Donald Trump swept all five presidential primaries held on Tuesday, strengthening his grip on the Republican race, while Democrat Hillary Clinton raced ahead of rival Bernie Sanders. Trump demolished his rivals Ted Cruz and John Kasich in Connecticut, Delaware, Maryland, Pennsylvania and Rhode Island – a stunning show of force by a candidate seen as a populist political savior by millions despite being loathed by the party establishment.
“I consider myself the presumptive nominee,” the real estate mogul told a crowd at Trump Tower in New York, despite still being short of the 1,237 delegates required to win the nomination outright. “As far as I’m concerned, it’s over.” Democratic frontrunner Hillary Clinton won in four states; Connecticut, Maryland, Delaware and Pennsylvania.
Trump and Clinton were expected to do well in Tuesday’s five contests, which also included Rhode Island where Democrat rival Bernie Sanders won. Sanders’ team has sent mixed signals about his standing in the race, with one top adviser suggesting a tough night would push the Vermont senator to reassess his bid and another vowing to fight “all the way to the convention” in July. Clinton was already looking past Sanders, barely mentioning him during recent campaign events.
“What a great night,” the Democratic frontrunner told a crowd of supporters in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania. “Let’s go forward, let’s win the nomination, and in July let’s return as a unified party,” she said. The 68-year-old former secretary of state, however, deepened her attacks on Trump, casting the billionaire businessman as out of touch with Americans.