US Election 2016

US election 2016: Who is this new Donald Trump?

Donald Trump Image copyright AP
Image caption Trump appeared to strike a different tone

Republican Donald Trump toned down the tub-thumping rhetoric for his victory speech in Florida. Democratic frontrunner Hillary Clinton barely mentioned her rival Bernie Sanders in her address.

The speeches made by the key White House hopefuls were not like the campaign messages we have come to expect.

What did we learn from them both, and from what their main rivals had to say?

BBC correspondents witnessed the victory parties and share their thoughts.


Donald Trump

This was a strikingly different Donald Trump who met reporters last night. His tone was conciliatory. He was quietly spoken. He said he would be a unifier - of the Republican Party, of the nation. He didn't crow and he didn't claim to be the nominee, but he clearly thinks the primary race is effectively over.

This was a man not looking to the next primary, the next bit of slog along that long and exhausting road. This was a man with an eye on the much bigger fight in November, and his presumptive opponent Hillary Clinton.

He graciously congratulated Ted Cruz over his wins in Texas and Oklahoma. No mention last night of him being the biggest liar he's ever met. And no demeaning of Marco Rubio either. Were it not for the unmistakable blonde hair and the family members at his side, you might have been forgiven for thinking an impostor had entered the room.

But no, it was Donald 2.0 that we had with us. The trouble, though, when you upload a new operating system (OS) is there are inevitable bugs and glitches. And the new OS takes a bit of getting used to.

And there will be many who say what brought me to the product was the original software. So can and will the new magnanimous Donald be able to keep up this new modus operandi, and will his army of fans like what they see?

Jon Sopel, BBC News, Palm Beach, Florida


Hillary Clinton

With big wins in the big states, Texas, Georgia and Virginia, Hillary Clinton ended Super Tuesday in a dominant position, with a grip on the nomination.

Democratic candidates cannot become their party's presidential nominee without winning the African-American vote, and Clinton's winning margins are massive - in Virginia, she won 80% of the black vote. Her much-vaunted southern firewall held firm.

It was telling that in her speech in Miami she barely mentioned her Democratic rival Bernie Sanders and directed her fire at Donald Trump, even though she didn't mention the billionaire by name.

Though Sanders will continue in the race, Hillary Clinton is already fighting the general election.

Nick Bryant, BBC News, Miami, Florida


Marco Rubio

Image copyright Getty Images

If you want to be a winner, then you need to win. And in that sentence lies Florida Senator Marco Rubio's problem.

He might have the support of the Republican establishment, with endorsements from a raft of senators and governors - but it simply isn't translating into votes.

He only came first in one state on Super Tuesday (Minnesota, which bucked the national trend), and in many contests only placed third.

For weeks Senator Rubio has been touted as the party's "Stop Trump" candidate, but Mr Trump's momentum looks hard to beat. The so-called "Marcomentum" Mr Rubio's supporters speak of has yet to materialise. All eyes are now on his home state of Florida - tonight's event was a kick-off rally for the primary here, two weeks from now.

But with Mr Trump leading in the polls it's a steep hill to climb. Marco Rubio told supporters at this rally that he's in it for the long haul - but if he can't win on home turf, his presidential prospects look increasingly terminal.

Rajini Vaidyanathan, BBC News, Florida


Ted Cruz

Over a beer at the end of the night, the patrons of the Redneck Country Club were realistic, if a little sad.

Ted can't win, they admitted, unless Rubio quits the race - and there is no sign of that happening.

They are disappointed that their candidate has not been able to tap into a sense of discontent with the political establishment nearly as effectively as has Donald Trump.

His supporters can't explain why this is the case, describing the Texas senator as a principled constitutionalist dedicated to preserving conservative ideals.

His opponents think they know. They call Mr Cruz a dangerous, self-indulgent obstructionist who is better at making enemies than friends.

At the end of the night here the dancers linked hands and sang Amazing Grace.

It was worth a shot. Ted Cruz had a decent night but he still needs all the help he can get.

James Cook, BBC News, Houston, Texas


Bernie Sanders

Bernie Sanders is heading for close to a 90% endorsement by Democratic primary voters in his home state of Vermont.

And that's not all that surprising when you witness the way he was feted by thousands in a large warehouse in Essex Junction, chanting "feel the Bern".

The senator with the millennial touch had them roaring to the rafters after every third word as he barked out his call to revolution.

Talking to some voters, though, you can sense that there's a nagging worry that the idealism will never really get a chance.

But for now, the promise from the campaign is to fight on through all 50 states - the Bern is still alight.

Gary O'Donoghue, BBC News, Burlington, Vermont