Trump takes Virginia, dealing blow to Rubio

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Republican presidential candidate Donald TrumpDonald TrumpNational poll: Clinton clings to 5-point lead over Trump Rep. Meadows to run for Freedom Caucus chairman War over polls intensifies MORE has won the Virginia primary, major news outlets are projecting.

It marks his fifth victory of the night, following wins in Georgia, Alabama, Massachusetts and Tennessee.

Trump’s wins deal painful blows to his rivals — particularly Sen. Marco RubioMarco RubioBreitbart, liberal activist cooperated on GOP primary disruptions: report Obama seeks down-ballot gains after being midterm loser Chamber endorses bill to block proposed estate tax rules MORE — who had hoped to stall Trump's momentum, which is building seemingly inexorably toward the Republican nomination.

Trump cannot accumulate enough delegates to win the nomination outright on Tuesday, but GOP strategists concede privately that a huge night would make him nearly impossible to stop.

Trump’s victory in Virginia is of particular importance. The Rubio camp had targeted the Old Dominion as one of its must-win Super Tuesday states, according to two senior sources familiar with the campaign’s internal planning.  

Virginia has a large number of wealthy and well-educated Republican voters. Trump’s ability to win there will send further chills down the spines of party establishment figures who are frantically plotting strategies to stop the billionaire populist from securing the GOP nomination.