Clinton Grabs 4 Wins In Lead Over Sanders
STEVE INSKEEP, HOST:
And I'm Steve Inskeep in Tampa, Fla., where a woman walked yesterday into Christ the King Catholic Church. The church served as a polling place. And there, Denise Stewart (ph) cast her ballot in the Republican primary.
DENISE STEWART: You know, when you're young and you get into real estate - god, if I could be like Trump and, you know, stick my neck out and buy real estate and invest. So I have respected what he's done.
INSKEEP: She voted for the businessman she admires, becoming one little part of a massive primary day for him.
RENEE MONTAGNE, HOST:
Donald Trump won several states, including the biggest - Denise Stewart's state of Florida. He did not manage a sweep but eliminated one opponent and moved closer to his party's nomination.
INSKEEP: You learn something about Trump's support from Denise Stewart, that voter here in Tampa. She broadens the popular image of who Trump supporters are. She owns a construction business. She lives in an upscale neighborhood of tree-lined streets and vast homes in Spanish style. She is convinced that Donald Trump would change the country for the better. She says he is a dealmaker and predicts that he would not really act on his more extreme promises.
Do you get into arguments when you say things like you're saying about Donald Trump?
STEWART: I don't usually say them in certain settings. So I pick - I pick and choose my words in mixed company.
INSKEEP: In fact, the very next Republican voter we met at that polling place called Trump a neofascist, who actually would act on his promises. That's the kind of criticism Stewart doesn't buy.
STEWART: There are conservatives that will not vote for him. I'm very upset with Republican Party, how they've treated him. And they aren't supporting him. And there's so many of us Republicans that are fed up with the Republican Party. And they aren't listening to our point of view. And by them fighting me more, they're pushing me out of their party is what they're doing. And I'm not the only one. I've got a circle of friends that feel the same way.
INSKEEP: Stewart backs Trump even though she thinks it's a long shot that he would really win the presidency. She feels doubtful that Trump or, for that matter, any Republican would win in November. Trump did however win the state of Florida's Republican primary yesterday. He crushed Marco Rubio, the home state senator, and drove him from the race. Trump won several states, in fact, although not Ohio. On that dramatic primary day, David and I were talking with voters in the two biggest states.
DAVID GREENE, HOST:
And they include a woman who feels very differently than the Trump voter we heard from in Florida. Jillian McCreigh lives in Parma, which is just south of Cleveland. She's a stay-at-home mom, also a part-time shift worker at McDonald's. And when we met her yesterday, she had just voted for the eventual Republican winner in Ohio, John Kasich.
Who did you vote for?
JILLIAN MCCREIGH: Kasich.
GREENE: OK. And why Kasich?
MCCREIGH: Because I like what he's done for the state of Ohio and I hate Donald Trump. I think he's a [expletive] bigot, so (laughter)...
GREENE: That's a very straight-forward, simple answer that you just gave.
UNIDENTIFIED WOMAN: That's Jill.
GREENE: What do you like about Kasich? When you say he's done things for the state, I think people outside of Ohio, you know, would - aren't familiar with it.
MCCREIGH: He's brought - he's balanced our budget. He brought jobs to Ohio. And I think he's just has the best interest of Ohioans. And so I - honestly though, I don't think he has enough - people don't know him well enough.
GREENE: She doesn't think he'll win. Earlier, we heard that Trump voter in Florida who thinks her candidate can't really win either. Jillian McCreigh thinks the same thing about Kasich. But she thought it was important to stop Donald Trump.
MONTAGNE: And I'm curious, is there - both of you - is there a lot of that kind of voting, what people call strategic voting?
INSKEEP: You know, David and I were talking earlier. We encountered a lot of that in both Ohio and here in Florida. But the bottom line, Renee, is that Trump gained many delegates and has one fewer opponent today.
GREENE: Although, Ted Cruz also gained delegates. And John Kasich certainly gained some standing in the race. And this state was also a big state for Hillary Clinton on the Democratic side. People thought she might struggle in Ohio against Bernie Sanders just like she did in Michigan. She did not struggle. She won the support of people like Debra Lee, who is semi-retired. We also met her at that polling station in Parma.
DEBRA LEE: It was a hard decision. I really like Bernie Sanders. But I think Hillary will be the best to continue the policies that I like. And I think she has the experience.
GREENE: Some people suggest that Bernie Sanders has made Hillary Clinton a better candidate going into November. I mean, do you see it that way? The way this has played...
LEE: I do. I do. I think that he has brought income and equality to the forefront. And I do believe she will have to address that. And I think she will have to take a look at some of her - I mean, you know, she's survived for so long in politics, which I think is unique and - especially for a woman being a trailblazer without many people in front of her. So I do think he has pushed her on that issue.
GREENE: And now with the support of people like Deborah Lee, Hillary Clinton has taken another big step towards her party's nomination.
INSKEEP: She also won other states, including the biggest prize here in Florida. And that is surely a disappointment to a woman we met yesterday in West Tampa. She is Elizabeth Panera (ph). She's 30. And she just walked out of a polling place at a senior center.
ELIZABETH PANERA: I just voted. I'm really excited. I haven't felt this excited since Obama.
INSKEEP: Who did you vote for?
INSKEEP: You voted for Bernie Sanders.
INSKEEP: What excites you?
PANERA: Just the change that hopefully he will be able to bring to this country.
INSKEEP: Panera said she wants fresh thinking, new ideas. She likes Sanders' label as a socialist. She thinks he might help the kind of people that she meets as a social worker if he could win. But it was not a big day for her candidate. And she has another reason to feel troubled. She is Mexican-American. She came to this country at age 11. She is a citizen. And she was watching yesterday as a Florida victory neared for the front-runner on the Republican side.
What will you be thinking if you wake up and find that Donald Trump is the person who's won the Republican primary in Florida, in your state?
PANERA: I would be so disappointed and heartbroken. I would - I mean, right now I don't feel hopeless about the American people as a whole. But, I mean, that would - that would break me a little bit.
INSKEEP: You know, more than once in our voter interviews people said Donald Trump scares them. They used that word. We even heard that from one Democrat who said he might vote for Trump if he gets a chance this fall.
GREENE: A lot of passion for Donald Trump in Ohio, in Florida and elsewhere. Though, last night's results do not end the Republican contest.
MONTAGNE: But they do leave Donald Trump in the place he has always preferred to be. And that's at the center of events.
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INSKEEP: So let's review where we stand on this morning after another dramatic Tuesday. Hillary Clinton registered solid wins among Democrats in yesterday's primaries in her contest against Bernie Sanders. Donald Trump won Florida, North Carolina, Illinois, and the race was very close in Missouri. John Kasich won Ohio in the Republican primary and says he hopes to get a fresh look from the country. Transcript provided by NPR, Copyright NPR.