, WASHINGTON, United States, Apr 27 – Billionaire Donald Trump swept all five presidential primaries held Tuesday, strengthening his grip on the Republican race, while Democrat Hillary Clinton distanced herself from rival Bernie Sanders with nearly as strong a showing.
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 saviour by millions despite being loathed by the party establishment.
- On the Democratic side, Clinton won four contests including the night's big prize, the battleground state of Pennsylvania.
- But her clean sweep was denied by Sanders, who won Rhode Island.
- The 68-year-old former secretary of state telegraphed her eagerness to shift toward the November general election and a showdown with Republicans.
“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.”
On the Democratic side, Clinton won four contests including the night’s big prize, the battleground state of Pennsylvania.
But her clean sweep was denied by Sanders, who won Rhode Island.
“What a great night,” Clinton told a thrilled crowd of supporters in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania.
The 68-year-old former secretary of state telegraphed her eagerness to shift toward the November 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, with nearly all precincts reporting. In Rhode Island, he earned 64 percent, trouncing Kasich (24 percent) and Cruz (10 percent).
Most importantly, the bombastic 69-year-old extended his lead in the all-important race for 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.”