Donald Trump scored a clean sweep through the Acela corridor Tuesday night with wins in Pennsylvania, Delaware, Connecticut, Rhode Island and Maryland and giving him a clear chance at securing the GOP nomination before Cleveland. Trump must win about 50% of the remaining delegates—down from about 60% before Tuesday’s races—and a win in Indiana next week would make his nomination all-but-inevitable. Feeling confident, Trump told reporters, “I consider myself the presumptive nominee, absolutely.” Not so fast, said RNC communications director Sean Spicer, who replied, “We will have a presumptive nominee when a candidate has 1,237 bound delegates.” The night was always going to be a disappointment for Ted Cruz, whose hard-charging conservatism is an unwelcome fit for the more moderate Northeast, but it was a devastating result for John Kasich, whose entire rationale for staying in the race has been his appeal to moderates in traditionally Democratic areas. It’s hard to argue that his presence is spoiling Cruz—since it’s unlikely Cruz would have performed any better had he been out of the race—but it’s doing little to help the anti-Trump cause. Cruz has moved to Indiana for the final week and must win nearly all of the delegates to keep hope for the #StopTrump movement alive.
Hillary Clinton all-but-clinched the nomination Tuesday night with wins in four of the five contests, further expanding her pledged delegate lead over Sanders to the point of no-return under Democratic rules. Sanders would need to win large super-majorities in the upcoming contests—and Sanders’ campaign began looking for an off-ramp in a statement released Tuesday night. Sanders is pledging to remain in the race through the last vote on June 14, but is turning his focus to trying to influence the Democratic platform in Philadelphia and to helping down-ballot progressive candidates. Victorious in the city where she will ultimately accept the nomination, Clinton began a pivot to the general election, welcoming Sanders’ supporters by casting herself as offering “bold progressive goals, backed up by real plans,” as she sought to unite Democrats. “We Democrats believe…” she riffed, listing off key planks of the Democratic platform as though it was an acceptance speech.
Trump will deliver a foreign policy address as he looks to mollify Republican critics, though he says he won’t change who he is in order to appear presidential. Trump takes a shot at Clinton. And selfies in the voting booth?
Here are your must-reads:
Donald Trump and Hillary Clinton Claim Victories in Atlantic States
But both will still face challenges from their rivals, regardless of the outcome [TIME]
Why #NeverTrump Is Rarely Working
Haphazard coordination and the candidates’ limited appeal, TIME’s Alex Altman writes
Kasich Falls Far Short in Northeast Primaries
He claimed the region was fertile ground for his moderate brand of politics—he was very wrong [Washington Post]
Pulling Away From Bernie Sanders, Hillary Clinton Is Turning to the Fall
The all-but-certain Democratic nominee begins her pivot to the general [New York Times]
“Frankly, if Hillary Clinton were a man, I don’t think she’d get 5 percent of the vote. The only thing she’s got going is the women’s card.” — Donald Trump on the Democratic front-runner Tuesday night
“I’m not going to be changing. I’m presidential anyway. I mean, I can change to presidential, but I’m presidential anyway.” — Donald Trump to CNN Wednesday morning
Bits and Bites
Donald Trump Won’t Cry if Lena Dunham Moves to Canada [New York Times]
Selfies in the Voting Booth? Snapchat Fights for the Right [New York Times]
Chris Van Hollen Wins Democratic Senate Nomination for Maryland [Associated Press]
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