- REUTERS/Brendan McDermid
Hillary Clinton and Donald Trump are poised to take home big wins in several major presidential-primary contests on Tuesday.
Five states are up for grabs: Pennsylvania, Rhode Island, Connecticut, Maryland, and Delaware.
Though polling is limited in states like Rhode Island and Delaware, most recent surveys show Clinton and Trump leading in every state – and in some cases by healthy margins.
On the GOP side, Trump has maintained a commanding lead over his Republican rivals. The real-estate magnate leads in delegate-rich Pennsylvania by around 25 points, according to recent polls, while the RealClearPolitics average shows him beating Ohio Gov. John Kasich in Maryland by around 20 points.
On the Democratic side, Sen. Bernie Sanders could walk away with some symbolic state victories, but he seems unlikely to eat into Clinton’s massive delegate lead.
Some recent surveys have shown Sanders leading the former secretary of state in Rhode Island, and the latest Public Policy Polling survey of likely Democratic primary voters in Connecticut found Clinton just two points ahead of Sanders.
Still, Clinton will almost certainly walk away with more votes and more delegates if she can win major victories in Maryland and Pennsylvania. The RealClearPolitics average of polls shows that she has around a 15-point advantage over Sanders in Pennsylvania, while the site’s average puts her more than 20 points ahead of Sanders in Maryland.
“After her win in New York this week, these numbers in nearby Pennsylvania suggest that the entire northeast is looking pretty good for the Clinton campaign,” said Patrick Murray, director of the Monmouth University Polling Institute, in a recent statement.
Tuesday’s results appear likely to put Trump and Clinton closer to a head-to-head match-up.
With more than 170 delegates up for grabs on the Republican side, a Trump blowout could put him closer to potentially reaching the 1,237-delegate threshold needed to secure the Republican presidential nomination before the July convention.
Though the patchwork of delegate-allocation systems means that Kasich and Cruz will likely walk away with some delegates, Trump will almost certainly win the delegates awarded to the winner of contests statewide. He could also pick up more if he comes out on top in Delaware, a winner-take-all state, and if he crosses the 50% support threshold in Connecticut.
On the Democratic side, Clinton’s lead in most polls in Tuesday’s contests will make Sanders’ path to the nomination event steeper.
As FiveThirtyEight’s Nate Silver pointed out, Sanders needs to win over 58% of remaining pledged delegates to win, requiring massive upsets in diverse primary states like California and New Jersey. Those types of states have typically favored Clinton or broken evenly between the two candidates.