Cincinnati not on Trump's travel schedule

Cincinnati not on Trump's travel schedule
Posted at 5:26 PM, Mar 09, 2016
and last updated 2016-03-11 19:48:35-05

CINCINNATI -- Rumors of a visit from Donald Trump to the Duke Energy Convention Center Sunday seem to be just rumors for now.

Trump's travel schedule updated Friday did not include a stop in Cincinnati, but the Republican front-runner will be in Dayton, Ohio, on Saturday.

The Dayton rally is set for 10 a.m. Saturday at the Dayton Airport Expo Center. Neither the Trump campaign nor the convention center have confirmed the visit yet. 

Ohio Gov. John Kasich has said he's confident he'll win his home state and its 66 delegates in the winner-takes-all contest. Kasich is set to be the keynote speaker Saturday morning at a Republican club pancake breakfast in Sharonville, though the event isn't listed on his website; he has campaign events scheduled elsewhere in Ohio each day leading up to the state's March 15 primary. 

Recent polling among Ohio's likely Republican voters shows a tossup between Trump and Kasich, with Quinnipiac giving Trump the advantage and Fox News putting Kasich ahead.

"He's had a great run here on Ohio with the creation of jobs and common-sense good government," said Alex Triantafilou, chairman of the Hamilton County Republican Party and a Kasich supporter.  "You know, he won 86 of 88 counties about year and a half ago, so he's well known to the voters."

Another big prize next Tuesday is Florida, where Trump is expected to beat that state's junior senator, Marco Rubio.

IN DEPTH: Can ground troops help Kasich with 'his D-Day'?

After winning primaries in Michigan and Mississippi and Hawaii's caucuses Tuesday, the often-brash Trump softened his tone, at least temporarily, praising House Speaker Paul Ryan as a man he respects and encouraging Mitt Romney to promote party unity.

The comments marked a sharp reversal in tone, if not substance, from a week earlier when Trump hurled insults at his party's 2012 presidential ticket.

MAPS: See who's won which states

"Instead of fighting it, they should embrace it," Trump said of his candidacy in a Wednesday interview with Fox News Channel. "If we embrace what's happening and if everybody came together ... nobody could beat the Republican Party."

He later said he's going for a knockout in Ohio and Florida, which, like the Buckeye State, is a winner-takes-all affair: "I think if I win those two, I think it's over," he told CNN's "Anderson Cooper's 360."

Amid the growing resistance to Trump's insurgent campaign, a number of former GOP presidential hopefuls have re-emerged in support of his current rivals.

Former Florida Gov. Jeb Bush planned to confer with all the candidates -- save Trump -- ahead of Thursday's GOP debate. He'll meet privately with Rubio on Wednesday, and Texas Sen. Ted Cruz and Kasich on Thursday, said Kristy Campbell, Bush's former campaign spokeswoman. She did not outline any details of the planned meetings.

Bush and Trump engaged in heated confrontations throughout Bush's campaign, the two repeatedly referring to each other as "loser."

Cruz intensified his own bid to blunt Trump's momentum, unveiling on Wednesday an endorsement from former rival, retired business executive Carly Fiorina, who offers Cruz an immediate dose of credibility with his party's skeptical donor class.

Acknowledging many mainstream Republicans fear Cruz is too conservative, Fiorina told a Miami crowd that she's "horrified" by Trump.

"The truth is that Donald Trump and Hillary Clinton are two sides of the same coin," she charged. "It is time now to unite behind the one man who can beat Donald Trump, who can beat Hillary Clinton."