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John Kasich Wins Ohio, Reminding Everyone He's Still Around

Kasich won his first state of 2016 on Tuesday night, more than doubling the number of delegates he has so far and slowing (however slightly) Trump's path to the nomination.
Photo by Tannen Maury/EPA

Governor John Kasich has won the Republican primary in his home state of Ohio, giving his campaign a needed boost to stay in the race and delaying Donald Trump's path to the Republican nomination ever so slightly.

Almost immediately after CNN projected Ohio for Kasich, he called into the network and told anchor Wolf Blitzer that he was "very, very happy" about the results.

"This is the little engine that can," a jubilant Kasich said. "We're fired up and going to Philadelphia tomorrow."

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Donald Trump Earns Huge Victory in Florida

Although votes are still being counted, Kasich is beating Trump in his home state by almost 10 points.

The race was exceedingly close, but a win was enough to grant Kasich all of the state's 66 delegates. Like Florida, which is also voting tonight, Ohio is a winner-take-all state for Republicans. Kasich more than doubled his delegate count on Tuesday with the Ohio victory alone, and now has 129 delegates compared to Trump's 568 delegates.

Ohio was a must-win for Kasich, who said he would drop out of the race if he was not victorious there. He had been campaigning exclusively in the state in the days leading up to the primary and was aided by substantial support from the state Republican party. Kasich earned endorsements from the state party's chairman and various local elected officials early on in the race and they have been campaigning on his behalf since the beginning of the year.

That strong base of home state support boosted Kasich to a much-needed win, his first in the 2016 primary contests. But it stands in sharp contrast to Rubio's devastating loss in his own home state of Florida, which forced him to drop out of the race on Tuesday night. Florida's elected officials remained neutral toward Rubio leading up to their primary on Tuesday and, in some cases, even threw their support behind Trump.

BREAKING: Marco Rubio Ends Presidential Campaign

Follow Olivia Becker on Twitter: @obecker928