FAIRFIELD COUNTY, Conn. — Just as the polls had predicted, Republican front-runner Donald Trump was steaming to a big win Tuesday in the Connecticut primary Tuesday as he fights for the Republican presidential nomination.
MSNBC called a big victory for Trump in Connecticut just as polls closed at 8 p.m. with nearly 60 percent of the vote. The network also called for Trump to see significant wins in Pennsylvania, Maryland, Delaware and Rhode Island in all five of the other Tuesday primaries.
Ohio Gov. John Kasich was posting a strong second place finish, with U.S. Sen. Ted Cruz of Texas a distant third, according to MSNBC.
The Democratic race between Hillary Clinton and Bernie Sanders was too close to call as of 9:45 p.m., MSNBC said.
Here are the delegates up for grabs for Republicans on Tuesday:
- Connecticut, with 28 delegates
- Delaware, with 16 delegates
- Maryland, with 38 delegates
- Rhode Island, with 19 delegates
- Pennsylvania, with 17 delegates
A Republican candidate needs 1,237 delegates to secure the nomination. Before Tuesday's voting, Trump had 845 delegates, Cruz had 559 and Kasich had 148.
Trump made a campaign appearance Saturday in Bridgeport , where he promised to bring manufacturing jobs back to Connecticut and he blasted his opponents, both Republican and Democrat.
Raucous fans waving Trump signs filled the 1,400-seat Klein Memorial Auditorium and jumped to their feet and chanted “U-S-A! U-S-A!” when he took the stage to the pumped-up sounds of “Get Ready for This.”
As he has many campaign speeches, Trump pledged to erect a wall at the U.S. border with Mexico, with which, he said, America has a $58 billion a year trade deficit due to poor decisions in Washington, D.C.
“We will throw that wall up so fast, your head will spin,” he said, remarking on the height of the wall he envisions. “You see the ceiling height up there? That’s a little low.”
The candidate touched on a wide range of issues, including the national healthcare system he wants to repeal and replace, restoring respect for police officers, beefing up veterans services and creating jobs.
“We’re going to make great trade deals. We’re going to bring jobs back,” he told the cheering crowd.
Trump spent much of his talk criticizing his opponents, peppering his speech with references to “Lyin’ Ted” Cruz and “Crooked Hillary” Clinton. Each mention elicited boos and chants from the crowd.
Near the end of his speech, Trump brought up what TV talk show host Bill O’Reilly has called “the Trump phenomenon.”
“You are the phenomenon,” he told the crowd. “I’m just the messenger.”
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