Donald Trump is one step closer to the GOP nomination after another dominating performance, sweeping Tuesday’s primaries along the East Coast.
“I consider myself the presumptive nominee,” Trump said during his victory speech.
The frontrunner won Delaware, Rhode Island, Pennsylvania, Maryland and Connecticut while Hillary Clinton won Connecticut, Pennsylvania, Delaware and Maryland. Clinton is assured of winning more delegates than Bernie Sanders tonight, padding her overall big lead despite Sanders winning Rhode Island.
Pennsylvania and Maryland were the two biggest delegate prizes on Tuesday and Clinton is now less than 300 delegates away from clinching the Democratic nomination.
The five-state sweep for Trump is significant as he looks to enter the GOP convention with the 1,237 delegates required for an automatic nomination. Trump is on track, but has little room for error and needs to keep winning to clinch the nomination.
The GOP frontrunner spent his evening Tuesday at the Time 100 Gala before exiting to deliver a victory speech that featured Chris Christie and “Duck Dynasty’s” Willie Robertson among the supporters standing behind him. Trump mentioned during the speech that Sanders should run as an Independent because he’s not being treated fairly by the Democratic party.
Connecticut, Delaware, Maryland, Pennsylvania and Rhode Island held their primaries, with all five states’ polls closing at 8 p.m. ET. Four of the races were called only minutes after closing time.
Sanders noted earlier Tuesday that the fall election is not a “closed primary.” Independents “will be voting all over this country for the next president,” he said, while promising to stay in the race regardless of tonight’s outcome.
The next big tests are Indiana on May 3, Nebraska and West Virginia on May 10 and Kentucky and Oregon on May 17. But it could all come down to June 7 when California, Montana, New Jersey and New Mexico hold primaries.