Trump demolished his rivals Ted Cruz and John Kasich in Connecticut, Delaware, Maryland, Pennsylvania and Rhode Island – a stunning show of force by a candidate seen as a populist political saviour by millions despite being loathed by the party establishment.
“I consider myself the presumptive nominee,” the real estate mogul told a crowd at Trump Tower in New York, despite still being short of the 1,237 delegates required to win the nomination outright.
“As far as I’m concerned, it’s over.”
Democratic frontrunner Hillary Clinton won in four states: Connecticut, Maryland, Delaware and Pennsylvania.
Trump and Clinton were expected to do well in Tuesday’s five contests, which also included Rhode Island where Democrat rival Bernie Sanders won.
Trump’s night was nothing short of huge, as he cleared 50 percent support in all five states, with nearly all precincts reporting. In Rhode Island, he earned 64 percent, trouncing Kasich (24 percent) and Cruz (10 percent).
Most importantly, the bombastic 69-year-old extended his lead in the all-important race for delegates who will officially choose the Republican nominee at the party’s convention in July.