On May 4, Republican candidates Ted Cruz and John Kasich dropped out of the presidential race.
While the deciding factor for both candidates was Republican frontrunner Donald Trump’s decisive victory in the Indiana primary held on May 4, the results of the April 26th primaries may have sealed their fates. The Acela Primary, as it has come to be called, was held in Connecticut, Delaware, Maryland, Pennsylvania and Rhode Island. Acela receives its name from an Amtrak train that runs between Washington D.C. and Boston. The train transports commuters along the East Coast.
The Acela primary proved to be a momentous night for both Trump and Democratic frontrunner Hillary Clinton. Trump won in all five states for the Republican side, while Clinton won in Connecticut, Delaware, Maryland and Pennsylvania. Trump currently has a total of 987 Republican delegates, while Cruz only has 562 and Kasich has 153 delegates. Clinton has a total of 2,164 Democratic delegates and Democratic candidate Bernie Sanders has 1,355 delegates.
Mt. Hebron students were buzzing with excitement prior to the Acela primary, especially since this was the first time some seniors were able to vote.
“My voting experience was nice,” commented senior Emma Fleck. “The people there were very helpful, and I went in and out of Worthington Elementary School all in ten minutes. The actual voting options, however, were very underwhelming, which made the process somewhat frustrating. I wish there were better presidential options.”
Trump needs a total of 1,237 delegates in order to secure the GOP nomination. In order to stump Trump, Cruz and Kasich announced an informal alliance. Cruz had planned to focus his campaign in Indiana so that he could prevent Trump from winning. This plan failed when Trump led by 53 percent with 97 percent of the votes counted at 12 a.m.
In his victory speech on April 26, Trump said, “This to me was our biggest night. I consider myself the presumptive nominee.”
Clinton needs a total of 2,383 delegates in order to secure her nomination. Clinton’s big wins on April 26 helped her cross the 2,000 delegates threshold. Now, she is 90 percent of the way in securing the Democratic Party’s presidential nomination. Clinton celebrated her victory in Philadelphia, the city that will host the Democratic National Convention in the summer.
“With your help, we are going to come back to Philadelphia for the Democratic National Convention with the most votes and the most pledged delegate,” stated Clinton. “And we will unify our party to win this election and build an America where we can all rise together, an America where we lift each other up instead of tearing each other down.”
Even though Sanders does not have a good chance of winning the nomination for his party, he insisted that he will be in the race until the last vote is cast.
In a statement after the results of the Acela primary were established, Sanders said, “That is why this campaign is going to the Democratic National Convention in Philadelphia with as many delegates as possible to fight for a progressive party platform.”
If Clinton and Trump win the nominations for their respective parties, future general election clashes are expected to take place between the two presidential candidates.
For example, Clinton said, “The other day, Mr. Trump accused me, of playing the, quote, woman card. Well, if fighting for women’s health care and paid family leave and equal pay is playing the woman card, then deal me in.”
In response, Trump fired back, “I think the only card she has is the women’s card. She has got nothing else going. Frankly, if Hillary Clinton were a man, I don’t think she would get 5% of the vote. And the beautiful thing is women don’t like her, ok?”
Some new voters, like senior Ime Essien, disagreed with Trump’s statements.
“I voted for Hillary Clinton because she’s the most qualified person for the job,” Essien said. “She represents the views that I’m concerned about such as gun control, health care, and minimum wage.”
The primary elections are set to wrap up on June 14. The candidates will then have their sights set on the Republican and Democratic National Conventions, which will be held the weeks of July 18 and July 25, respectively.