- The Washington Times - Tuesday, March 15, 2016

Republican presidential front-runner Donald Trump is cruising to victory in winner-take-all Florida, crushing home-state Sen. Marco Rubio’s White House hopes.

Former Secretary of State Hillary Clinton was likewise coasting to Democratic victory in Florida.

New outlets called the race for Mrs. Clinton and Mr. Trump the moment polls closed.

Mr. Trump took to Twitter to crow about his win just as polls in the Sunshine State were closing: “Despite a record amount spent on negative and phony ads, I had a massive victory in Florida.”

Many people exiting the voting both in Palm Beach and Jupiter, Florida, cast their vote for Republican presidential front-runner Donald Trump, saying only a businessman can fix a corrupt Washington, D.C.

Recent violence at Trump rallies, and his antics on the campaign trail — not immediately denouncing the KKK, saying Islam hates the U.S., fighting with Fox News host Megyn Kelly — didn’t seem to faze them.

“I voted for Trump because he’s a good businessman and that’s what our country needs,” said Janice Vinson, 69, of Admirals Cove in Jupiter.

Ms. Vinson said she was unperturbed by the recent violence at Trump rallies and the real estate mogul’s bombast.

“Quite frankly, he sounds like my husband — his mouth is in gear before his brain gets engaged,” Mrs. Vinson said. “I believe that Trump will make the right decisions when it comes down to it.”

Elizabeth Fargo agreed, saying she didn’t mind Mr. Trump’s rhetoric on the campaign trail and felt Mr. Trump was best positioned to beat Hillary Clinton in the general election.

“Hillary Clinton’s a crook, she should be going to jail,” Ms. Fargo said. “Just because she’s a successful politician doesn’t mean she’ll be good for women or good for this county. I’m going to vote for the person that’s going to win, and that’s Trump.”

Brian Murphy, 52, a retired fireman from New York City, also cast his ballot for Mr. Trump — and said a lot of his independent friends in New York were planning on doing the same.

“Trump has so many people coming out — people who have never voted before,” said Mr. Murphy, who now lives in Palm Beach Gardens. “I’m tired of politicians, it’s time to get someone new.”

Mr. Murphy said although Mr. Trump may offend, he is relatable to many.

“Trump says the things we’re all thinking — he’s not afraid to speak his mind and get things done,” Mr. Murphy said. “He’s honest.”

Lee Van Alatta, from West Palm Beach, also voted for Mr. Trump, citing his business experience — everything else she views as background noise, created or taken out of context by the press.

“This violence, these riots, they’re not his fault,” Ms. Van Alatta said. “Blame the ones who riot, don’t blame him.”

Of the more than dozen people interviewed after they voted in Palm Beach and Jupiter, three expressed support for Texas Sen. Ted Cruz and only one person voted for Sen. Marco Rubio, as an anti-Trump vote.

Mr. Cruz’s supporters cited his conservativism, religion, and anti-establishment branding as the reason they voted for him. All said they would vote for Mr. Trump if he were to win the general election.

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