Washington: Presidential front-runner Donald Trump today declared himself the "presumptive" Republican nominee after sweeping the five primaries in north-eastern states.
"I consider myself presumptive nominee," Trump said, in his victory-speech after winning the nominating contests in Connecticut, Delaware, Maryland, Pennsylvania and Rhode Island. "Tonight was a huge win to Make America Great Again! We now stand alone to take on Hillary and win the White House," Trump said.
In all the five States, Trump bagged more than 50 percent of the votes. In fact, in Rhode Island and Delaware his vote percentage was more than 60 percent. In Pennsylvania, it was more than 58 percent, in Connecticut 59 percent and Maryland 56 percent. With this, his delegate count jumped to 944 despite that in Pennsylvania because of local rules he got 17 out of 71 delegates, as the rest of the delegates are unbound and free to vote for any candidate in the GOP convention.
Even as Trump declared himself as "presumptive nominee", he is still a little over 300 delegates away from the 1,237 delegates. "As far as I am concerned, this race is over," he said, adding that his another rival Governor John Kasich, who has 153 delegates to his kitty, is simply wasting his time.
Kasich came second in four of the five States but could earn just five delegates. After the latest primary results, Senator Ted Cruz has 559 delegates, and his path to nomination before the convention is impossible. Cruz came last in four of the five States.
Trump said he can easily defeat Democratic rival Hillary Clinton.
"She does not has the strength and stamina" to be the president of the United States and successfully handle countries like China, Japan and Mexico, he said. "I am going to bring jobs back to the country that you have never seen," he claimed, and alleged that Clinton is funded by Wall Street.
Clinton won in four States and her rival Bernie Sanders in Rhode Island.
The primary results moved both Trump and Clinton several steps closer to earning their party's nomination for the November polls. Both are about a little over 300 delegates short of the number required to reach the halfway mark to bag their respective parties' presidential nomination.
The next primary is scheduled in Indiana, next Tuesday, where Cruz and Trump has entered into a strategic alliance to prevent Trump from getting 1,237 delegates. Kasich is not campaigning in Indiana, while Cruz is not campaigning in the States of New Mexico and Oregon as part of this strategic alliance.
First Published On : Apr 27, 2016 10:21 IST