It was a perfect night for Donald Trump Tuesday as he swept all five Republican primaries. The Republican front-runner was the winner in Delaware, Rhode Island, Connecticut, Pennsylvania and Maryland.
Hillary Clinton, who was looking to finish off rival Bernie Sanders, claimed the Democratic primaries in Connecticut, Pennsylvania, Delaware and Maryland.
Sanders was able to stem the tide by picking up a win in Rhode Island.
Clinton is now 90 per cent of the way to the number she needs to claim her own nomination.
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While the sweep did not give Trump the required number of delegates to win before the Republican convention, he declared himself to be the Republican nominee in his victory speech at an event in New York.
“I consider myself the presumptive nominee, absolutely,” he said.
He was asked if he would eventually soften his tone.
“As far as I’m concerned, it’s over. So why would I change?” he responded.
Even before polls closed, Trump rival Ted Cruz spoke, conceding he was likely to lose in all five states that were holding primaries Tuesday night.
Cruz had already moved his campaign to Indiana, where he spoke on the basketball court where the movie “Hoosiers” was filmed.
He made several references about the classic movie, which featured a rag-tag group of underdogs winning the state title, before declaring, “There is nothing that Hoosiers cannot do.”
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The Democratic convention will be held in Philadelphia in July and that is where Clinton spoke Tuesday night. She took more shots at Trump than Sanders, as she said she was hoping to unite Democrats ahead of the convention.
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“We’re going to come back to Philadelphia…with the most votes and the most pledged delegates. We’ll unify our party to win this election,” she said.
One of her parting shots at Trump was “Imagine a tomorrow where…love trumps hate.”
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Sanders, had already moved into new territory and chose to address supporters in West Virginia shortly after the polls closed. He urged his supporters to recognize that they are “powerful people if you choose to exercise that power.”
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Still, there were some signs that Sanders’ campaign was coming to grips with his difficult position. Top aide Tad Devine said that after Tuesday’s results were known, “we’ll decide what we’re going to do going forward.”
Trump’s victories 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 get the 1,237 delegates needed to clinch the nomination.
Yet with 950 delegates now, he could still fall short of the 1,237 he needs.
GOP rivals Ted Cruz and John Kasich are desperately trying to keep him 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 co-ordinate in upcoming contests to try to minimize Trump’s delegate totals.
With files from Associated Press