARDESTY: He is my man.

    JOHN YANG: Take Brenda Hardesty.

    BRENDA HARDESTY: I am a Democrat, but I have flipped this year because there is nobody on that side. And Trump, he’s just — I don’t know. He’s our future, you know? He’s just our future.

    JOHN YANG: Loretta Brown volunteered at the event.

    LORETTA BROWN, Trump Supporter: We are financially sick, and this is the doctor that’s going to make it well. That’s what America needs. That’s what the people need. They need their jobs back, and, financially, the country needs his help.

    JOHN YANG: Even waiting in line at a Kasich event in Moraine, undecided voter Judy Harleman says he’s a good governor, but she may vote for Trump anyway.

    JUDY HARLEMAN, Undecided Voter: He’s a businessman, and I think that’s what Washington needs now. There is just too much going on that’s not right, right now.

    JOHN YANG: Others say they prefer Kasich’s temperament and experience. Bill Reridan is a retired engineer.

    BILL RERIDAN, Kasich Supporter: He’s willing to stand up for his own beliefs and is not, you know, trying to make a big thing out of it, but he’s telling the truth and he’s done a good job in Ohio.

    JOHN YANG: What gave him the edge over Trump, in your mind?

    BILL RERIDAN: Just because he’s level-headed and has good common sense.

    JOHN YANG: This will be the first time Ryan Ritchey votes for president.

    RYAN RITCHEY, Kasich Supporter: Trump has gone at this very unprofessionally. The presidency is something that should be taken very seriously. It’s not something that you can just walk into, not something you can insult your way to. And John Kasich is the only adult left in this race.

    MAN: And tonight’s rally will be postponed.

    JOHN YANG: On Friday, violence erupted after Trump canceled a planned rally in Chicago. Kasich, who hadn’t engaged Trump, scolded the businessman.

    GOV. JOHN KASICH: Donald Trump has created a toxic environment. There is no place for a national leader to prey on the fears of people who live in our great country.

    JOHN YANG: Trump says Kasich isn’t strong enough.

    DONALD TRUMP: Kasich is a baby. He’s a baby. He can’t be president. He can’t be president. Too many problems.

    JOHN YANG: Voters have already been casting ballots for nearly a month, even as the governor and the billionaire intensify their battle over the airwaves.

    NARRATOR: Kasich gave Ohio Obamacare and increased our budget more than any governor in the U.S. We don’t need him in Ohio and we certainly don’t need him in Washington.

    NARRATOR: As polls showed Donald Trump leading Ohio, he attacked our John Kasich with unhinged, bold-faced lies.

    JOHN YANG: And at the grassroots.

    WOMAN: Hi. We’re stopping by on behalf of my brother, John Kasich.

    WOMAN: Hi. Hello. My name is Christina and I’m with the Trump campaign.

    JOHN YANG: Party leaders’ concerns go beyond the primary. Some worry that Trump at the top of the ticket could hurt Republican candidates all the way down the ballot.

    SEN. ROB PORTMAN (R), Ohio: He’s done a great job for us as governor and he deserves to be president of the United States.

    JOHN YANG: Like Senator Rob Portman, who’s been at Kasich’s side on the campaign trail.

    SEN. ROB PORTMAN: If there are a number of Ohio Republicans, people who would otherwise vote Republican almost automatically, who say I just cannot stomach this ticket with Donald Trump at the top, I can’t vote Democratic, that would be a violation of everything I believe in, and so I’m just not going to turn out, and it, I think, is a legitimate worry.

    JOHN YANG: With so much at stake…

    DONALD TRUMP: Are we going to win Ohio?

    (CHEERING AND APPLAUSE)

    JOHN YANG: … Trump’s path to the nomination…

    GOV. JOHN KASICH: So, now we’re here. Please don’t screw this up for me. OK?

    (LAUGHTER)

    JOHN YANG: … the survival of Kasich’s campaign and the future of Republican Party, Ohio Republicans’ hopes for a Kasich win tomorrow are more than just a matter of Buckeye pride.

    John Kasich now acknowledges that if he loses his home state tomorrow, it’s probably the end of the road for him, or, as he puts it, he stays home. A Trump loss here in Ohio would complicate his drive for a first ballot nomination, but not necessarily end it.

    But, Judy, it would probably certainly put visions of a brokered convention dancing in the anti-Trump forces’ heads — Judy.

    JUDY WOODRUFF: Hmm.

    So, hi, John. So, tell us, there’s also a serious race going on between the Democrats in Ohio, Hillary Clinton and Bernie Sanders. Tell us a little bit about that looks like.

    JOHN YANG: Well, the Bernie Sanders campaign really hopes tomorrow that they can show that Michigan was not a fluke. They have high hopes for Ohio. When they look at Ohio, they see a lot of the things that helped them in Michigan, industrial manufacturing jobs that have gone overseas, a slow recovery.

    Ohio only got back to their pre-recession employment level in October, much later than a lot of other states. So, Sanders is hitting hard on the trade issue, both in speeches and in rallies and on television. This morning, he added a stop in Youngstown, a place where the steel industry used to be big, but no more.

    They also see Ohio as a home to a lot of little college towns across the state, which would play to his strength with young people. For their part, the Clinton campaign says only that they expect a close race tomorrow, but they had been talking about being here today. They did not. They were not. They were in Illinois and North Carolina instead, and tomorrow night, to watch the election returns, they will be not here, but in Florida — Judy.

    JUDY WOODRUFF: And, John, just quickly, what about television advertising?

    Is that playing much of a role on the Democratic side?

    JOHN YANG: It is — I mean, just like last time, Ohio is blanketed with television ads.

    It’s hard to watch television and not see even the same Sanders ad or Clinton ad repeating. But a lot of people here say that it is so saturated that it becomes background noise, that it may not really be having an effect — Judy.

    JUDY WOODRUFF: John Yang reporting for us from Ohio, and you will be there tomorrow when they’re voting. Thanks.

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    Protesters hold up signs as U.S. Republican presidential candidate Donald Trump speaks at a town hall campaign event in Hickory, North Carolina. March 14, 2016. REUTERS/Chris Keane  - RTX294NA

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    GWEN IFILL: After a weekend of turmoil on the presidential campaign trail, candidates got down to business with just hours to go until polls open in another critical series of primaries.

    But the day began with more protests at a Donald Trump rally, this time in North Carolina. The commotion was met, at first, by silence from the Republican front-runner, but when chants of “Trump” and “USA” drowned out the demonstrators, the billionaire businessman spoke up.

    DONALD TRUMP (R), Republican Presidential Candidate: But the press is now calling. They’re saying, oh, but there’s such violence. No violence. You know, how many people have been hurt at our rallies? I think like basically none, other than I guess maybe somebody got hit once.

    There’s no violence. There’s lovefests. These are lovefests.

    GWEN IFILL: It was a similar scene later in the day in Florida. The tumult comes amid a scramble for votes in five states tomorrow, featuring pivotal primaries in Florida and Ohio.

    Focusing on his must-win home state, John Kasich started his day in Youngstown, taking aim at Trump.

    GOV. JOHN KASICH (R-OH), Republican Presidential Candidate: Leadership is not dividing people. Leadership is not encouraging a toxic environment where we blame one group because of the failure or success of another. This country is about us coming together. This country is not about us tearing each other down or having fist-fights at a campaign rally. That’s not what America is.

    GWEN IFILL: Later in the day, Kasich was joined by another Trump critic, 2012 Republican nominee Mitt Romney.

    MITT ROMNEY (R), 2012 Republican Presidential Nominee: You look at this guy and, unlike the other people running, he has a real track record. He has the kind of record that you want in Washington. And that’s why I’m convinced that you’re going to do the right thing tomorrow. Agreed?

    (CHEERING AND APPLAUSE)

    SEN. MARCO RUBIO (R-FL), Republican Presidential Candidate: Tomorrow’s the day where we’re going to shock the country.

    GWEN IFILL: Senator Marco Rubio, like Kasich, has also taken a similar home state focus, but in Florida. The winner in either state will take home all the delegates. And, as in Ohio, front-runner Trump poses the greatest threat.

    SEN. MARCO RUBIO: Tomorrow, we have a chance to make a powerful statement to the country. And that is that the Republican Party is not going to allow itself to be hijacked by fake conservatives and people who go around dividing us against each other.

    GWEN IFILL: For Texas Senator Ted Cruz, Illinois provides a ripe target.

    SEN. TED CRUZ (R-TX), Republican Presidential Candidate: Donald Trump has made billions buying influence from politicians, supporting liberal Democratic politicians and supporting the Republican establishment, all at the expense of working men and women.

    GWEN IFILL: Democrat Hillary Clinton campaigned in Illinois as well, meeting with Latino activists and visiting a memorial for victims of gun violence.

    At a rally, she jabbed at Republicans’ economic proposals.

    HILLARY CLINTON (D), Democratic Presidential Candidate: Folks who get excited by the rhetoric and the demagoguery on the Republican side need to be reminded that they are George W. Bush on steroids.

    (CHEERING AND APPLAUSE)

    HILLARY CLINTON: Their economic plans — their economic plans, each and every one of them would throw us back into the mess that President Obama was able to dig us out of.

    GWEN IFILL: And back in Ohio, Bernie Sanders predicted he’d beat Clinton, as he hit her again for her Wall Street speeches.

    SEN. BERNIE SANDERS (VT-I), Democratic Presidential Candidate: If you get paid $225,000 for a speech, it must be an extraordinary speech. It must be mind-blowing. It must be Shakespearian. It should be released to the American people.

    (CHEERING AND APPLAUSE)

    GWEN IFILL: But, as with the Republicans, the day’s main target was Trump.

    SEN. BERNIE SANDERS: Bringing our people together will always trump separating us and dividing us up.

    HILLARY CLINTON: We have to have a big vote tomorrow that can send a strong message that love trumps hate.

    GWEN IFILL: Clinton called on Democrats to unify around her as the best chance to defeat Trump.

    We will have more from “NewsHour” correspondent John Yang, who is in the battleground state of Ohio, right after the news summary.

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    Family members and relatives of car bombing victim Murat Guel mourn over a coffin holding his body in a mosque in Ankara, Turkey, March 14, 2016. REUTERS/Umit Bektas  - RTX291ID

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    JUDY WOODRUFF: Good evening. I’m Judy Woodruff.

    GWEN IFILL: And I’m Gwen Ifill.

    JUDY WOODRUFF: On the “NewsHour” tonight: Candidates race toward a critical day of primaries tomorrow, with eyes on Ohio and Florida as potential campaign game-changers.

    GWEN IFILL: Also ahead this Monday, we sit down with the new head of the U.N. Refugee Agency, Filippo Grandi, on the eve of the fifth anniversary of the Syrian civil war.

    JUDY WOODRUFF: And with public media partners Marketplace and “Frontline,” we launch a new series, How the Deck Is Stacked, reported by Kai Ryssdal, on why many Americans feel they can’t get ahead.

    KAI RYSSDAL, Marketplace: We have added a million jobs in this economy since the last time we went out in the field in September, and yet people aren’t feeling it. And that to me is the most interesting thing, that what’s going on here is not being widely shared down at the middle and bottom ranges of this economy.

    GWEN IFILL: All that and more on tonight’s “PBS NewsHour.”

    (BREAK)

    JUDY WOODRUFF: In the day’s other news: Russian President Vladimir Putin ordered his armed forces to begin pulling out of Syria. He said it’s because Russia’s military intervention has achieved its objectives, as a new round of Syrian peace talks got under way in Geneva.

    Putin discussed his decision today by phone with President Obama, who welcomed the move. Syria’s President Bashar Assad said the action was coordinated, and France’s defense minister said Russia has — quote — “practically stopped hitting” moderate Syrian rebels.

    For more on Putin’s announcement, I spoke late this afternoon with Nathan Hodge, Moscow bureau chief for The Wall Street Journal.

    Welcome, Nathan.

    So, U.S. officials say they have seen no evidence yet of any movement by Russian forces. Is President Putin believed to be serious about this?

    NATHAN HODGE, The Wall Street Journal: Well there, didn’t seem to be much evidence, according to the U.S. officials that we had spoken to, that Russians were ever planning to stay for the long haul.

    But this announcement certainly comes as a surprise, as much of a surprise in many ways as Russia’s decision to commence this military operation back at the end of September, although it was preceded by a speech that President Putin delivered at the U.N. where he said that Russia wanted to create an alliance against terrorism.

    And he’s cast this campaign as supporting the Assad regime as the best bulwark against Islamic State and other extremist groups.

    JUDY WOODRUFF: Well, what is it exactly that it’s believed Putin’s forces have accomplished in Syria? Because, as you said, I mean, he said this was intended to go after terrorists, but we know that civilians, Syrian civilians have been targeted. Hundreds, if not thousands of them have been killed.

    NATHAN HODGE: Right, and there have been accusations leveled against the Russians of the indiscriminate use of force and the use of weaponry that has displaced lots of people and caused civilian harm, allegations, of course, that the Russians have pushed back quite hard against.

    But what this actually the campaign did, in many ways, the introduction of Russian airpower in many ways reversed the momentum. Back last summer, even President Assad had conceded that he was having a difficult time, because of defections, holding ground in Syria.

    So this, in many ways, they have — it’s hard to say if this is really Putin’s mission accomplished moment yet, but they did succeed, Russian airpower did succeed in changing the momentum on the ground in Syria. And in recent weeks, they have been pressing a very strong offensive in the north of the country.

    JUDY WOODRUFF: So, what is this pullout, what effect is it expected to have on the course of the war there?

    NATHAN HODGE: Well, what Syrian opposition groups are telling us is, we’re waiting to see.

    Doesn’t necessarily mean that Putin is withdrawing all of his support entirely. Putin’s spokesman said that Russia intends to actually keep the base or keep bases in Syria. But what does seem to be happening is that maybe Russia could be exerting a little bit more pressure on Bashar al-Assad to negotiate in earnest.

    So, once again, Putin has managed to insert himself quite forcefully into global affairs and in many ways set the agenda here.

    JUDY WOODRUFF: Nathan Hodge of The Wall Street Journal reporting from Moscow, we thank you.

    NATHAN HODGE: Thank you.

    GWEN IFILL: Also today, Turkey struck back at Kurdish rebel groups they believe were responsible for yesterday’s deadly suicide bombing in Ankara. Authorities detained 11 people, and Turkish warplanes pounded Kurdish military sites in Northern Iraq. Sunday’s blast rocked a busy thoroughfare in the capital, killing 37 people and wounding more than 100.

    Today, Turkey’s prime minister pledged further retaliation.

    AHMET DAVUTOGLU, Prime Minister, Turkey (through interpreter): I am calling on terrorist organizations and the forces behind them. You cannot weaken our will. Last night, after this incident, our armed forces carried out comprehensive operations. Our fight against these terrorist organizations continue with resolve.

    GWEN IFILL: Yesterday’s attack comes just one month after another suicide bombing targeted Ankara, killing 29 people. Kurdish rebels claimed responsibility for that blast.

    JUDY WOODRUFF: An Amtrak passenger train derailed early this morning in rural Southwestern Kansas, injuring 32 people. None of their wounds were life-threatening. A government official told the Associated Press the train’s engineer noticed a bend in the rail and hit the emergency brakes shortly before it went off the tracks. Emergency crews rushed to rescue the more than 140 people on board.

    REX BEEMER,  Asst. Emergency Manager, Grey County, Kansas: Upon arrival, we found Amtrak had overturned about 2.5 miles west of Cimarron. We have about seven cars that are laying on their sides. We have taken and evacuated all the patients and personnel out of the train at this time.

    JUDY WOODRUFF: Federal investigators are on the scene to try to determine the cause of the derailment. The county’s sheriff said they’re looking into whether an earlier unreported vehicle accident could have damaged the rails.

    GWEN IFILL: Southern states braced for a new round of flooding today that threatened to damage hundreds more homes. Officials warned the swollen Pearl River along the Louisiana and Mississippi border could reach 21 feet, the highest level in over three decades.

    Since last week, the flooding has killed four people, and damaged nearly 5,000 homes in Louisiana. President Obama signed a disaster declaration for the state yesterday.

    Stocks finished flat on Wall Street today, as investors awaited the outcome of the Federal Reserve’s meeting later this week. The Dow Jones industrial average gained nearly 16 points to close at 17229. The Nasdaq rose almost two points, and the S&P 500 slipped two.

    JUDY WOODRUFF: Still to come on the “NewsHour”: John Kasich tries to thwart Donald Trump in Ohio, and why Florida could be a big win or bust for Marco Rubio; the head of the U.N. Refugee Agency, as Syria marks five years into its civil war; plus, we launch a new series exploring Americans’ views on the economy.

    The post News Wrap: Deadly car bomb in Ankara; Amtrak train derails in Kansas appeared first on PBS NewsHour.


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    Teacher and students in classroom

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    GWEN IFILL: Now: offering higher education to those who have served.

    Many Americans join the military right out of high school. And once they return, some colleges are now giving them a chance to learn at the country’s top-tier schools.

    Special correspondent Jackie Judd reports for our weekly education series, Making the Grade.

    JACKIE JUDD: This was the classroom that taught Nicole Leadenham the lessons of war during deployments in Iraq and Afghanistan.

    NICOLE LEADENHAM, Army Veteran: I left for basic training 10 hours after I graduated high school. So that was going to be what I was going to do.

    JACKIE JUDD: Today, this is the 34-year old’s classroom, Vassar College in New York’s Hudson Valley.

    NICOLE LEADENHAM: I think that this is the time that I was meant to be here, at this stage in my life. I can really take advantage of the academics and, you know, learning.

    JACKIE JUDD: Leadenham, a junior and one of 30 post-9/11 vets at Vassar, is here because president Catharine Hill wanted to somehow close the education gap between young people who go off to elite campuses like this one and those who enlist and go off to fight the wars.

    CATHARINE BOND HILL, President, Vassar College: More of the young men and women who are enlisting are coming from lower socioeconomic backgrounds. And it just seems to me that part of the reward or the return for doing that is that they get access to education when they come back.

    JACKIE JUDD: Did you feel that this grateful nation notion, was it words and not action?

    CATHARINE BOND HILL: I think the evidence absolutely suggested that it was words and not action.

    JACKIE JUDD: The Veterans Administration says more than one million vets are using G.I. benefits. Most attend public or for-profit schools. The number at top-tier colleges and universities is so small, it is not even known.

    A few years back, Vassar invested in a campaign to attract veterans to apply. None did, even though their education would have been fully paid for. So, the college turned to the Posse Foundation, which is expert at reaching nontraditional students.

    For 25 years, it’s been sending groups, or posses, of students to elite colleges, students with academic and leadership potential who don’t fit the mold.

    Founder Debbie Bial thought the same model would work for veterans.

    DEBBIE BIAL, The Posse Foundation: Posse is about helping the top colleges and universities think about how to build a diverse student body, how to get as rich a dialogue going on campus as they possibly can, how to create community and build bridges across the various communities on campus. It made sense to us to include a piece of our population that served the country.

    MICHAEL SMITH, Posse Student, Wesleyan University: I think it’s going to allow for the trajectory of my life to be more vertical, by virtue of being here.

    JACKIE JUDD: Posse veteran Michael Smith, who grew up on Chicago’s South Side, is a sophomore at Wesleyan University in Middletown, Connecticut. That school joined the program two years ago.

    MICHAEL SMITH: By virtue of the educational experience I’m getting, by virtue of the skills I’m developing, and by virtue of the resources that are — that I just wouldn’t have had access to.

    JACKIE JUDD: Before arriving on campus, the veterans go through a kind of boot camp in New York City. It is four weeks of preparing for rigorous academics, learning how to craft a college term paper, and team-building, so the veterans know that, once they get here, they have a circle of support if they need it.

    But there are still hurdles. Leadenham needed to brush up on some old, forgotten skills.

    NICOLE LEADENHAM: I had problems with knowing how to study. It’s a very tangible skill that I didn’t have anymore, and I couldn’t even remember how I had done it before. So, I had gone to my professors’ office hours, stuff like that, being like, how can I better absorb the material?

    JACKIE JUDD: Another Vassar vet, Eduardo De La Torre, lives off campus with his young family. As the leader of a first-responder medical unit in Iraq, he frequently faced life-and-death situations. With that past experience and his current family obligations, he admits that mixing with other younger students can be awkward.

    EDUARDO DE LA TORRE, Posse Student, Vassar College: They’re like, yes, we’re going to do a study group today. I will text you later. And the next thing you know, you’re getting a text at midnight: “Hey, we’re going to go meet up at the retreat to go study for like an hour over this.”

    So, it’s been difficult building relationships with the students.

    JACKIE JUDD: Wesleyan sophomore Bryan Stascavage found himself in the middle of a full-throated culture clash on the very liberal campus.

    Stascavage, an Iraq War veteran and a conservative, was vilified after writing a column for the college newspaper critical of Black Lives Matter.

    BRYAN STASCAVAGE, Posse Student, Wesleyan University: The veterans that live here at the house with me looked at me wide-eyed like, what did you do, what did you write?

    And I knew that the articles that I were writing were not the prevailing opinion on campus. And I knew that it was only a matter of time when, I like to say that I connect with a beehive.

    MICHAEL ROTH, President, Wesleyan University: Unlike a fighting unit, where you really need cohesion and you all have to point in the same direction, at a university, you can afford dissent and controversy, as long as you learn to listen while that’s going on.

    JACKIE JUDD: Though difficult in the moment, Wesleyan president Michael Roth says the episode ultimately was good for the community.

    MICHAEL ROTH: That’s what you want, because, if you’re learning to listen, you’re learning to learn.

    JACKIE JUDD: It became a teachable moment.

    MICHAEL ROTH: It became a very teachable moment.

    BRYAN STASCAVAGE: I don’t want to be in an environment where everybody thinks the same as me, because you just don’t learn that way.

    EDUARDO DE LA TORRE: I think the military is stereotypically seen as something very conservative, and being in a very liberal campus, you can feel shut off, and you can feel like my voice isn’t going to be accepted here, and it’s not going to be heard.

    JACKIE JUDD: Still, many of the younger, more traditional students clearly appreciate being exposed to the experience and world view of their ex-military classmates.

    MAGGIE KENNEDY, Studen, Vassar College: I think it’s great because it gives a lot of different perspectives, especially at a liberal school, where a lot of people maybe not pro-military, per se.

    YANIV YAFFE, Student, Vassar College: It’s easy to in a class criticize American foreign policy, for example. You know, we’re so distant from things like Iraq and Afghanistan, but when you have a soldier who has been there, it really changes the conversation.

    EDUARDO DE LA TORRE: A student came up to me and they said, “I really appreciate you talking about that, because your service reminded me of my grandfather, and he was a World War II vet, and it was really hard for him to talk about anything. And it just made me really appreciate your service and what you did for me.”

    That’s a meaningful gesture.

    JACKIE JUDD: A thousand veterans applied to Posse for the 30 slots in the next freshman class, which, along with Wesleyan and Vassar, will include Dartmouth College in New Hampshire.

    Posse’s Debbie Bial expects that, in five years, about a dozen private liberal arts colleges will be a part of the program, giving other vets opportunities they never would have imagined, while also bringing their hard-won perspective to campuses previously shut off to military culture. The veterans also say the program has something to teach the entire country.

    NICOLE LEADENHAM: We’re capable of more than what we have been pigeonholed into. So, I think it’s important to know that we’re not just these broken people coming back, incapable of succeeding within society.

    JACKIE JUDD: A Vassar education has given Leadenham the confidence to plan for a future that includes helping other veterans find their own way back from the war.

    For the “PBS NewsHour,” this is Jackie Judd in Poughkeepsie, New York.

    The post When veterans enroll at elite schools, they’re not just students appeared first on PBS NewsHour.


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    Republican U.S. presidential candidate Marco Rubio announces the suspension of his presidential campaign during a rally in Miami, Florida March 15, 2016.       REUTERS/Carlo Allegri  - RTSAM57

    Republican U.S. presidential candidate Marco Rubio announces the suspension of his presidential campaign during a rally in Miami, Florida on March 15. Photo by Carlo Allegri/Reuters

    Miami — Republican presidential candidate Marco Rubio dropped out of the race for president on Tuesday, ending his White House bid after a humbling loss in his home state to Donald Trump.

    “It is not God’s plan that I be president in 2016 or maybe ever,” Rubio told a crowd of supporters in Miami.

    While he didn’t name winner Trump, Rubio warned against embracing his brand of divisive politics: “I ask the American people, do not give into the fear, do not give into the frustration,” Rubio said.

    Rubio’s decision was prompted by losses in all but three of the presidential nomination contests, but Florida’s winner-take-all primary proved the most devastating. Only six years earlier, he was a tea party favorite who crushed the GOP’s “establishment” candidate to win a seat in the U.S. Senate.

    U.S. Senator and Republican presidential candidate Marco Rubio listens to the invocation from a backstage area before a campaign rally at Palm Beach Atlantic University in West Palm Beach, Florida, March 14, 2016.  REUTERS/Carlo Allegri      TPX IMAGES OF THE DAY      - RTSAG4Q

    Marco Rubio listens to the invocation from a backstage area before a campaign rally at Palm Beach Atlantic University in West Palm Beach, Florida on March 14. Rubio ended his White House bid on Tuesday. Photo by Carlo Allegri/Reuters

    But the political tables turned on the Florida senator as a 2016 presidential candidate who was lambasted as mainstream in a year when voters cried out for an outsider.

    In the final week, he dedicated time and resources almost exclusively to the Sunshine State, urging voters to stop Trump from “hijacking” the Republican Party. He went so far as to tell his supporters in Ohio to vote for Buckeye State governor John Kasich since his chances were better to win there.

    Despite his intense rivalry with Trump, Rubio only indirectly criticized him during much of the campaign. He pivoted to an all-out assault on the businessman’s character and ethics after a dismal March 1 Super Tuesday performance when he clinched only one of the 11 contests.

    In recent weeks, the attacks deviated from policy to personal. At one point, Rubio equated Trump’s small hands with his manhood. Trump began regularly referring to the senator as “little Marco.” But the strategy backfired with voters and donors and Rubio later said he regretted the attacks.

    Like other Republicans, Rubio had pledged to support the eventual GOP nominee. But, in recent days, he expressed having second thoughts. He told reporters Saturday that the chaos and divisiveness at Trump’s rallies, including the one in Chicago canceled last week, had made it harder for him to view the front-runner as a viable candidate.

    Even before the establishment came out in droves to back the 44-year old senator, he seemed destined for the national spotlight. Time magazine placed him on its cover in early 2013, dubbing him the “Republican Savior.”

    In under a decade, he had gone from West Miami commissioner to state legislator to Florida House Speaker. In 2010, he challenged a sitting governor — christened by establishment Republicans — for a U.S. Senate seat and won after starting more than 50 percentage points behind in the polls, catapulted by a wave of Tea Party supporters.

    The Senate wasn’t enough for the ambitious Cuban-American who at an early age dreamed of playing pro-football but, instead, became a successful politician.

    A married father of four, he used the symbolic Miami Freedom Tower as the backdrop to launch his presidential campaign, where tens of thousands of his fellow Cuban-Americans had been processed as refugees.

    “The time has come for our generation to lead the way toward a new American Century,” he told the crowd in first presenting what would be his campaign theme.

    He promised lower taxes, less regulations, tighter federal spending, modernizing immigration laws, and repealing and replacing ObamaCare.

    Yet, it was his immigrant family’s story that was most appealing. The bartender dad; the Kmart clerk mom. Leaving Cuba. Realizing the American Dream.

    At the time, Rubio’s friend and one-time mentor, former Florida Governor Jeb Bush, seemed his biggest hurdle to get to the Oval Office. After all, both had Hispanic families (Bush’s wife is Mexican-American) and spoke flawless Spanish.

    Enter Trump. By mid-summer, he turned the Bush-Rubio rivalry into a telenovela without the sizzle. Bush dropped out after South Carolina.

    Rubio had rarely attacked Trump or his other GOP rivals during much of the campaign. Instead, he and his team embarked on a stay-under-the-radar strategy, emphasizing his foreign policy chops on frequent Fox News appearances while slamming President Barack Obama and Hillary Clinton.

    In the Iowa caucuses, he came in a better-than-expected third place, nearly beating Trump for second. He then banked on a big showing in New Hampshire but a stunningly poor debate performance — in which he frequently repeated talking points and was called a “scripted” politician by rival Chris Christie — led to a dismal fifth place.

    “Our disappointment tonight is not on you. It’s on me,” he told supporters that night.

    Rubio rebounded in South Carolina, where he came in second place behind Trump and had edged Ted Cruz, Nevada, where Rubio spent part of his childhood, delivered another second place finish.

    But questions arose about which state Rubio could realistically win. The campaign dismissed the chatter, saying they were running a national campaign but the doubts grew deafening on March 1, Super Tuesday, when Rubio collected just one won of 11 contests.

    The losses only mounted for Rubio, who only managed to win Puerto Rico and the District of Columbia. And the final blow came at home.

    Associated Press reporter Sergio Bustos wrote this report.

    The post Rubio ends White House quest after humiliating Florida loss appeared first on PBS NewsHour.


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    Cast members from the hit musical "Hamilton" listens as U.S. President Barack Obama speaks before their performance at the White House in Washington March 14, 2016.REUTERS/Kevin Lamarque - RTSAFJM

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    GWEN IFILL: That brings us to the “NewsHour” Shares this evening, something that caught our eye that we thought you would like too.

    Lin-Manuel Miranda, creator and star of the blockbuster musical “Hamilton,” scored a White House first yesterday, performing a freestyle rap with the president.

    Miranda joined the rest of the “Hamilton” cast in meeting with and performing for high school students yesterday at the White House. But it was the three-man performance in the Rose Garden, steps from the Oval Office, that went viral.

    PRESIDENT BARACK OBAMA: Drop the beat.

    LIN-MANUEL MIRANDA, Actor/Writer: He’s throwing up some words. I’m getting to say some freestyling that you never heard.

    Constitution. The POTUS. I’m freestyling. You know this. Obamacare. OK, I’m looking up because it was hopeless before you enacted that system. The Federalist Papers, Hamilton wrote the other 51 and greater. And Sunny and Both is canine, is insane, asinine. Oh, my gosh, I’m freestyling down the line.

    NASA, I want to see if we can get over to Mars and rap more bars. I spit bars, and leave a carbon footprint up on it, and lower my emissions. And this is Lin-Man freestyling. And Congress is the transmission. I hope that Congress works to our agenda. Innovation’s important. You really got to center yourself and create something.

    We need a new justice for the Supreme Court. In short, oh, my gosh, this is my book report. And, immigrants, we get the job done. This so fun. POTUS is holding up the signs. I’m not done. It’s the Oval Office.

    Oh, my gosh, I can’t believe I’m there. It’s so much more intimidating than if it was square. Opportunity knocks, and I can’t stop. I’m here with the president and my pops.

    And, yo, the mic drops.

    GWEN IFILL: Yo, the mic drops.

    (LAUGHTER)

    GWEN IFILL: I’m a crazy “Hamilton” fan, so that is fun for me.

    JUDY WOODRUFF: I can’t wait to see it.

    GWEN IFILL: Oh, got to.

    JUDY WOODRUFF: And that’s the “NewsHour” for tonight.

    On Wednesday: how the presidential campaign shapes up after today’s voting.

    I’m Judy Woodruff.

    GWEN IFILL: And I’m Gwen Ifill.

    Yo, the mic drops.

    Join us online and again here tomorrow evening. For all of us here at the “PBS NewsHour,” thank you, and good night.

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    JUDY WOODRUFF: March Madness has arrived, and, once again, the University of North Carolina is very much in the hunt for a national title.

    A new book has a behind-the-scenes look at the school’s unique history under a coaching legend, and two rivals who became legends in their own right.

    Jeffrey Brown has that.

    JEFFREY BROWN: Three universities within 25 miles of one another and a rich basketball history of rivalries, great victories and bitter defeats and lasting friendships.

    Three men are at the heart of the tale, Dean Smith, the Hall of Fame coach of the University of North Carolina for 36 seasons, who died last year, Jim Valvano, the fun-loving, wise-cracking coach who led North Carolina State to a surprise national championship in 1983, and died of cancer 10 years later, and Mike Krzyzewski, coach at Duke since 1980, winner of five national championships, with the most recent coming just last year.

    Their story is told in the new book “The Legends Club.”

    Author John Feinstein joins me now.

    Welcome, John.

    Why these three? What did they mean to you?

    JOHN FEINSTEIN, Author, “The Legends Club”: well, I cut my teeth as a reporter covering for them for The Washington Post in the 1980s.

    They were all there in the Research Triangle at the same time. Dean Smith had been there since the early ’60s, was already an iconic figure when Mike Krzyzewski and Jim Valvano arrived within nine days of each other at Duke and N.C. State.

    And I got to know them all very well. I spent hours and hours late at night with Valvano, with Krzyzewski, not as much with Dean because he was more of an introvert, but probably spent more time with him through the years than anybody in the media.

    And as their relationships evolved, it came to me much, much later that there was a remarkable story to be told.

    JEFFREY BROWN: Well, this is partly your personal story, right, of becoming — or starting as a young student, journalism student at Duke up to today.

    JOHN FEINSTEIN: Correct.

    JEFFREY BROWN: But for those who don’t know the role of basketball, the role of these guys in the state of North Carolina, what is it?

    JOHN FEINSTEIN: Well, you have to understand that, until the mid-1990s, there were no professional sports teams in North Carolina.

    ACC basketball was king. It still is, to a large degree, even though there are three professional sports teams in the state now. And there were great coaches going way back to Everett Case at N.C. State, Vic Bubas at Duke, Frank McGuire at North Carolina. Dean Smith succeeded Frank McGuire and built a dynasty that went on for the 36 years he was there.

    JEFFREY BROWN: It’s a story of friendship, but it didn’t always — it certainly didn’t start that way.

    JOHN FEINSTEIN: No.

    JEFFREY BROWN: There’s all these jealousies, rivalry, anger, charges of double standards. There’s a lot of — and everything hinges, of course, on who — who’s winning.

    JOHN FEINSTEIN: Yes.

    The irony is that when Krzyzewski first came into the league, he resented Dean Smith because Dean was the bar. And he did say there was a double standard for Dean with referees, for Dean’s team with referees. There was one game where he refused to shake hands at the end of the game because he didn’t think the game was over, that there should still be time left on the clock.

    And that upset Dean that he behaved that way. And at one point, Krzyzewski even said to his assistant coaches: “If I ever start to act like him, don’t ask any questions. Just get a gun and shoot me.”

    Well, years later, he became Dean. He became the standard. He became the bar everybody was trying to jump over, and he became the guy about whom they said there were double standards and the refs gave Duke all the calls.

    So, that’s when he began to understand Dean and respect him more as a result.

    JEFFREY BROWN: Yes. I mean, they all ended up in a kind of pantheon, especially the two Dean Smith and Krzyzewski, but they all flirted with or felt failure at different times.

    JOHN FEINSTEIN: Absolutely.

    And you go back the Dean in the 1960s. In his fourth season, he was hung in effigy after a loss at Wake Forest. And Billy Cunningham, who became…

    (CROSSTALK)

    JEFFREY BROWN: Well, that tells you right there the role of…

    (CROSSTALK)

    JOHN FEINSTEIN: Basketball, yes. And this was on campus.

    JEFFREY BROWN: Yes.

    JOHN FEINSTEIN: This was the students doing it to him.

    JEFFREY BROWN: Yes. Yes.

    JOHN FEINSTEIN: And Billy Cunningham, who later became a Hall of Fame player, was the one who pulled the effigy down.

    Mike Krzyzewski was 38-47 after three years at Duke, and there was a night in Atlanta when they lost 109-66 to Virginia in their last game of the season, when Tom Butters, the athletic director who had hired him, was literally pushed up against a wall in a hotel, with boosters demanding that he fire this guy.

    Seven years later, he said he got letters from those same people when Krzyzewski was offered the Celtics job, saying, pay him anything, but keep him.

    JEFFREY BROWN: There is part of me that loves college basketball and college sports generally, but wants to push back at you here.

    When we have talked about this on the program, it’s the rising role of the coaches, so much emphasis on the coaches. They become the most powerful person in the state in some cases, right, at these universities.

    And here you are. I want to say, John, are you sort of raising them even higher by focusing on these three?

    JOHN FEINSTEIN: It’s a good question, but I think these are three who did it right.

    And I don’t apologize at all for saying that they are good men, in addition to being great coaches.

    JEFFREY BROWN: You’re saying it’s beyond the winning with these three?

    JOHN FEINSTEIN: Absolutely.

    Dean Smith helped desegregate restaurants in Chapel Hill in the 1950s, when he was still an assistant coach, before he was a star, before he had power. He went into a restaurant with a black member of his church and basically dared the management not to serve them.

    Jim Valvano, when he was dying, started the V Foundation, helped by Krzyzewski, who was in his hospital room almost every day the last two months of his life. And the V Foundation has raised more than $150 million for cancer research. Krzyzewski will tell you, that was his greatest coaching job.

    Krzyzewski has raised millions and millions of dollars for charity in North Carolina and in Durham. He started the Emily K Foundation, named after his mother, which sends kids with no money to college. And they have had something like 100 college graduates in the last few years.

    So, they all went beyond the basketball court. They’re all great coaches, but I find them all to be admirable men, and that’s why I don’t have any trouble saying, yes, I knew these guys, I spent time with these guys, and I learned from these guys.

    JEFFREY BROWN: You’re writing as a fan in an age where there is so much criticism in college sports. What do you want people to take from this story?

    JOHN FEINSTEIN: Well, I don’t want anybody to think that I’m saying that there aren’t any problems with big-time college athletics, that — that we’re rife with them right now.

    But what I’m trying to say is, this was a unique, perfect storm. You had two of the four coaches who were on coaching’s Mount Rushmore, Krzyzewski and Dean Smith, along with John Wooden and Bob Knight.

    And then you had this third coach, Valvano, who has this unique niche because he won this amazing national title in 1983, because, frankly, of the way he died, the famous speech — you can look it up — the ESPYs speech, when he won the award for courage and spoke for 11 minutes, when — and literally passed out when he was finished, that everybody still looks at to this day.

    JIM VALVANO, North Carolina State Basketball Coach: And I got one last thing. I have said it before, and I’m going to say it again. Cancer can take away all my physical abilities. It cannot touch my mind. It cannot touch my heart. And it cannot touch my soul.

    JOHN FEINSTEIN: I guess the message of the book is that these were three special people, and the way their relationships evolved, from the hostility of the 1980s to genuine love at the end of first Jim’s life and then at the end of Dean’s life between them and Mike Krzyzewski, I think, is unique in the pantheon, as you said, of college athletics.

    JEFFREY BROWN: All right. The book is “The Legends Club.”

    John Feinstein, thanks so much.

    JOHN FEINSTEIN: Thanks for having me, Jeff.

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    U.S. President Barack Obama delivers remarks on divisiveness in U.S. politics at the annual Friends of Ireland Luncheon at the U.S. Capitol in Washington March 15, 2016. REUTERS/Jonathan Ernst - RTSAKDK

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    GWEN IFILL: Good evening. I’m Gwen Ifill.

    JUDY WOODRUFF: And I’m Judy Woodruff.

    GWEN IFILL: On the “NewsHour” tonight: It’s a Super Tuesday sequel. Voters in five states head to the polls, as candidates count on tonight’s results to save or to seal their presidential ambitions.

    JUDY WOODRUFF: Also ahead this Tuesday: As Russia begins to withdraw forces from Syria, we look at the prospects for peace talks as that devastating civil war enters its sixth year.

    GWEN IFILL: And how elite schools are boosting student diversity by attracting military veterans.

    NICOLE LEADENHAM, Army Veteran: We’re capable of more than what we have been pigeonholed into. So, I think it’s important to know that we’re not just these broken people coming back, incapable of succeeding within society.

    JUDY WOODRUFF: All that and more on tonight’s “PBS NewsHour.”

    (BREAK)

    GWEN IFILL: In the day’s other news: The language and violence in the presidential campaign drew criticism today from both parties in Washington. President Obama spoke at an annual St. Patrick’s Day luncheon.

    Without directly mentioning Donald Trump, he deplored what he called the campaign’s vulgar and divisive rhetoric.

    PRESIDENT BARACK OBAMA: While some maybe more to blame than others for the current climate, all of us are responsible for reversing it, for it is a cycle that is not an accurate reflection of America, and it has to stop.

    GWEN IFILL: On the Republican side, Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell said he spoke to Trump by telephone about attacks on protesters at his rallies.

    SEN. MITCH MCCONNELL (R-KY), Majority Leader: We had a good conversation, and I mentioned to him that I thought it would be a good idea for him, no matter who starts these violent episodes, to condemn it and discourage it.

    GWEN IFILL: Trump has rejected criticism that he is the one sowing division. Instead, he says he’s a uniter.

    JUDY WOODRUFF: The Obama administration and its Interior Department, in a major policy reversal, today banned oil drilling in the Atlantic Ocean. A plan floated a year ago would have opened drilling lease areas off Virginia, the Carolinas and Georgia. Today, the department dropped the plan, citing local opposition, plus military and commercial interests.

    GWEN IFILL: Also today, the administration eased the trade embargo on Cuba again, five days before President Obama travels to Havana. The announcement ends the ban on Cuban access to international banking. It also opens the way for Cubans to play Major League Baseball and to relax limits on travel to Cuba.

    JUDY WOODRUFF: Hundreds of migrants who crossed into Macedonia from Greece yesterday were forcibly returned today. The group of about 700 had bypassed a border fence and forded a river to gain entry, but they were made to walk back to Greece.

    One Syrian woman said she had to shelter her children under plastic bags overnight.

    WOMAN (through interpreter): They told us walk, keep walking, they will let us in, and we will be done with all the rain and the cold. But they didn’t let us through. We got scared for our children, and up there, it’s very cold. We didn’t have tents or anything with us.

    JUDY WOODRUFF: Other refugees said they were beaten and stunned with Tasers by Macedonian forces.

    GWEN IFILL: The U.S. military now confirms a top Islamic State commander has died after being severely wounded in Eastern Syria. Omar al Shishani, an ethnic Chechen, was targeted by a U.S. airstrike on March 4. A news agency affiliated with ISIS denied the report of his death.

    JUDY WOODRUFF: In Myanmar, half-a-century of military domination formally ended, as Parliament elected Htin Kyaw to be president. He’s a close ally of pro-democracy leader Aung San Suu Kyi. Lawmakers broke into thunderous applause when the result was announced. Suu Kyi says the new president will act as her proxy, because she is constitutionally barred from the office.

    GWEN IFILL: Back in this country, Washington, D.C.’s subway system announced an emergency shutdown starting at midnight tonight due to safety concerns. Officials ordered an inspection of all electrical components on the tracks after two fires in the last year. The shutdown runs at least into early Thursday morning.

    JUDY WOODRUFF: The National Football League today backed an executive who’s acknowledged a link between football and the brain diseases like CTE. Yesterday, the NFL’s top health and safety official said research — quote — “certainly shows a connection.”

    Today, a spokesman said the comments — quote — “accurately reflect” the league’s view.

    GWEN IFILL: And on Wall Street, the Dow Jones industrial average gained 22 points to close above 17250. The Nasdaq fell 21 points, and the S&P 500 slipped three.

    Still to come on the “NewsHour”: the latest from today’s primaries with the highest stakes; Russia’s withdrawal and the Syrian peace process; the mutual benefits of having more veterans on college campuses; and much more.

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    Florida's winner-takes-all contest could mean a huge boost for Donald Trump, or the death of Marco Rubio's campaign in his home state. Photo by Carlo Allegri/Reuters

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    JUDY WOODRUFF: Five big states come to the fore on this Tuesday night, and six presidential candidates are waiting for their judgment. It could move front-runners closer to wrapping up the races, or give challengers new life.

    GOV. JOHN KASICH (R-OH), Republican Presidential Candidate: We’re going to win. I feel terrific.

    JUDY WOODRUFF: The message was positive this morning from John Kasich in Westerville, Ohio. The governor is aiming for a home state win that slows Republican front-runner Donald Trump.

    GOV. JOHN KASICH: There were probably missed opportunities to get attention early on, but by continuing to run the race, the positive campaign is now starting to shine through like a beacon all over the country.

    JUDY WOODRUFF: Ohio is one of five states going to the polls, along with Florida, Missouri, Illinois, and North Carolina. In all, on the Republican side, 358 delegates are up for grabs.

    Trump started the day picking up nine delegates in caucuses held in the Northern Mariana islands in the Pacific, for a total of 469. Winning big tonight could give him an insurmountable lead toward the 1,237 needed for the nomination. That would mean beating Kasich in Ohio.

    And Trump sounded confident today in a phone interview with ABC’s “Good Morning America.”

    DONALD TRUMP (R), Republican Presidential Candidate: I think we’re going to do well in Ohio for all of those reasons. Your steel industry has died. Your coal industry has died. I think we’re going to do really well in Ohio.

    JUDY WOODRUFF: Meanwhile, Marco Rubio is pinning his remaining hopes on his home state, Florida, although recent polls had him flagging. And Ted Cruz, with the most first-place finishes aside from Trump, has his eyes on strong showings in Illinois, Missouri and North Carolina.

    On the Democratic side, Bernie Sanders began his day in Illinois. The Vermont senator is coming off an upset win in Michigan, and talked of achieving similar results tonight.

    SEN. BERNIE SANDERS (VT-I), Democratic Presidential Candidate: I think that, in the states that are coming down the pike, we have great opportunities to win many of them. So we’re feeling really good.

    JUDY WOODRUFF: Hillary Clinton was in North Carolina, where she urged her supporters to turn out.

    HILLARY CLINTON (D), Democratic Presidential Candidate: You know, somebody might say, well, my candidate is so far ahead, I don’t need to come out. Everybody should come out. There’s so much at stake in this election.

    JUDY WOODRUFF: Clinton is already more than halfway to the 2,383 legates needed for the Democratic nomination.

    We will hear from reporters in several key states after the news summary.

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    Democratic presidential candidate Hillary Clinton talks to supporters during a campaign stop outside of a polling station in Raleigh, North Carolina on March 15. Photo by Carlos Barria/Reuters

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    GWEN IFILL: Voters got their say in five key states across the country today.

    For Ohio Governor John Kasich, today’s home state outcome could determine whether his Republican campaign continues. And on the Democratic side, Bernie Sanders is angling for an upset.

    John Yang is at Kasich headquarters outside of Cleveland, and he joins us now with the latest.

    John, in Ohio, we’re talking about 66 delegates on the Republican side, 143 Democratic delegates at stake. And yet it seems as if the Angela Rye that we have seen throughout this campaign is cutting across both parties.

    JOHN YANG: That’s exactly right, Gwen.

    You know, we’re in the field house at Baldwin Wallace University, and in another part of the building, there is voting going on. It’s a polling place. I talked to some of the voters there, and some of the Democratic supporters of Bernie Sanders are expressing the same sorts of things you hear at Donald Trump rallies.

    They feel that the establishment has failed them. They aren’t getting sort of the attention or the benefits that they want from the government. It’s sort of the flip side of it. I talked, for instance, to 29-year-old Joe Dukonowski (ph). He is a software engineer. He told me he makes about $90,000 a year, but because he owes almost as much or actually a little bit more in student loans, he feels he can’t buy a house.

    He has health insurance, but the deductible is so high, he feels he can’t afford to get sick and go to a doctor. He says he’s going to be paying off those student loans for so long that once the loans are paid off, he’s going to have to start saving for retirement then. He feels that the system has not helped him.

    He says he feels he’s too rich for the Democrats to worry about, too poor for the Republicans to worry about him. We heard much the same thing from Christine Hamlet, a young woman who went to college to be a teacher. Unable to find a teacher’s job, she’s working as an insurance agent. She says she wanted to be a teacher, can’t find a job, and now she’s going to be paying for it for the rest of her life.

    She voted for Bernie Sanders, too, but she was voting today because she didn’t think she was going to be able to vote for him in November because she thinks the deck is stacked against him and that Hillary Clinton will get the nomination — Gwen.

    GWEN IFILL: Briefly, John, do you see any sign of a stop Trump movement on the ground?

    JOHN YANG: There is some of that in some interesting ways.

    I talked — one of the voters I talked to was a lifelong Democrat who took a Republican ballot today for the first time in 42 years of voting. He said he’s a Democrat, but he wanted to vote for John Kasich to try to stop Donald Trump. He said it’s first time he ever asked for a Democratic ballot. I asked him how it felt.

    He said he felt his father spinning in his grave — Gwen.

    GWEN IFILL: And you talked to John Kasich briefly today at the polling place. Do you have a sense that this is do or die, that he thinks it’s do or die for him?

    JOHN YANG: Oh, he knows that if he doesn’t pull it out today, it’s all over for him. He talked about the pride he felt as a boy, as a young man, as a man from a small town in Pennsylvania voting for himself today for president.

    He also said that he is still proud of the fact that he ran this positive campaign, the bite you heard earlier. He knows he missed some opportunities for attention, but he does say that, if he goes on, he’s going to be harsher and tougher on what he calls the very disturbing rhetoric of Donald Trump on minorities and on women — Gwen.

    GWEN IFILL: John Yang doing great work out there for us, we will talk to you again.

    JUDY WOODRUFF: And Florida is a make-or-break moment for Senator Marco Rubio’s campaign.

    Meanwhile, Hillary Clinton is expected to continue her Southern sweep with a win the state.

    Joining us from Tallahassee is Matt Dixon. He’s Florida bureau chief for Politico.

    So, Matt, first of all, the Republicans. Why does Donald Trump seem to be doing so well in Florida?

    MATT DIXON, Politico: Well, I think the — sort of the feel that we have seen nationally in previous early states is absolutely showing up here in Florida.

    One of the — the sort of best numbers to exemplify that going into Election Day, about 1.1 million Republicans had voted by mail or early voting; 23 percent of those, nearly a quarter of that, had not voted in the past three elections or the past three primaries. So, the electorate is expanding.

    And folks who have not historically voted are voting in fairly large numbers here. And I think that speaks well for Trump and certainly to a lesser extent Senator Cruz.

    JUDY WOODRUFF: And just quickly, Matt, what do voters say to you about why Donald Trump?

    MATT DIXON: I feel the same sort of sentiment that we just heard from Ohio is very much evident here as well.

    There’s large pockets of the state — South Florida, which is kind of a stronghold for Senator Rubio, might have a bit less of this, but in large sort of northern swathes of conservative North Florida, there’s the same sort of sentiment. It’s the anti-establishment stuff really bubbling over.

    The past few election cycles, we have kind of heard about it, this idea that the establishment or those who sort of run the political class are mad, but we hadn’t seen it sort of personified at the polls the way we are this year.

    And, in Florida, that’s certainly the case. Donald Trump has a very large lead. There’s been a few outliers that have had him beating Marco Rubio by just seven or eight points. But those are outliers. He’s had some pretty large leads in all recent polls, and a lot of the things that we have been hearing about for a while now.

    JUDY WOODRUFF: So, conversely, why home state boy Marco Rubio not doing any better than he is?

    MATT DIXON: Well, it’s — I think he’s kind of gotten caught up in the wave.

    To begin with, there was — before Senator Rubio got in, there were some people who didn’t think this was his year. When Jeb Bush was running, there was a lot of people who were skeptical he was even going to get in and challenge him. And then, once he did, he’s, I think, topped a lot of people’s expectations.

    And it’s just that he got caught up, like a lot of other folks, including Governor Bush did, in sort of this Trump anti-establishment wave. And he’s got a few positive signs here, and he needs a good showing. One of the things going into Election Day, the Hispanic portion of the electorate here is voting 2 percent — 2 to 3 percent higher than it has in the past or has historically, which would be a good sign for Cuban-American-born — or Cuban-American Marco Rubio.

    But it’s not going to be enough, more than likely. And if the electorate is doing what it looks like it’s going to do in probably a record turnout, he might actually finish third place to Ted Cruz.

    JUDY WOODRUFF: Whoa.

    MATT DIXON: He’s going to have a difficult time certainly winning.

    And, right now, it’s — he’s going to be fighting for third, because it’s looking to be record turnout here in Florida, which might not be a great sign for him, because it’s a lot of new voters.

    JUDY WOODRUFF: And just very quickly — and we don’t — we’re out of time — but Hillary Clinton seems to be in pretty comfortable shape.

    And we are going to have to leave it there.

    Matt Dixon, reporting for us, thanks very much.

    MATT DIXON: Thank you.

    GWEN IFILL: For both the Republican and the Democratic candidates, the stakes are especially high and uncertain in Illinois.

    For that, we turn to Amanda Vinicky, statehouse bureau chief for Illinois Public Radio and WUIS. She joins us from Chicago.

    We’re talking about 69 GOP delegates up for stake in Illinois tonight. But there is so much uncertainty about what’s happening there.

    AMANDA VINICKY, WUIS: Yes, there is a lot of uncertainty.

    So, you had early on Donald Trump ahead in the polls. Of course, we had that big Chicago rally. That wasn’t necessarily an area where he was expected to do well when he was here in Chicago on Friday of last week. He was walking really into a hotbed of activism right there, but that, of course, doesn’t seem to bother his supporters any.

    They love that he isn’t concerned about P.C. And he did have a very well-attended rally about 150 miles to the south of Chicago in Bloomington just days later. The only problem there was that so many people attended, apparently, a local cemetery nearby became a parking lot.

    And that, of course, got some locals angry. Nonetheless, we have seen Ted Cruz rising in the polls here, and that’s largely expected to be because down-state Illinois really is more that typical evangelist, God fearing, rural country. And it may be that they’re turning there.

    Also, Illinois already has sort of swept into what Donald Trump is selling with our current governor, Bruce Rauner, who campaigned that he was a successful businessman who couldn’t be bought and he self-funded his own campaign. But Illinois is in its ninth month without a budget, and that’s really hurting down-state.

    So that may be also what is turning down-state voters toward Cruz instead of Donald Trump.

    GWEN IFILL: Let’s talk about the Democratic side, because we talked about how Marco Rubio’s home state is Florida. John Kasich’s home state is Ohio.

    And now we have Hillary Clinton’s home state of Illinois, which people forget, but it’s not — this is not a slam dunk for her.

    AMANDA VINICKY: No. And it was largely expected to be. And early polls had that. She is a hometown girl, and she really does have most of the Illinois Democratic leaders, that power base of the Chicago, Cook County — quote, unquote — “machine” behind her.

    So, it would be huge for both those leaders, as well as, of course, for Hillary Clinton if she were to lose. She had her husband, Bill Clinton, working the polls in Chicago this morning. But also this morning, Bernie Sanders was at a very popular Chicago restaurant, and he’s doing all he can to drum up support.

    GWEN IFILL: Bernie Sanders, in addition to talking about trade a lot in these Midwestern states, Missouri as well, which votes tonight, has also been bringing attention to her ties to the mayor of Chicago, who is not as popular as he once was, to put it mildly.

    AMANDA VINICKY: To put it mildly, you’re right. This gets back to what I said, that kind of hotbed of activism that Donald Trump had walked into in Chicago.

    There are still a lot of angry, particularly progressives and liberals, about a video that showed Chicago police shooting 16 times a black teenager. And there is a belief that Mayor Emanuel glossed over that, and had that come out before his mayoral election, somebody who has been campaigning with Bernie Sanders — that’s County Commission Chuy Garcia — that, well, we may have a different mayor of Chicago right now.

    So, yes, Bernie Sanders is doing all he can to bring Chuy Garcia out on the campaign trail with him, and that has led to a whole lot of applause at these Chicago rallies.

    GWEN IFILL: Amanda Vinicky of Illinois Public Radio and WUIS, thank you.

    AMANDA VINICKY: Thank you.

    The post What’s the outlook for heated primary races in Florida, Ohio and Illinois? appeared first on PBS NewsHour.


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    Russian President Vladimir Putin speaks during the Interior Ministry Board meeting in Moscow, Russia, March 15, 2016. REUTERS/Sergei Chirikov/Pool TPX IMAGES OF THE DAY      - RTSAIF0

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    JUDY WOODRUFF: Today marks five years since the armed uprising in Syria began, before it turned into a full-blown civil war. And this grim anniversary was marked with significant diplomatic and military moves.

    We start with some background from chief foreign affairs correspondent Margaret Warner.

    MARGARET WARNER: A hero’s welcome awaited the first Russian pilots to return home from their air campaign in Syria. They flew out of Syria hours after President Vladimir Putin’s surprise announcement that the main part of Russia’s several thousand forces would withdraw.

    PRESIDENT VLADIMIR PUTIN, Russia (through interpreter): I believe that the goal set out to the Ministry of Defense and the armed forces has in large part been fulfilled, and that’s why I ordered the minister of defense to start the pullout.

    MARGARET WARNER: Moscow has said its six months of intensive bombing was aimed at Islamic State forces. But, by all accounts, the principal targets were Western-backed and other rebels fighting the government of Bashar al-Assad.

    In Geneva today, site of talks to resolve the conflict politically, opposition leaders welcomed the Russian decision.

    SALIM AL-MUSLAT, Spokesman, High Negotiations Committee: If they are serious about pulling out all these — this will be an end to dictatorship. It will be an end to crimes in Syria, and it will help us to put an end to terrorism there in Syria.

    MARGARET WARNER: Syrian officials, meanwhile, insisted Putin’s move was made in full coordination with the Assad government.

    JUDY WOODRUFF: And Margaret joins me now.

    So, Margaret, U.S. officials think this is for real, this pullout, and do they think it’s significant?

    MARGARET WARNER: Yes, they do, Judy, surprisingly, given all the distrust.

    They had no advanced private notice from the Russians about this, but there was an Obama-Putin phone call scheduled for 3:00 in the afternoon here. And they actually do think it’s for real.

    And what they look at is how it was ballyhooed in Russia. They broke into the dinnertime television hour. He proclaimed the troops were coming home and victory. And one of the headlines in Russia even said “Mission Accomplished,” which is, of course, perhaps rueful.

    Secondly, Russia had reached a fork in the road militarily, because their theory had been use airstrikes, and then have Syrian forces take ground. The Syrian forces didn’t turn out to be quite competent enough, so Putin was facing a choice: Does Russia put in ground forces? Didn’t want to get into that quagmire.

    And then, number three, of course, Putin — on the eve of the Syria peace talks, Putin has achieved what he really wanted, which was to be seen as a major player in the Middle East that has to be reckoned with, number two, and, two, to establish that there wouldn’t be another leader anywhere in his neighborhood that would be removed by force by Western-backed forces.

    JUDY WOODRUFF: So, why do the sources you have been — I know you have been talking to Americans and Russians. Why do they think he did this and why right now?

    MARGARET WARNER: They think he did this right now because of the talks beginning right now, and that they wanted to send a message to Assad that, look, we have come in, we have helped you.

    As one official said, they’re trying to let Assad know, you have got a check, but it’s not a blank check. There’s a number in it. And you have to get realistic at the talks.

    And the foreign minister of Syria just said last week, oh, a red line for us, there’s no discussion of any change in government or that Assad might go. And they were just saying, whoa, boy, we’re not going to be watching your back that way.

    So, I think that was the number one thing. There is no love loss between Putin and Assad. I mean, one of his top officials has been quoted as calling him a bastard and a butcher, so there was — not that Putin acts for sentimental reasons.

    But — and then, finally, as I said, he’s been recognized, Putin — they think Putin is ready to do this because he’s been recognized as a world power and that he will be now more interested in cooperating.

    JUDY WOODRUFF: And I was asking because people would say, well, if they’re pulling out, why did they go in, in the first place if they thought Assad was a butcher and such a bad actor?

    MARGARET WARNER: Well, because it was preserving Russian interests. In other words, there’s the naval base on the Mediterranean. They have now been able to also build an air base. They’re keeping those, by the way, and they’re keeping troops and planes at both.

    So, the U.S. is going to be monitoring that closely. And so they prevented a leader from being deposed. And I think that was the number one reason.

    JUDY WOODRUFF: Two other quick things, Margaret. Effect on the peace talks?

    MARGARET WARNER: Peace talks, Judy, they’re not wildly optimistic.

    One official said to me, it opens the door more to some kind of agreement. But you have got all those players, as we all know, the U.S. and the Europeans and the Russians and the Iranians and the opposition in the Gulf states.

    And it’s a real — as somebody said to me, if it were easy, we wouldn’t be here five years from the start of the conflict.

    JUDY WOODRUFF: And just very quickly, finally, situation on the ground, where does this leave it?

    MARGARET WARNER: Basically, Assad is in a stronger position. The question is, can his forces keep and hold the territory that the Russians have cleared open for them?

    They believe the opposition was badly pounded by the Russians, so some groups are intact. Some are actually in worse shape. And ISIL, they — the U.S. intelligence believes, has been slightly weakened, has lost a little more territory, but that wasn’t said with huge confidence.

    So, we are really still on a stalemate on the ground, and then just hoping that all the sides are so tired that they might be ready to deal.

    JUDY WOODRUFF: Margaret Warner, some terrific reporting. Thank you.

    MARGARET WARNER: Thanks.

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    A supporter shows his tattoo before U.S. Republican presidential candidate Donald Trump's campaign rally at Winner Aviation in Youngstown, Ohio  March 14, 2016.  REUTERS/Aaron P. Bernstein - RTSAFR5

    Watch Video | Listen to the Audio

    JUDY WOODRUFF: And now to North Carolina, where Donald Trump leads in the polls by double digits. Despite controversy surrounding his campaign, he continues to attract strong support.

    We talked to one family with differing politics spanning three generations to hear why they’re going all in for Trump.

    GRACE TILLY: This is my first time voting. Being 33, that’s kind of crazy, but it says a lot.

    FARRON TILLY: I’m actually a registered Democrat, but I’m voting for Trump this time.

    PETE TILLY: This is my first time I have ever worked on political campaign. My family members are joining me, my son, my daughter-in-law, and my grandchild. It’s been such an awesome experience.

    And, father God, we just thank you that you’re going to use Donald Trump for your glory in your kingdom, oh, father God.

    MAN: Amen.

    PETE TILLY: My biggest point is, if you want to be here, conform to the country. If you don’t want to be here, go home. I was born in Montreal, Canada. And when I started school, for us, we were told, look, you either speak English or you’re not going to pass your class.

    And in today’s society, it’s like we cater to the people, whatever language they speak. I came in the States, I joined the military, and then I even went and got naturalized, and I’m very proud to say I’m an American citizen.

    GRACE TILLY: Hello. My name is Grace. And I’m a volunteer for Donald Trump’s presidential campaign here in North Carolina.

    Fayetteville is a very big military town with Fort Bragg being right there. My father-in-law and my husband are both veterans, and the whole idea of the care of the veterans being subpar is very true. My whole family is supporting Trump, down to my 11-year-old.

    BOY: No other candidate stands up for Americans like Donald Trump.

    GRACE TILLY: It was both our idea for him to stay home from school today, so that he can see democracy in action.

    DONALD TRUMP (R), Republican Presidential Candidate: Do we love North Carolina? Do we love it?

    (CHEERING AND APPLAUSE)

    DONALD TRUMP: Beautiful. Beautiful.

    GRACE TILLY: I definitely think, with Trump’s business savvy, his mind, I think that he’s going to be the best one that’s going to be able to help us.

    Our family has been impacted in a very big way by the recession. We definitely at times are living paycheck to paycheck. And my husband is having hard time finding work as well.

    FARRON TILLY: It hurts my pride. I’m a person that is used to being able to take care of my family. One of my biggest goals in life is to give my children an easier life than my own, send them to college, get them good degrees.

    And right now, with what I’m making and how little I’m working, I don’t know if I’m going to be able to do that.

    DONALD TRUMP: We built a massive company. Oh, no. Get out of here. Go home to mom.

    PETE TILLY: All these protesters and all this stuff, and people saying he’s racist, and then the Black Lives Matter, you know what? Red lives matter, because, when you bleed, we all bleed red.

    MITT ROMNEY (R), 2012 Republican Presidential Nominee: He cheers assaults on protesters. This is the very brand of anger that has led other nations into the abyss.

    GRACE TILLY: What Mitt Romney is doing is only solidifying our reasons why we love Donald Trump, why we’re going to vote for him.

    PETE TILLY: Donald Trump is on point when he says this is for the people, this is not for him, that he represents the people, and without his people, he wouldn’t have nothing.

    So, now we’re ready for another day of riding and going out and helping Donald Trump.

    GWEN IFILL: You can follow all of today’s races on our live results page and on our home page, PBS.org/NewsHour.

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    WEST PALM BEACH, Fla. — Hillary Clinton rolled up primary victories in Florida, Ohio and North Carolina on Tuesday, dealing a severe blow to Bernie Sanders’ bid to slow her march toward the Democratic presidential nomination.

    “We are moving closer to securing the Democratic Party nomination and winning this election in November,” Clinton told cheering supporters in Florida, calling it “another Super Tuesday for our campaign.”

    READ MORE: Super Tuesday II election roundup

    Clinton also was competing against Sanders in two other Midwestern states, Missouri and Illinois. But her primary night trifecta strengthened her already formidable pledged delegate lead over Sanders and the former secretary of state said she expected to have a more than 300-delegate edge by the end of the day.

    Sanders, addressing supporters in Phoenix, said his campaign had “come a long way” but he looked past the outcomes. “The reason we have defied all expectations is that we are doing something very radical in American politics — we are telling the truth,” he said.

    Florida was the biggest delegate prize and Clinton’s victories put her in a position to end the day with about two-thirds of the delegates needed to clinch the nomination.

    With the three wins, Clinton will pick up at least 248 delegates while Sanders will gain 102. Many delegates remain to be allocated pending more complete vote totals.

    Looking ahead to the fall, Clinton offered pointed words for businessman Donald Trump, the Republican front-runner. “Our commander-in-chief has to be able to defend our country, not embarrass it.” She said for the nation “to be great, we can’t be small. We can’t lose what made America great in the first place.”

    Democratic U.S. Presidential candidate Hillary Clinton talks to kids during campaign stop outside of a polling station in Raleigh, North Carolina March 15, 2016. Photo by Carlos Barria/Reuters

    Hillary Clinton talks to kids during campaign stop outside of a polling station in Raleigh, North Carolina, Tuesday. Photo by Carlos Barria/Reuters

    Democratic voters in all five states viewed Clinton as the candidate with the better chance to beat Trump if he is the Republican nominee, according to early exit polls. The voters were more likely to describe Sanders as honest but more likely to describe Clinton’s policies as realistic.

    “She has done it. She has been there. She is the person that should replace Barack Obama,” said Eduardo De Jesus, of Fort Lauderdale, Florida, who voted for Clinton.

    Clinton urged Democrats in recent days to unite behind her candidacy so it could focus on Trump, the Republican front-runner. In telling campaign optics, Clinton staged Tuesday’s primary night rally in West Palm Beach, a few miles from Mar-a-Lago, where Trump was holding a news conference at his Palm Beach estate.

    Sanders aimed for victory in Missouri and was within striking distance in Illinois, a state where he hoped his trade-focused message would resonate. It helped him pull off an upset in Michigan last week, prompting him to continue to question Clinton’s past support for trade deals such as the North American Free Trade Agreement.

    Entering Tuesday, Clinton had 768 pledged delegates compared to 554 for Sanders, according to an analysis by The Associated Press. Overall, Clinton held 1,235 of total delegates, more than half the amount needed to clinch the nomination when the count includes superdelegates, who are elected officials and party leaders free to support the candidate of their choice. Sanders has 580 delegates when the count includes superdelegates.

    Sanders’ team said the calendar would be more favorable in the weeks ahead. After Tuesday’s contests, the campaign shifts westward, with contests in Arizona, Idaho and Utah on March 22 and Alaska, Hawaii and Washington state on March 26.

    Thomas reported from Washington. Associated Press writers Hope Yen in Washington, Nicholas Riccardi in Phoenix and Alex Sanz in Fort Lauderdale, Fla., contributed to this report.

    The post Clinton defeats Sanders in Florida, Ohio and North Carolina appeared first on PBS NewsHour.


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    WASHINGTON — Donald Trump won a decisive victory in Florida’s primary Tuesday night, forcing home-state Sen. Marco Rubio to abandon the race for the Republican presidential nomination. The brash billionaire also picked up North Carolina and Illinois, but faltered in Ohio.

    Ohio Gov. John Kasich notched his first and only victory of the primary season by carrying his home state, but he has the fewest delegates of anyone still in the running and had virtually no electoral path to the nomination.

    READ MORE: What does John Kasich believe? Where the candidate stands on 10 issues

    Trump, holding forth at his resort Mar-a-Lago in Palm Beach, Florida, urged Republicans to unify in support of him. They are reluctant to do so.

    “Millions of people are coming in to vote,” Trump said, citing long lines at the polls and Democrats and new voters choosing him. “We have a great opportunity.”

    Missouri was the fifth state to hold a primary contest Tuesday. The other contender, Texas Sen. Ted Cruz, is hoping to pick up enough delegates to force a contested national GOP convention in July. Cruz made direct overtures to those who had supported Rubio, saying he stands alone as the last Republican hope of defeating Trump.

    “Every Republican has a clear choice,” he said. “Do you want a candidate who shares your values? Or do you want a candidate who has spent decades opposing your values?”

    As Rubio suspended his campaign, he tried to strike an optimistic note about his party’s future, while making a not-so-subtle reference to Trump.

    “Do not give in to the fear,” Rubio said. “Do not give in to the frustration.”

    Speaking from Cleveland, Kasich said, “I will not take the low road to the highest office of the land.”

    Trump’s plainspoken — while controversial — appeals have resonated across the country, leaving other candidates reeling for a strategy to topple the unconventional front-runner.

    “He will fix everything that is wrong with the economy and immigration,” said Alex Perri, a 59-year-old retired firefighter from Margate, Florida, who was campaigning for Trump in the parking lot of an Oakland Park, Florida voting place.

    Even as Trump racks up more wins, questions have intensified about whether he is doing enough to stem violence at his raucous rallies.

    Trump said Tuesday on ABC’s “Good Morning America” that his record-setting crowds have had “very, very little difficultly.”

    The New York real estate mogul backed away from a suggestion that he might cover legal costs for a supporter who punched a protester in the face during a rally last week in North Carolina. He has blamed a larger recent clash in Chicago on Democratic protesters.

    In a clear reference to Trump, House Speaker Paul Ryan, the GOP’s top elected leader, declared that all candidates have an obligation to do what they can to provide an atmosphere of harmony at campaign events and not incite violence.

    For some voters, Trump’s tone has been a turn-off.

    “We need to have a man who will speak against things that are wrong,” said Cathy Lewis after she cast her vote for Kasich in their shared hometown of Westerville, Ohio.

    In recent weeks, Republicans who dislike Trump have banded to wage multimillion-dollar advertising campaigns against him. One political ad highlights Trump’s statements that appear to encourage violence.

    Trump still leads the race for delegates, with a total of 621 with his gains in Tuesday’s contests. Ted Cruz has 396 delegates, Kasich has 138 and Rubio left the race with 168.

    It takes 1,237 delegates to win the Republican nomination for president.

    Associated Press writers Steve Peoples and Stephen Ohlemacher in Washington, Terry Spencer in Margate, Florida, Andrew Welsh-Huggins in Columbus, Ohio, and Kathleen Ronayne in Westerville, Ohio, contributed to this report.g

    The post Trump tops Rubio in Florida, falls to Kasich in Ohio appeared first on PBS NewsHour.


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    Republican U.S. presidential candidate Governor John Kasich celebrates in front of his wife Karen (L) and daughter Reese (2nd L) after winning the Ohio primary Republican presidential election at a campaign rally in Berea, Ohio March 15, 2016.  REUTERS/Aaron P. Bernstein - RTSAMCF

    Governor John Kasich celebrates with his wife Karen and daughter Reese after winning the Ohio Republican primary. Photo by Aaron P. Bernstein/Reuters

    Donald Trump knocked Marco Rubio out of the race, but failed to win Ohio. Clinton carried the all-important swing states of Ohio and Florida, dealing Sanders a major defeat after his upstart win in Michigan last week. The primary process isn’t over yet, but tonight helped define the race on both sides. Here are a few quick takeaways from Super Tuesday 2.

    Rubio sputters out

    Marco Rubio never really got it going. The Florida senator, who dropped out of the presidential race tonight after losing his home state badly to Donald Trump, entered the election with no natural base in the Republican Party. That never changed.

    Conservative primary voters flocked to Trump and Ted Cruz, while moderate voters splintered between a host of establishment figures from Rubio to Jeb Bush to Chris Christie, leaving Rubio without a clear constituency in a year dominated by voter anger with the status quo.

    His loss to John Kasich in Ohio deprived Trump of a big-state sweep tonight that would have reduced the race to a two-way contest with Cruz.

    The dynamic this cycle was unfavorable for Rubio from the outset. But Rubio, for all his political talent and optimistic message, also made several unforced errors, chief among them a disastrous debate performance on the eve of the New Hampshire Republican primary. In the end, the Florida senator only won a single state, Minnesota, along with Puerto Rico and the District of Columbia. It was a far different result than he had hoped for.

    His exit from the race also raises questions about his political future. Rubio, who is only 44, has insisted he won’t run for re-election in the Senate this year, though it’s not too late for him to change his mind. Rubio could wait to run for governor or mount another senate or presidential campaign down the line. For now, though, he’ll have plenty of time to ponder what went wrong.

    Trump gets a big win, but not a knockout

    Trump’s win in Florida was important for several reasons. He picked up 99 delegates, proved he can carry a diverse state, and forced Rubio, one of his main rivals, to drop out. But his loss to John Kasich in Ohio deprived Trump of a big-state sweep tonight that would have reduced the race to a two-way contest with Cruz.

    Now, instead, Trump is looking at a long race that could very well end up in an open convention in Cleveland this summer if no candidate wins the 1,237 delegates needed to clinch the nomination.

    PALM BEACH, FL - MARCH 15:  Republican presidential candidate Donald Trump speaks during a primary night press conference at the Mar-A-Lago Club's Donald J. Trump Ballroom March 15, 2016 in Palm Beach, Florida. Trump won the state of Florida and Ohio Gov. John Kasich won the state of Ohio.  (Photo by Win McNamee/Getty Images)

    Donald Trump speaks during a primary night press conference in Palm Beach, Florida on March 15. Trump won the state of Florida and Ohio Gov. John Kasich won the state of Ohio. Photo by Win McNamee/Getty Images)

    Trump, who also won Illinois and North Carolina tonight, still has a healthy delegate lead. He remains the unquestioned front-runner after another dominating Super Tuesday performance.

    But the real estate developer’s inability to bury his competition gives his critics more time to build the Stop Trump movement, both at the grassroots level and among party elites. That’s bad news for Trump, even if it doesn’t impact the primaries and he goes on to win the nomination.

    Clinton’s swing state success

    Entering tonight, Clinton had proved she could beat Bernie Sanders in Southern states with large African-American populations. But Sanders’ surprise victory in Michigan last week suggested that Clinton might continue to struggle this year with white working class voters across the Midwest.

    At this point, Sanders would need an unprecedented comeback to win the nomination.

    That argument goes out the window tonight. With her victories in Ohio, Clinton has shown she can carry Rust Belt states and build a broad enough coalition to win in November, when minority voters and women will play a crucial role in selecting the next president.

    The Democratic primary battle isn’t officially over just yet, of course. Sanders is not dropping out, and he could still carry several more states between now and the Democratic National Convention this summer in Philadelphia. But Clinton comes out of tonight’s primaries with a massive delegate lead. At this point, Sanders would need an unprecedented comeback to win the nomination.

    Sanders’ Michigan win was more fluke than miracle

    Sanders claimed that last week’s Michigan win was a miracle game-changer for his campaign. It would have been a turning point, had Sanders captured Ohio and proved he could compete across the Midwest. But his loss there was a major blow, and left him with an increasingly narrow, if not impossible, path to the nomination.

    Sanders will continue to push his message of income inequality and campaign finance reform. But as his hopes fade, the focus will turn to his supporters, many of whom are independent voters fed up with the political establishment. Will they turn out for Clinton in the fall? Or will they stay home? Clinton made overtures to Sanders’ supporters in her speech tonight. That effort will continue as she seeks to bring the party together ahead of the general election.

    The post 4 important takeaways from tonight’s primaries appeared first on PBS NewsHour.


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    Republican presidental candidate Gov. John Kasich celebrates his win in the Ohio primary at a campaign rally in Berea, Ohio, on March 15. Photo by Aaron Josefczyk/Reuters

    Republican presidental candidate Gov. John Kasich celebrates his win in the Ohio primary at a campaign rally in Berea, Ohio, on March 15. Photo by Aaron Josefczyk/Reuters

    Call it Mega Tuesday, Super Tuesday II, or any other name, you can follow all of the PBS NewsHour’s election coverage as people in five states and one U.S. territory vote in presidential primaries on March 15.

    12:33 a.m. March 16 EDT | Hillary Clinton has won the Democratic presidential primary in her native state of Illinois. It’s the fourth victory of the night for the former secretary of state over rival Bernie Sanders.

    Clinton also posted wins in Ohio, North Carolina and Florida in Tuesday’s elections.

    Clinton spoke earlier in the night in Florida, and appeared to pivot ahead toward a possible general election contest against Donald Trump.

    She suggested the Republican billionaire was not prepared to make the tough decisions required of a president.

    Sanders spoke for nearly an hour in Phoenix and delivered his standard stump speech, never mentioning the day’s election results.


    11 p.m. EDT | Ted Cruz says he is welcoming Marco Rubio’s former supporters “with open arms.”

    Cruz said at a Houston rally that the battle for the Republican presidential nomination battle was a “two person race” between himself and Donald Trump.

    Rubio suspended his presidential campaign on Tuesday.

    He did not mention Josh Kasich by name but clearly was belittling his chances. Kasich won his home state of Ohio on Tuesday but that has been his only victory of the year.

    Cruz has won seven states but still significantly trails Trump in delegates. The Texas Senator claimed that the media was “rooting” for Trump because he is the only candidate Hillary Clinton could beat.

    Cruz has yet to win a state on Tuesday though the race in Missouri has not yet been called. — Associated Press


    10:36 p.m. EDT | Donald Trump marked his latest string of victories by saying he is bringing new voters to the Republican Party.

    Trump said Tuesday during a victory rally at his Mar-a-Lago home in Florida that “something is happening” in the Republican Party that is being noticed “all over the world.”

    He touted increased voter turnout and a rise in new voters who have come out to support him.

    The celebrity businessman won Tuesday in North Carolina, Illinois and Florida. His rout in Florida, the home of Marco Rubio, effectively ended the senator’s White House bid.

    John Kasich won his first contest of the primary process by taking his home state of Ohio on Tuesday. Ted Cruz has not yet won a state. — Associated Press


    Democratic presidential candidate Bernie Sanders smiles after sitting down for breakfast at Lou Mitchell's restaurant and bakery in Chicago, Illinois on March 15. Photo by Shannon Stapleton/Reuters

    Democratic presidential candidate Bernie Sanders smiles after sitting down for breakfast at Lou Mitchell’s restaurant and bakery in Chicago, Illinois on March 15. Photo by Shannon Stapleton/Reuters

    9:41 p.m. EDT | Bernie Sanders was handed three early defeats on Tuesday — but his speech carried little mention of them.

    Sanders lost Ohio, Florida and North Carolina to Democratic rival Hillary Clinton, who added to her delegate lead. But, in a speech to supporters in Phoenix, he barely discussed those contests or the day’s races in Illinois or Missouri that have not been called.

    Sanders instead delivered his standard campaign speech, decrying the influence of big money in politics. He vowed that “billionaires would have to pay their fair share.”

    The Vermont senator has struggled to win the south, instead claiming some victories in the Midwest. — Associated Press


    Pam Catlin places a sign for Republican presidential candidate Ted Cruz just outside a polling location on Super Tuesday in Valley City, Ohio on March 15. Photo by Aaron Josefczyk/Reuters

    Pam Catlin places a sign for Republican presidential candidate Ted Cruz just outside a polling location on Super Tuesday in Valley City, Ohio on March 15. Photo by Aaron Josefczyk/Reuters

    9:40 p.m. EDT | Ted Cruz says his “friend and colleague” Marco Rubio ran “an optimistic campaign focused on the future of our party.”

    In a statement released shortly after the Florida senator suspended his presidential campaign, Cruz said he’s certain Rubio will continue to be “a champion for limitless opportunity in America.”

    Cruz lost Tuesday’s major winner-take-all contests — in Florida to Donald Trump and Ohio to the state’s governor, John Kasich.

    But his campaign was still hoping to pick up delegates in states that award delegates proportionally: Missouri, Illinois and North Carolina.

    Cruz has said for weeks he’s the only candidate in the field who can beat Trump one-on-one. — Associated Press


    9:26 p.m. EDT | Ohio Gov. John Kasich won the presidential primary in his home state of Ohio on Tuesday. The win means he picked up all 66 of the state’s delegates to the Republican National Convention.

    Now all he has to do is win 91 percent of the remaining delegates and he can clinch the nomination before the convention this summer.

    Marco Rubio has more delegates than Kasich has, and the Florida senator suspended his campaign Tuesday night.

    Donald Trump still leads the race for delegates, with 568. Ted Cruz has 370 delegates, Kasich has 129 and Rubio left the race with 163.

    It takes 1,237 delegates to win the Republican nomination for president. — Associated Press


    8:42 p.m. EDT | Presidential candidate Hillary Clinton bested Bernie Sanders in Ohio’s Democratic presidential primary, according to the Associated Press. “This is another super Tuesday for our campaign,” she told supporters.


    8:23 p.m. EDT | Republican candidate Marco Rubio suspended his campaign Tuesday night after losing the presidential primary in his home state of Florida.

    “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 this nation remains a special place,” he said.


    Democratic presidential candidate Hillary Clinton talks to supporters during a campaign stop outside of a polling station in Raleigh, North Carolina on March 15. Photo by Carlos Barria/Reuters

    Democratic presidential candidate Hillary Clinton talks to supporters during a campaign stop outside of a polling station in Raleigh, North Carolina on March 15. Photo by Carlos Barria/Reuters

    8:15 p.m. EDT | Hillary Clinton has won the North Carolina presidential primary, according to Fox and MSNBC.


    8:02 p.m. EDT | Donald Trump and Hillary Clinton have won the presidential primary in Florida, further solidifying their leads in the hotly contested race for the Republican and Democratic nominations.

    For Trump, the Republican front-runner, Florida’s all-or-nothing contest represents a momentous win, giving him 99 additional delegates — the largest in the quintet of contests taking place Tuesday. His victory deals a devastating blow to Florida Sen. Marco Rubio, who many in the Republican establishment had backed in the hope of derailing Trump’s dash to the nomination.

    Clinton will be awarded delegates proportionally in keeping with Democratic regulations, but the win still catapults her ahead of rival Bernie Sanders, who came into Tuesday’s contests with fresh momentum after scoring big in Michigan last week. — Associated Press


    7:21 p.m. EDT | About two-thirds of Republican primary voters in all five states voting Tuesday support temporarily banning non-citizen Muslims from entering the United States, but majorities in all five say they want immigrants already in the United States illegally to be allowed a chance to stay.

    That’s according to early results of exit polls conducted for the Associated Press and television networks for Edison Research.

    Only about 4 in 10 Republican voters in each state want all immigrants in the country illegally to be deported.

    The proportion of GOP primary voters saying they want a ban on non-citizen Muslims entering the United States is as high as three-quarters in Missouri. — Associated Press


    Ohio residents cast their votes on Super Tuesday election in Valley City, Ohio on March 15. Photo by Aaron Josefczyk/Reuters

    Ohio residents cast their votes on Super Tuesday election in Valley City, Ohio on March 15. Photo by Aaron Josefczyk/Reuters

    6:53 p.m. EDT | The presidential hopes of two of Donald Trump’s remaining rivals were on the line in five big states voting Tuesday in the wild but winnowing Republican slugfest, while Democrats in those states decided whether Hillary Clinton will be harder to catch.

    Ohio Gov. John Kasich and Florida Sen. Marco Rubio fought for home-state victories to stay alive in the 2016 campaign, the governor seeming to have better odds than the senator, though nothing has been coming easily to Trump’s opponents. Ted Cruz, No. 2 in the GOP race, hoped to become the last man standing against Trump.

    A strong night for Clinton would blunt Bernie Sanders’ feisty challenge and make her delegate lead closer to unassailable. But the Vermont senator bid for an upset in industrial states like the one that rocked the race in Michigan last week.

    Both parties held contests in Ohio, Florida, Missouri, Illinois and North Carolina; the Ohio and Florida primaries were especially crucial for Republicans because all GOP delegates in those big states go to the winner. Trump already triumphed earlier Tuesday in the winner-take-all contest for nine GOP delegates in the Northern Mariana Islands, a U.S. territory. — Calvin Woodward, Associated Press


    6:30 p.m. EDT | Five big states — Ohio, Florida, North Carolina, Illinois and Missouri — come to the fore Tuesday night, as the latest round of primary voting promises to either push the front-runners past their dogged opponents or breathe new life into failing campaigns. Watch the PBS NewsHour’s report:


    5:10 p.m. EDT | About 9 in 10 Republican primary voters in five states going to the polls Tuesday are unhappy with the direction of the federal government — and on average, about 4 in 10 are angry.

    According to early results of exit polls conducted for the Associated Press and television networks by Edison Research, majorities of Republican primary voters in all five states say they feel betrayed by politicians from the Republican Party.

    In each of the five states, about half of voters say they prefer a candidate who’s an outsider, while about 4 in 10 want one with political experience. — Associated Press


    Voting stickers are seen as voters cast their ballots for the Ohio primary at Saint Columba Social Hall in Youngstown, Ohio on March 15. Photo by Aaron P. Bernstein/Reuters

    Voting stickers are seen as voters cast their ballots for the Ohio primary at Saint Columba Social Hall in Youngstown, Ohio on March 15. Photo by Aaron P. Bernstein/Reuters

    5:05 p.m. EDT | Majorities of Democrats in five states going to the polls Tuesday say they would be satisfied with both candidates as the nominee.

    According to early results of exit polls conducted by Edison Research for the Associated Press and television networks, voters are more likely to describe Sanders than Clinton as honest, but more likely to describe Clinton’s policies as realistic.

    At least half of voters in each state say each of the two candidates’ positions on the issues are “about right,” though voters are generally more likely to say Sanders’ policies are too liberal than not liberal enough and to say the opposite about Clinton.

    Democratic voters in all five states see Clinton as the candidate with the better chance to beat Donald Trump if he is the Republican nominee in November. — Associated Press


    Bob Bolus, a supporter of Republican presidential candidate Donald Trump, gives the thumbs up to drivers as they pass by on Super Tuesday in Middleburg Heights, Ohio on March 15. Photo by Aaron Josefczyk/Reuters

    Bob Bolus, a supporter of Republican presidential candidate Donald Trump, gives the thumbs up to drivers as they pass by on Super Tuesday in Middleburg Heights, Ohio on March 15. Photo by Aaron Josefczyk/Reuters

    4:49 p.m. EDT | Even before Tuesday’s primary results are in, a group of conservative leaders is calling a meeting to discuss options for blocking Donald Trump’s path to the Republican nomination — including the possibility of rallying around a third-party candidate.

    A person familiar with the planning for Thursday’s meeting says the discussion will focus first on trying to get conservatives to unite around one candidate to compete against Trump. High-dollar donors would be mobilized to pressure other candidates to go along with that plan.

    The discussion will also focus on the logistics of getting a third-party candidate on state ballots, an option seen by organizers as a “lifeboat” for conservatives. Participants will discuss ballot access issues, including using an existing third party as a vehicle for a candidate or securing signatures for an independent bid.

    The meeting was first reported by Politico. The person familiar with the planning confirmed the meeting on the condition of anonymity because they were not authorized to discuss the gathering by name. — White House correspondent Julie Pace, Associated Press

    The post LIVE BLOG: Clinton wins Democratic primary in Illinois appeared first on PBS NewsHour.


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    Photo by Flickr user Sean MacEntee

    A new survey finds that 89 percent of those who had bothered to call about a late fee succeeded in having it reversed, and 78 percent were able to get a lower APR. Photo by Flickr user Sean MacEntee

    When was the last time you called your credit card company and asked them to reverse a late fee or lower your interest rate?

    If “never” is your answer, you’re in the majority. Only one in five respondents to a new survey by CreditCards.com said they had ever made such a request. And yet, 89 percent of those who had bothered to call about a late fee succeeded in having it reversed, and 78 percent were able to get a lower APR.

    “Most people don’t ask for breaks for one reason,” CreditCards.com lead analyst Matt Schulz said. “They don’t think it will work. But people have more bargaining power than they realize. They just need to be willing to use it.”

    It’s a buyer’s market. Credit card companies are competing with one another to gain and retain customers. And, adds Schulz, it’s a lot less expensive to retain customers you already have.

    Late-fee forgiveness is one way to do that. As companies like Discover advertise late-fee forgiveness on the first late payment, other companies have begun to follow suit.

    Schulz points to the 2009 Credit Card Act to explain. The Act restricted credit card companies’ ability to hike rates for any reason, at any time. Brian Riley of research firm CEB speculates that in response to the law, many credit card carriers hiked their interest rates from the start to allow for more flexibility going forward. Now, card carriers have plenty of room to move rates down.

    The survey also revealed African-American cardholders were less likely — at 33 percent — to report a successfully lowered interest rate compared to white customers, who were successful 81 percent of the time.

    Schulz did note that the sample size of African American cardholders was too small to draw any formal conclusions from the data. But it’s not the first research to show such disparities. A report by the NAACP and the left-leaning policy center Demos shows that African Americans face steeper annual percentage rates to begin with — 17.7 percent on average — in comparison to white cardholders — 15.8 percent on average.

    Black households on average have fewer assets to fall back on than their white counterparts. As a result, they may have to borrow more often than white households, and therefore appear somewhat riskier, Demos senior analyst Amy Traub said.

    Customers under age 30 were also less likely — at 36 percent — to successfully negotiate lower interest rates. Meanwhile, older customers had a higher rate of success; those between 50 and 64 lowered their interest rates 81 percent of the time.

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    “Age 30 might be the magic age,” Schulz said. Credit card companies are less willing to negotiate with those with limited credit history.

    In addition, the Credit Card Act required those applying for credit cards under 21 to submit proof of income or cosign with a parent. The purpose was to protect students without an income from signing up for credit they cannot repay, but the law may have also prevented a large number of twentysomethings from building up more credit history, Schulz said.

    So what should you do if you want your late payment fee waived or if you would like a lower interest rate?

    “Just make the call,” said Schulz. “It can’t hurt to ask.”

    But, he advises, if you are going to negotiate lower rates, “come armed with [other credit card] offers.” Whether you find them online or it’s an offer sent to you through snail mail, those offers can establish the baseline for negotiations.

    The post Missed a credit card payment? Just call your credit card company appeared first on PBS NewsHour.


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