John Kasich needs a win in his home state of Ohio on Tuesday. | Getty
Donald Trump is swamping Sen. Marco Rubio in his home state of Florida, while John Kasich is holding on to a lead in Ohio, according to new NBC/Marist polls released Sunday morning, which also show Democrats typically beating the leading Republicans in those two critical swing states.
Trump is winning 43 percent of the vote in Florida, compared to just 22 percent for Rubio. Texas Sen. Ted Cruz is essentially tied with Rubio, earning 21 percent, while Kasich brings up the rear with a mere 9 percent. Florida is winner-take-all and awards 99 delegates. Establishment Republicans have said denying Trump a win there is crucial to preventing him from earning a majority of delegates at the Republican National Convention.
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Kasich has a significant lead in Ohio, earning 39 percent of the vote to 33 percent for Trump. Cruz has 19 percent and Rubio has just six percent. Kasich’s campaign has long pegged Ohio as a must-win on the governor’s Midwestern-centric path to the nomination. Ohio, like Florida, is winner-take-all
Trump also leads in Illinois with 34 percent of the vote to Cruz’s 25 percent. Kasich has 21 percent and Rubio has 16 percent. All three states vote Tuesday, along with the states of Missouri and North Carolina.
On the Democratic side in the Marist polls, Former Secretary of State Hillary Clinton easily leads Vermont Sen. Bernie Sanders, 61 percent to 34 percent, in Florida. She has a similar margin in Ohio, where she leads 58 percent to 38 percent. But Sanders is keeping it much closer in Illinois, where she has an edge of 51 percent to 45 percent.
The Democratic primaries are not winner-take-all.
Among registered voters, Clinton and Sanders have sound leads over both Trump and Cruz in Florida. Clinton has similar leads in Ohio, although Cruz and Sanders are tied in the state, with Sanders earning 47 percent of the vote to Cruz’s 46 percent.
The NBC/WSJ/Marist polls in Florida, Illinois and Ohio were conducted March 4-10. The margins of error vary according to state and party affiliation.