Republican Donald Trump scored an impressive five-state sweep on Tuesday in a set of presidential primaries along the Northeast corridor, while Democrat Hillary Clinton claimed all but one.
The two front-runners padded their delegate leads ahead of party conventions this summer, and put more distance in other key ways between themselves and their rivals heading into the next round of primary voting.
Trump bested rivals Texas Sen. Ted Cruz and Ohio Gov. John Kasich in Maryland, Delaware, Rhode Island, Pennsylvania and Connecticut, virtual home territory for the New York business mogul.
The so-called “Acela Primary” marked the first contests since Cruz and Kasich formed a loose alliance to deny Trump the nomination. It’s not until next week’s primary in Indiana, though, when their cooperation would be expected to show results.
Trump, who told supporters that he wants to “finish it off,” believes the pair hurt themselves with the alliance.
He said he would make a determined effort toward next week’s primary in Indiana. “I think we’re going to do great,” he said in a victory appearance that featured criticism of Clinton, praise for her rival Bernie Sanders, and campaign immigration, trade policy and the economy.
Trump now has at least 927 delegates with 1,237 needed to capture the nomination, according to the Associated Press.
[Related: What Cruz-Kasich Could Learn from Other Unlikely Alliances]
Clinton, a former first lady, New York senator and secretary of state, won Maryland, Delaware, Connecticut and Pennsylvania, the biggest prize. Sanders won Rhode Island.
In Philadelphia, home of the Democratic convention in July, Clinton spoke in broad themes in sounding more like a general election candidate and reached out to Sanders supporters.
“Whether you support Senator Sanders or you support me, there’s much more that unites us than divides us,” she said.
Clinton has accumulated at least 2,097 delegates to Sanders’ 1,271, with 2,383 needed to win, according to the AP. The total includes pledged and superdelegates.
After a string of victories in March and early April, Sanders expressed confidence that he could surpass Clinton in pledged delegates and persuade superdelegates to switch their votes to him. But Clinton’s decisive victory in delegate-rich New York last week snapped his momentum and left him contemplating what he called a “narrow path” to victory .
Despite his performance on Tuesday, Sanders indicated that he would keep going, telling supporters that he runs strongest with independent voters and remains the best Democrat to defeat Trump.
“Independents all over this country will be voting in November for the next president of this country,” he said.