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Clinton, Trump move closer to nominations 

Friday, Apr 22, 2016,10:28 IST By Metrovaartha A A A

Washington | Following their emphatic victories in New York primary, Democrat Hillary Clinton and Republican Donald Trump have moved closer to bagging their respective parties presidential nomination, but the Republican Party in all likelihood is headed for a contested convention.

This is because, political pundits here believe, Trump despite having the largest number of delegates (845) in his kitty is still far short of the magical figure of 1237 delegates he needs to have before the Cleveland convention in July to become the Republican presidential nominee.

Trump, a real estate tycoon, is now eyeing at the Republican primaries next Tuesday in the States of Maryland (38), Pennsylvania (71), Connecticut (28), Delaware (16) and Rhode Island (19), where 172 delegates are at stake. Latest polls indicates that Trump is leading in most of these states. Well aware of the high stakes, the Republican front- runner is scheduled to campaign heavily in these states.

Even if he does not do so, in all likelihood he would enter the July Convention with the largest number of delegates. The entire strategy of Trump’s two remaining rivals Senator Ted Cruz (559 delegates) from Texas and Ohio Governor John Kasich (147) is to prevent Trump from hitting the target of 1237 delegates. Both of them are unlikely to cross this mark.

By doing do, the Cruz and Kasich campaigns hope that given Trump’s rhetorics and his antipathy with the establishment, the delegates would vote against him thus opening up opportunities for them.

On the Democratic side, Clinton appears to be all set to become the party’s presidential nominee after her victory in her home state of New York. Clinton, who was the former First Lady, former New York Senator and former secretary of state, would thus be the first woman presidential nominee of a major party in US history.

Clinton now has 1,428 delegates from the primary elections and another 502 super delegates, who are mainly party officials, have pledged their support to her. But they can change their vote even at the last moment.

However, with pledged super delegates, her total is 1930 and she needs 2382 delegates. Her sole rival Senator Bernie Sanders has won 1151 delegates during the primary season and has support of just 38 super delegates. Sanders campaign believes that they can still manage to get the necessary delegates in the rest of the states to win the partys nomination.

The campaign managers argue that they are short of just 277 delegates and once they overcome this gap, the super delegates can switch sides to go with the popular mandate of the party. Latest polls show, Clinton is leading in most of the Democratic primaries to be held in states of Maryland, Connecticut, Delaware, Pennsylvania and Rhode Island.