Hillary Clinton defeats Bernie Sanders in Florida

Former first lady 'moving closer' to securing Democratic presidential nomination

WEST PALM BEACH, Fla.Hillary Clinton defeated Bernie Sanders by more than 30 points in Florida's Democratic presidential primary Tuesday, in addition to picking up victories in Ohio, Illinois and North Carolina.

"We are moving closer to securing the Democratic Party nomination and winning this election in November," Clinton told cheering supporters at the Palm Beach County Convention Center in West Palm Beach.

The former first lady, senator and secretary of state said she expected to have a lead of more than 300 delegates by the end of the day.

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 state's 214 delegates needed to clinch the nomination.

Clinton was heavily favored to win in Florida. The state helped propel Bill Clinton to the Democratic nomination in 1992.

She won the 2008 Florida primary over eventual-President Barack Obama in what largely was a symbolic showing because the state didn't get delegates after failing to follow the national party calendar.

Clinton urged Democrats in recent days to unite behind her candidacy so she could focus on defeating Republican front-runner Donald Trump. In telling campaign optics, Clinton staged Tuesday night's rally a few miles from where Trump held a victory celebration at his Mar-a-Lago Club in Palm Beach.

"When we hear a candidate for president call for rounding up 12 million immigrants, banning all Muslims from entering (the) United States, when he embraces torture, that doesn't make him strong; it makes him wrong," Clinton told the crowd.

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