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THE PROGRESSIVE REVIEW - April 28, 2016

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*-- Trump, Clinton close in on party nominations --*

WASHINGTON - Donald Trump and Hillary Clinton have widened the gap between their respective opponents in delegate numbers after resounding victories in critical primaries Tuesday.

Connecticut, Delaware, Maryland, Pennsylvania and Rhode Island held primaries on Tuesday and at least 99 percent of precincts have reported in those states. In the Republican field, Trump won all contests -- securing at least 105 delegates. Ohio Gov. John Kasich won five delegates, while Texas Sen. Ted Cruz won one.

For Republicans, 1,237 delegates are needed out of an available 1,899 to win the party's nomination. Trump now has at least 949 delegates to Cruz's 544 and Kasich's 153. The GOP will officially nominate its candidate at the Republican National Convention scheduled to begin July 28.

Tuesday's wins were big for Trump, who secured more than 50 percent of the vote in each state -- the first time he's done so since New York's primary. He took 64 percent of the votes in Rhode Island and 61 percent in Delaware. He had between 54 percent and 58 percent in the other three states.

"You have to remember ... there are three people," Trump said. "When you crack 60 -- as we did last week with our great city and our great state of New York -- when you crack 60 with three people, that's very hard to do."

For Democrats, Clinton won all states except Rhode Island -- securing at least 194 delegates. Bernie Sanders won 129 delegates, 13 of which came from his Rhode Island victory.

The delegate results for Democrats are not official until the Democratic National Convention, which is scheduled to begin July 25. The formality is due to the use of superdelegates, who can support any delegate, whereas pledged delegates support the winner of a state's primary. A Democrat needs a total of 2,383 delegates out of an available 3,393 to win the party's nomination.

Clinton has 1,640 pledged delegates to Sanders' 1,331 -- but if superdelegates are counted, Clinton's lead rises to 2,159 to Sanders' 1,370. Overall, there are 502 delegates remaining for Republican candidates and 1,206 remaining delegates for Democrats.

The next primary will be held on Tuesday in Indiana, where 57 delegates are available for Republicans and 83 are available for Democrats. For the rest of May, 142 GOP delegates are up for grabs in contests in Nebraska, West Virginia, Oregon and Washington. For Democrats, 145 delegates are available in West Virginia, Kentucky and Oregon.

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