Trump sweeps 5 States, edges closer to Republican nomination

With wins in three States, Ms. Clinton now has 88% of the delegates she needs to become the first woman nominated by a major party.

April 27, 2016 08:04 am | Updated November 17, 2021 01:45 am IST - PHILADELPHIA

U.S. Republican presidential candidate Donald Trump speaks during a rally in Wilkes-Barre, Pennsylvania, U.S. on Monday.

U.S. Republican presidential candidate Donald Trump speaks during a rally in Wilkes-Barre, Pennsylvania, U.S. on Monday.

In a frontrunners' rout, Republican Donald Trump roared to victory on Tuesday in five contests across the northeastern United States, keeping the billionaire firmly on his narrow path to GOP nomination.

In the case of Hillary Clinton, she was dominant in four of the Democratic races, ceding only Rhode Island to rival Bernie Sanders.

Mr. Trump said he considered himself the “presumptive nominee” of the Republican Party, despite being short of the delegates needed to claim the nomination. Speaking after his sweep of all five of Tuesday’s GOP primaries, he reiterated calls to rivals Ted Cruz and John Kasich to get out of the race.

Mr. Trump’s and Ms. Clinton’s wins propelled them ever closer to a general election showdown. Still, Mr. Sanders, as well as Mr. Cruz and Mr. Kasich, have vowed to keep running, even as opportunities to topple the leaders dwindle.

With her three victories, Ms. Clinton now has 88 per cent of the delegates she needs to become the first woman nominated by a major party. Ms. Clinton kept her focus firmly on the general election during an enthusiastic victory rally, urging Mr. Sanders’ loyal supporters to help her unify the Democratic Party and reaching out to the GOP voters who may be unhappy with their party’s options.

“If you are a Democrat, an independent or a thoughtful Republican, you know that their approach is not going to build an America where we increase opportunity or decrease inequality,” Ms. Clinton said of the GOP candidates. She spoke in Philadelphia, where Democrats will gather in July for their nominating convention.

Mr. Trump’s victories in Maryland, Pennsylvania, Connecticut, Delaware and Rhode Island padded his delegate totals, yet the Republican contest remains chaotic. The businessman is the only candidate left in the three-person race who could possibly clinch the nomination through the regular voting process, yet he could still fall short of the 1,237 delegates he needs.

Mr. Cruz and Mr. Kasich are desperately trying to keep Mr. Trump from that magic number and push the race to a convention fight, where complicated rules would govern the nominating process. The Texas Senator and Ohio Governor even took the rare step of announcing plans to coordinate in upcoming contests to try to minimise Mr. Trump’s delegate totals.

That effort did little to stop Mr. Trump from a big showing in the northeast, where he picked up at least 82 of the 118 delegates up for grabs. Despite his solid win in Pennsylvania, the State’s primary system means 54 of the delegates elected by voters will be free agents at the GOP convention, able to vote for the candidate of their choice.

Mr. Cruz spent Tuesday in Indiana, which votes next week. Indiana is one of Mr. Cruz’s last best chances to slow Mr. Trump, and Mr. Kasich’s campaign is pulling out of the State to give Mr. Cruz a better opportunity to do so.

“Tonight this campaign moves back to more favourable terrain,” Mr. Cruz said during an evening rally in Knightstown, Indiana. His event was held at the “Hoosier gym,” where some scenes were filmed for the 1986 movie, Hoosiers , about a small town Indiana basketball team that wins the State championship.

Mr. Trump has railed against his rivals’ coordination, panning it as “pathetic,” and has also cast efforts to push the nomination fight to the convention as evidence of a rigged process that favours political insiders.

Yet there’s no doubt the GOP is deeply divided by his candidacy. In Pennsylvania, exit polls showed nearly four in 10 GOP voters said they would be excited by Mr. Trump becoming president, but the prospect of the real estate mogul in the White House scared a quarter of those who cast ballots in the State’s Republican primary.

In another potential general election warning sign for Republicans, six in 10 GOP voters in Pennsylvania said the Republican campaign has divided the party a sharp contrast to the seven in 10 Democratic voters in the State who said the race between Ms. Clinton and Mr. Sanders has energised their party.

The exit polls were conducted by Edison Research for The Associated Press and television networks.

Democrats award delegates proportionally, which allowed Ms. Clinton to maintain her lead over Mr. Sanders even as he rattled off a string of wins in recent contests. According to the AP count, Ms. Clinton has 2,089 delegates while Mr. Sanders has 1,258.

That count includes delegates won in primaries and caucuses, as well as superdelegates — party insiders who can back the candidate of their choice, regardless of how their State votes.

Mr. Sanders has vowed to stay in the race until voting wraps up in June. He continues to raise millions of dollars and attract big crowds, including Tuesday night in West Virginia, where he urged his supporters to recognize that they are “powerful people if you choose to exercise that power”.

While Ms. Clinton’s campaign expects Mr. Sanders to stay in the race, her advisers are eager for the Vermont Senator to tone down his attacks on the former Secretary of State. She’s been reminding voters of the 2008 Democratic primary, when she endorsed Barack Obama after a tough campaign and urged her supporters to rally around her former rival.

According to exit polls, less than a fifth of Democratic voters said they would not support Ms. Clinton if she gets the nomination. The exit polls were conducted in Connecticut, Pennsylvania and Maryland.

0 / 0
Sign in to unlock member-only benefits!
  • Access 10 free stories every month
  • Save stories to read later
  • Access to comment on every story
  • Sign-up/manage your newsletter subscriptions with a single click
  • Get notified by email for early access to discounts & offers on our products
Sign in


Comments have to be in English, and in full sentences. They cannot be abusive or personal. Please abide by our community guidelines for posting your comments.

We have migrated to a new commenting platform. If you are already a registered user of The Hindu and logged in, you may continue to engage with our articles. If you do not have an account please register and login to post comments. Users can access their older comments by logging into their accounts on Vuukle.