Donald Trump declared himself the “presumptive nominee” in a victory speech from Trump Tower on Tuesday night, after dominating five Republican presidential-primary contests.
Shortly after the polls closed on Tuesday evening, several networks projected that the real-estate mogul would sweep through the day’s five primary contests. He won primaries in Connecticut, Maryland, Rhode Island, Delaware, and Pennsylvania.
While Trump doesn’t yet have the 1,237 delegates he needs to lock down the Republican presidential nomination, he doesn’t seem to have much doubt left that he will get there.
“I consider myself the presumptive nominee, absolutely,” Trump said during a speech and press conference at Trump Tower in New York City.
He said later: “As far as I’m concerned, it’s over.”
Trump said that his rivals for the GOP nomination, Texas Sen. Ted Cruz and Ohio Gov. John Kasich, “should really get out of the race.”
“They have no path to the nomination,” he said. “… They should get out of the race, and we should heal the Republican Party.”
Trump insisted that he can unify a Republican Party that seems increasingly divided.
“I’m a unifier. I unify people,” he said. “That’s how I did it in business. … We will have people that are backing this party and backing my candidacy that you wouldn’t believe. We’re going to have such unity.”
On Sunday, Kasich and Cruz announced an alliance to essentially halt campaigning in certain states where the other candidate has a clear advantage in an attempt to block Trump from winning the nomination.
If Trump does not reach the 1,237-delegate threshold, he could run into problems attempting to secure the nomination. Cruz has continually outmaneuvered Trump in electing delegates to the Republican National Convention. If Trump does not win 1,237 delegates, many convention delegates would become “unbound” to Trump in later rounds of convention voting, giving Cruz or Kasich a likely boost in support.
Maxwell Tani contributed to this report.