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Trump Scores Five-State Primary Win, Clinton Scores Four

Updated: Tuesday, April 26, 2016 – 7:57 PM

(AFP) Democratic presidential frontrunner Hillary Clinton on Tuesday scored her fourth primary win of the night over rival Bernie Sanders in Connecticut, US networks projected.

Clinton — the former secretary of state, first lady and US senator — also won nominating contests in Delaware, Maryland and Pennsylvania, according to US networks. Sanders won in Rhode Island.

On the Republican side, frontrunner Donald Trump swept all five primaries on Tuesday in the US Northeast.

Updated: Tuesday, April 26, 2016 – 7:04 PM

(AFP) Billionaire Donald Trump swept all five presidential primaries held on Tuesday, strengthening his hold on the Republican race, while Democrat Hillary Clinton distanced herself from rival Bernie Sanders with three solid wins.

Trump defeated 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.

On the Democratic side, US networks projected Clinton as the winner in Delaware, Maryland and the night’s big prize, the battleground state of Pennsylvania.

But her clean sweep was denied by Sanders, who claimed a victory in Rhode Island, according to projections. He was also leading narrowly in Connecticut, according to early vote counts, but that race was still too close to call.

“Thank you Pennsylvania! What a great night,” Clinton told a crowd of supporters in Philadelphia who chanted “Hillary! Hillary!”

The 68-year-old former secretary of state, seeking to become the nation’s first female commander in chief, signified her eagerness to shift toward the general election and a showdown with Republicans.

“Let’s go forward, let’s win the nomination, and in July let’s return as a unified party,” she said.

Trump’s night was nothing short of huge, as he cleared 50 percent support in all five states, according to partial vote tallies. In Rhode Island, he earned 65 percent, with 84 percent of precincts reporting, while Kasich earned 24 percent and Cruz had just 10 percent.

Most importantly, the bombastic 69-year-old New York real estate mogul extended his lead in the all-important race for the delegates who will officially choose the Republican nominee at the party’s convention in July.

“For weeks the stop Trump, dump Trump movement has tried to puncture” his rise, James Morone, a political science professor at Brown University, told AFP.

“Today’s results overwhelmingly tell you it’s not working.”

– ‘Very dumb!’ -Trump’s early triumph comes in the heated aftermath of the revelation that Cruz and Kasich, desperate to prevent the frontrunner from securing the nomination before the convention, were teaming up to block him in future primary races.

Kasich agreed to forego campaigning in Indiana, a winner-take-all state that votes on May 3, and Cruz will return the favor later in New Mexico and Oregon.

But within hours of the surprise deal, Kasich — the governor of Ohio — was already playing it down, saying he was not telling his supporters in Indiana not to vote for him.

“This joke of a deal is falling apart, not being honored and almost dead,” Trump said on Twitter. “Very dumb!”

Clinton’s strong showing heaps pressure on Sanders, who has vowed to fight on until the California primary on June 7 and has said he refuses to accept that he has no path forward.

“Almost every national poll and every state poll has us defeating Trump and that margin for us is significantly larger than Madam Secretary Clinton,” Sanders told supporters on Tuesday in West Virginia, which votes on May 10.

Sanders has deflected recent questions about whether he would actively support a Clinton candidacy if she is the nominee, suggesting it was up to her to win over his passionate young followers.

– Unstoppable? -Trump was riding high following the latest “Super Tuesday” contests.

“It was a big election night,” campaign manager Corey Lewandowski told MSNBC after Trump’s sweep, adding that Cruz had been “mathematically eliminated” from taking the nomination outright.

“This race takes a turn tonight,” Trump’s national political director Rick Wiley told the network. “The common wisdom is we’re going to get to 1,237” — the number of delegates necessary to clinch the nomination outright at the convention in July.

Trump himself had been in full attack mode a day earlier, pouring scorn on the Cruz-Kasich deal and saying “it shows how pathetic they are.”

Cruz for his part sounded eager to move on to what he called “more favorable terrain.”

“Tonight this campaign moves back to Indiana and Nebraska and North Dakota and Montana and Washington and California,” Cruz told supporters in Indiana.

But according to a recent CBS poll, Trump leads Indiana with 40 percent of likely Republican voters, compared to 35 percent for Cruz and 20 percent for Kasich.

Losing Indiana would make it much harder for Trump to gain the magic number of delegates ahead of the convention in Cleveland on July 18-21.

“If Trump takes Indiana, it’s very, very difficult to see how they can stop him,” Morone said.

If he falls short of outright victory, Trump runs the risk that his delegates, most of whom are bound to vote for him in only the first round, will desert him in subsequent rounds.

Cruz and Kasich have openly said they are counting on a contested convention, where they have a shot at wooing enough delegates to snatch the nomination.

mlm/sst

© 1994-2016 Agence France-Presse

Posted: Tuesday, April 26, 2016 – 6:13 PM

(AFP)  Billionaire Donald Trump scored wins in all five northeastern US states holding presidential primaries Tuesday — a clean sweep for the Republican frontrunner that propelled him closer to clinching the party’s nomination.

Trump defeated his rivals Ted Cruz and John Kasich in Connecticut, Delaware, Maryland, Pennsylvania and Rhode Island.

Democratic frontrunner Hillary Clinton was also doing well, with US networks projecting her the winner in Delaware and Maryland.

“Thank you, Maryland,” Clinton tweeted almost immediately after polls closed at 8:00 pm (0000 GMT) in the state that borders the capital Washington.

Should Clinton’s performance match Trump’s victories, she will push rival Bernie Sanders to the brink of defeat and lift herself to the cusp of a historic nomination.

Trump’s big night extended his lead in the all-important race to win the delegates who will officially choose the Republican nominee at their convention in July.

Trump’s early triumph comes in the heated aftermath of the revelation that Cruz and Kasich, desperate to prevent the frontrunner from securing the nomination before the convention, were teaming up to block him in future primary races.

Kasich agreed to forego campaigning in Indiana, a winner-take-all state that votes May 3, and Cruz will return the favor later in New Mexico and Oregon.

But within hours of the surprise deal, Kasich — the governor of Ohio — was already playing it down, saying he was not telling his supporters in Indiana not to vote for him.

“This joke of a deal is falling apart, not being honored and almost dead,” Trump said. “Very dumb!”

Like Trump, Clinton was favored to win all five contests, with polls giving her a double-digit lead over Sanders in Pennsylvania, the biggest state of the bunch with 189 delegates.

Should she run the board, it would heap pressure on Sanders, who has vowed to fight on until the California primary on June 7.

“I don’t accept there is no path forward. Let’s not count our chickens before they’re hatched,” Sanders told MSNBC Tuesday.

Sanders has deflected recent questions about whether he would actively support a Clinton candidacy if she is the nominee, suggesting it was up to her to win over his passionate young followers.

– ‘Pathetic’ plan -Trump was riding high going into the latest “Super Tuesday” contests.

“We’re going to have a good night,” his national political director Rick Wiley told MSNBC, adding that he expected Cruz would be “mathematically eliminated” after Tuesday’s contests.

“This race takes a turn tonight,” he said. “The common wisdom is we’re going to get to 1,237” — the number of delegates necessary to clinch the nomination outright.

Trump himself had been in full attack mode a day earlier, pouring scorn on the Cruz-Kasich deal and describing it as “collusion.”

The partnership “shows how weak they are,” Trump said. “It shows how pathetic they are.”

Cruz’s campaign had acknowledged that the US senator from Texas was not expecting a perfect night Tuesday, and the candidate sounded eager to move on to what he called “more favorable terrain.”

“Tonight this campaign moves back to Indiana, and Nebraska… and Washington and California,” Cruz told supporters in Indiana.

According to a recent CBS poll, Trump leads Indiana with 40 percent of likely Republican voters, compared to 35 percent for Cruz and 20 percent for Kasich.

Losing Indiana would make it much harder for Trump to gain the 1,237 delegates needed to win the nomination in the first round of balloting at the party’s convention in Cleveland on July 18-21.

If he falls short, Trump runs the risk that his delegates, most of whom are bound to vote for him in only the first round, will desert him in subsequent rounds.

Cruz and Kasich have openly said they are counting on a contested convention, where they have a shot at wooing enough delegates to snatch the nomination.

Cruz in particular has been successfully maneuvering in state party conventions to have individuals named to delegate slots who, though initially bound to Trump, would be sympathetic to Cruz in later rounds once free to vote for whomever they choose.

Party heavyweights, alarmed by the prospect of a Trump nomination, have long pressed for a united effort around a single candidate against him.

But Cruz is almost as unpopular with the party’s establishment as Trump, and Kasich has refused to bow out even though he has only won his home state of Ohio.

mlm/sst

© 1994-2016 Agence France-Presse

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