Five presidential primaries in the Northeastern United States on Tuesday put Hillary Clinton and Donald Trump closer to winning their parties’ presidential nominations.
The former secretary of state and presumptive Democratic nominee won at least 194 delegates against 129 for her socialist rival, Vermont senator Bernie Sanders.
Counting so-called superdelegates (party officials), that gives Clinton 2,141 of the 2,383 delegates needed to win the nomination. With 1,303 delegates at stake in the remaining primaries, it is starting to become mathematically impossible for Sanders to eke out a victory.
Trump similarly dominated Tuesday’s contests on the Republican side, winning virtually all the delegates that were up for grabs in Connecticut, Delaware, Maryland and Pennsylvania.
In Rhode Island, the Manhattan businessman won nine out of nineteen delegates.
The final delegate haul in Pennsylvania is uncertain. In addition to its seventeen statewide delegates, who are all pledged to support Trump now on the first ballot, it sends 54 unbound delegates to the national convention in Cleveland, Ohio this summer — three from every congressional district. Whom they will vote for is unknown.
Trump, however, showed no doubt on election night. “I consider myself the presumptive nominee,” he said. “As far as I’m concerned, it’s over.”
Given that he already has 950 out of 1,237 delegates needed to wrap up the nomination, and with only 622 more delegates available in the remaining contests, that is not too much of an exaggeration.
Trump’s rivals have carved up three of the next states between them to improve their chances of denying him a simple majority.
Texas senator Ted Cruz is betting it all on Indiana, which votes next week. Its 57 delegates may be critical if party insiders — many of whom believe Republicans would suffer a crushing defeat against Clinton if Trump is their nominee — are to force a contested convention.
Ohio governor John Kasich, who has only won his home state so far, is campaigning instead in Oregon and New Mexico, which vote later in May and in early June.
Their hope is to keep Trump under the 1,237 pledged delegates needed to win the nomination outright. On subsequent ballots, delegates could then switch to either man.