TEHRAN (Tasnim) – Donald Trump and Hillary Clinton scored huge victories Tuesday that bring them closer to a monumental duel for the White House in the fall.
Trump’s political strength was on display with a clean sweep of races in Maryland, Delaware, Pennsylvania, Connecticut and Rhode Island. Clinton delivered big wins in Maryland and Pennsylvania — the biggest prizes of the night — along with Delaware and Connecticut. Bernie Sanders picked up his sole victory of the night in Rhode Island.
The wins for Trump — following a massive victory last week in New York — move him significantly closer to the 1,237 delegates he needs to win the nomination outright and avoid a contested Republican convention. That historic prospect is now the only way rivals Texas Sen. Ted Cruz and Ohio Gov. John Kasich could stop Trump from becoming the GOP nominee.
“This to me was our biggest night,” Trump said in his victory speech. “I consider myself the presumptive nominee.”
Clinton’s big wins, meanwhile, help bolster her campaign’s argument that it is time for Sanders to make a decision to stop personal and political attacks on the former secretary of state that could weaken her ahead of a showdown in November with Republicans.
She climbed on stage to cheers in her election night headquarters in Philadelphia, the city that will host the Democratic National Convention this summer.
As of 10:45 pm ET, Trump picked up at least 99 delegates on Tuesday, bringing him to 945 compared to Cruz at 563 and Kasich at 152. Clinton won at least 72 delegates, boosting her total to 2,026, which includes pledged and superdelegates. Sanders holds 1,291, including pledged and superdelegates.
In Pennsylvania, the CNN delegate analysis team estimates that a minimum of 27 out of 54 unbound delegates will go to Trump.
Meanwhile, there were the first signs that Sanders may be about to embrace a change of tactics, despite vowing to take his campaign all the way to the Democratic convention in July.
In a statement issued after the results rolled in, Sanders insisted that he was in the race until “the last vote is cast.” But he added: “That is why this campaign is going to the Democratic National Convention in Philadelphia with as many delegates as possible to fight for a progressive party platform.”
While Sanders mentioned his desire to fight to influence the issues the party will fight on in November, he did not promise to push for a personal victory in the campaign — a significant difference.
Trump’s challengers may have one last chance to stop him from winning the nomination outright by beating him in the Indiana primary next week.
Cruz, speaking before polls closed — in a clear sign that he expected a bad night — slammed the media for what he said was a premature judgment that the general-election nominees would be Clinton and Trump. He branded them “New York liberals.”
But he predicted things would change next week.
“I’ve got good news for you tonight, this campaign moves back to more favorable terrain,” Cruz told a crowd in Indiana.
By Tasnim News Agency