Five states on the eastern seaboard hold primary votes on Tuesday for both the Democratic and Republican parties.
Pennsylvania, Rhode Island, Maryland, Delaware, and Connecticut all appear likely to give the party frontrunners a significant boost, helping both Donald Trump and Hillary Clinton seal up their respective parties’ nominations.
Earlier this week, GOP challengers Ted Cruz and John Kasich pledged to coordinate their efforts to deny Trump the 1,237 delegates needed to secure a first ballot victory at the Republican National Convention.
Neither candidate has a path to securing a majority of delegates in the remaining primary votes and are counting on a contested convention to cobble together a majority from unbound delegates.
However, this last-ditch effort by the two to block Trump may prove futile, with polls showing the New York billionaire with double digit leads in all five states; in three Trump polls above 50%.
Of the 172 delegates up for a vote on Tuesday, 90-95 are likely to go to Trump. One silver lining for Trump’s Republican rivals is Pennsylvania, where 54 of the state’s 71 delegates are automatically unbound. While the 17 statewide delegates are winner-take-all and will most likely go to Trump, the 54 chosen at the district level are not linked on the ballot to any of the three remaining GOP candidates and enter the convention in July unbound.
On the Democratic side, former Secretary of State Hillary Clinton enjoys a modest but consistent lead in all five states. If she manages to hold Vermont Senator Bernie Sanders even to a draw in the delegate count on Tuesday, Clinton will be well positioned to secure her party’s nomination.
At present, Clinton has won 1,446 bound delegates to Sanders’ 1,202. Add onto that 516 superdelegates who have pledged to support, and the former First Lady has a total of 1,962 delegates, or more than 82% of the 2,383 necessary for the nomination.
Sanders, on the other hand, has secured the support of only 39 superdelegates, leaving him with only 1,241 votes at the convention, or 52% of 2,383.