The Trump Train Keeps Rolling

Editor’s Note: This article previously appeared in a different format as part of The Atlantic’s Notes section, retired in 2021.

Donald Trump has beaten the expectations throughout the presidential campaign, and he did it again on Tuesday. Though the entertainer was expected to win in the five states up for grabs—Pennsylvania, Maryland, Delaware, Connecticut, and Rhode Island—he won bigger than expected, nearly shutting out his opponents. The politics team liveblogged the action all day, and here’s my instant reaction:

On a night awkwardly dubbed the Acela primary, the Donald Trump train steamed out of the station, chugging west toward Cleveland and the Republican National Convention.

The entertainer won all five primaries on Tuesday night, tallying huge margins of victory in Pennsylvania, Delaware, Rhode Island, Maryland, and Connecticut. Trump is struggling to reach the 1,237 delegates he needs to clinch the nomination—or to get close enough to win it anyway—and the results put him closer but don’t determine whether he’ll be able to reach the magic number.

Trump picked up nearly 100 of the delegates up for grabs Tuesday, doing well in Northeastern states that tend more moderate. But Pennsylvania’s peculiar delegate-apportionment rules mean that the Keystone State’s results are anything but solid. Trump won 17 delegates outright, but the remaining 54 delegates are elected directly and are unbound. That’s an unfortunate turn for Trump, who would have picked up many or all of them under a different system. (Don’t be surprised to hear Pennsylvania added to Trump’s litany of complaints about the Republican delegate-selection process.)

On the Democratic side, Hillary Clinton built her lead over Senator Bernie Sanders, winning in Pennsylvania, Maryland, Delaware, and Connecticut. Sanders beat her in Rhode Island. The night’s tally adds to Clinton’s formidable and almost certainly insurmountable lead for the Democratic nomination.

Read the rest here.