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East Coast primaries: Trump and Clinton have strong nights while Sanders edges away from White House bid

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Front-runners Donald Trump and Hillary Clinton rack up strings of wins in the East Coast primaries..

Senate races are set in Pennsylvania and Maryland

Down-ticket battles were fierce Tuesday in Pennsylvania and Maryland, where voters chose nominees in races that could decide control of the Senate.

In Pennsylvania, Democrats tapped Katie McGinty, a former White House environmental official and party favorite, over former U.S. Rep. Joe Sestak and Braddock Mayor John Fetterman.

McGinty will face Republican Sen. Patrick J. Toomey in what is poised to be a costly battle in November. Democrats see the state as one of their best opportunities to claim a GOP seat.

In Maryland, Democratic Rep. Chris Van Hollen, the party’s affable budget guru, beat fellow Rep. Donna Edwards for the nod in the race to replace Sen. Barbara A. Mikulski, a Democrat who is retiring.

Van Hollen, the House Democrats’ former campaign chairman, will face Republican Kathy Szeliga, a state lawmaker, in the fall. That race is not expected to be competitive.

Control of the Senate is at stake in November, with Republicans defending almost twice as many seats as Democrats to keep their 54-seat majority.

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Donald Trump to Ted Cruz and John Kasich: ‘Get out’

(Carolyn Cole / Los Angeles Times)

Donald Trump called on his rivals to drop out of the Republican primary race Tuesday night after he swept the night’s five contests, saying he is the only one poised to “unify” the GOP.

“It’s over,” Trump said at a victory celebration at the same gilded office and condo tower on New York’s Fifth Avenue where he launched his campaign last summer.

“Sen. Cruz and Gov. Kasich should really get out of the race,” he said. “We should heal the Republican Party.”

Trump, whose calls for mass deportations and a temporary ban on Muslims have provoked regular protests of his rallies, said he was uniquely qualified at bring people together, and called himself “a unifier.”

Surrounded by his family and friends, Trump abstained from the harsh criticism of his rivals that has dominated his campaign rallies in recent days.

Speaking to thousands of supporters at a college campus in a Philadelphia suburb Monday, Trump lobbed harsh personal criticism at “Lyin’ Ted Cruz” and at Kasich, whose eating habits he mocked as “disgusting.”

He was responding to an announcement from his rivals that they plan to divvy up campaigning in coming states in an attempt to win delegates.

Trump’s tone and persona have been closely watched in recent days after a newly installed top campaign aide suggested that Trump would be altering his self-presentation, including adding more appearances in formal settings, to appeal to more voters.

One such attempt is a foreign policy speech Trump will give in Washington on Wednesday.

But on Tuesday night, Trump told reporters he wouldn’t change too much.

“Why would I change?” he said. “If you have a football team and you’re winning and you get to the Super Bowl, why would you change your quarterback?”

Trump also took swings at Hillary Clinton, who after a strong showing in Tuesday’s primary elections appears poised to be the Democratic nominee.

He complained that Clinton “is funded by Wall Street folks” and called her use of a private email server to conduct government business while she was secretary of State “an outrage.”

He also said he would beat Clinton among female voters.

“The beautiful thing is, women don’t like her,” he said.

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Sanders says he will fight to sway Democratic platform, suggesting that he’s shifting his focus

After losing four of five East Coast primaries on Tuesday, Democratic presidential candidate Bernie Sanders suggested that he could best serve his supporters and his agenda by fighting to make the party platform more liberal.

“This campaign is going to the Democratic National Convention in Philadelphia with as many delegates as possible to fight for a progressive party platform that calls for a $15 an hour minimum wage, an end to our disastrous trade policies, a Medicare-for-all health care system, breaking up Wall Street financial institutions, ending fracking in our country, making public colleges and universities tuition free, and passing a carbon tax so we can effectively address the planetary crisis of climate change,” Sanders said in a statement.

He made no mention of pushing forward in the fight for the nomination against front-runner Hillary Clinton, though he also did not announce he would leave the race and in fact rallied on election night in West Virginia, which holds its primary in two weeks.

“The people in every state in this country should have the right to determine who they want as president and what the agenda of the Democratic Party should be,” he said. “That’s why we are in this race until the last vote is cast.”

After Clinton’s victories Tuesday in Maryland, Pennsylvania, Connecticut and Delaware, and factoring in her lead among superdelegates who can back the candidate of their choosing, she is about 90% of the way to clinching the nomination, according to the Associated Press. Clinton has 2,141 delegates, while Sanders has 1,321, according to the AP.

Clinton, in her victory speech in Philadelphia, acted as the de facto nominee, lauding Sanders, lashing out at Republican front-runner Donald Trump and calling for Democrats to come together.

“We will unify our party to win this election and build an America where we can all rise together,” Clinton told hundreds of supporters in a sprawling ballroom at the Philadelphia Convention Center. “An America where we lift each other up instead of tearing each other down.”

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What it really means for Donald Trump to call himself the ‘presumptive nominee’

Donald Trump called himself the “presumptive nominee” after he swept Tuesday night’s primaries.

What exactly does that mean? Like so many things in politics, it depends on who is saying it, and what their motives are.

In 2012, Mitt Romney earned enough delegates to earn that mantra in late May, after the Texas primary.

But many had begun calling him that weeks earlier, when his last major rivals, Newt Gingrich and Rick Santorum, dropped out of the race. (Former Texas Rep. Ron Paul remained in the race until the convention.)

In 2008, then-Sen. Barack Obama was also regarded as the Democratic Party’s presumptive nominee as a bruising primary against Hillary Clinton wound down in the late spring, even though she ended up winning more of the overall popular vote in the primaries.

In those cases, the title was a signal that the candidate had consolidated party support and no longer needed to compete with members of his own party.

Trump, who has withstood months of stiff resistance from many in his party, wants that stamp as soon as possible. It would allow him to more easily beat back critiques from Texas Sen. Ted Cruz and Ohio Gov. John Kasich. And it would put more pressure on the Republican establishment to drop its #NeverTrump campaign.

Trump may be crowning himself the presumptive nominee, but he is unlikely to be anointed with the title more widely anytime soon. Cruz, Kasich and many party elites have suggested they intend to keep the pressure on Trump until and unless he secures enough delegates to win the nomination, either before the Republican convention or during it.

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Hillary Clinton notches a fourth win in the final result of the night

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Donald Trump ups his delegate game in Pennsylvania -- just a handful going to Ted Cruz

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Trump eyes general election in victory speech but bruises GOP rivals, too

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Clinton sounds call for Democratic unity in victory speech

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Rough night for John Kasich

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Bernie Sanders notches his first victory of the night

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Ted Cruz calls on Hoosiers to help stop Donald Trump

Pushing past his defeats in Tuesday’s Eastern primaries and on to Indiana, Ted Cruz called on the state’s Hoosiers to help him stop Donald Trump from advancing.

Cruz, the Texas senator, acknowledged that Trump would “have a good night” Tuesday, and the media, he said, are “going to say the race is over.”

Indeed, after Cruz spoke, Trump was declared the winner in all five of the night’s contests.

But speaking from the storied gym that served as a set for the come-from-behind basketball classic “Hoosiers,” Cruz promised Indiana will play “a historic role” with its presidential primary next week.

“Tonight, this campaign moves on to more favorable terrain,” Cruz thundered in front of a packed crowd, calling on not just voters in Indiana, but Nebraska, Washington state and California to help him stop Trump in the coming weeks.

“Can the state of Indiana stop the media’s chosen Republican?” he asked to cheers. “There is nothing Hoosiers cannot do.”

Indiana voters are basking in the unexpected attention their state is receiving from the candidates, and many have yet to make up their minds.

Polls show the race is tight between Cruz and Trump.

The non-compete pact that Cruz and Ohio Gov. John Kasich reached was unknown to some voters here in tiny Knightstown, and they were still weighing all three presidential hopefuls.

The two had agreed essentially to leave Cruz to compete against Trump in Indiana while Kasich would have the shot in upcoming New Mexico and Oregon.

It’s a last-ditch effort to halt Trump’s ability to secure the delegates he needs for the nomination.

“The eyes of the nation are gazing upon you,” Cruz said in closing, looking at this state “as the crossroads of America.”

Cheryl Hammer, a caterer, and her daughter, Kiersten, a college student preparing to be a teacher, remain undecided among the GOP candidates.

But they felt the weight of their choices.

“It could come down to us,” said Kiersten, 20, who will be voting for the first time for a presidential nominee. “You feel like our voice actually matters.”

Said Cheryl: “It’s important.”

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Hillary Clinton wins Pennsylvania Democratic primary, cementing her hold on the race for the nomination

(Matt Rourke / Associated Press)

Hillary Clinton defeated Vermont Sen. Bernie Sanders in Pennsylvania, the largest of five states holding primaries Tuesday, as well as in Maryland and Delaware.

Clinton’s already solid grip on the Democratic nomination is now all but certain. Clinton, the former secretary of State, is expected to begin focusing even more on the general election as the Democratic establishment pressures Sanders to halt his attacks.

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Exit polls show a united Democratic Party, with Hillary Clinton winning over a wide swath of primary voters

Democrats, at least in these states, will not have the unity problems reflected in the Republican Party.

About 7 in 10 Democrats in Pennsylvania, Maryland and Connecticut said the primaries had been energizing, with fewer than 3 in 10 calling them divisive, according to exit polls conducted for a consortium of media organizations.

That’s a stark contrast with Republican voters, a majority of whom said the primaries divided the party.

Likewise, fewer than 1 in 5 Democratic voters said they would reject front-runner Hillary Clinton in the general election if she became the nominee, a slightly smaller percentage than those saying they would reject Vermont Sen. Bernie Sanders.

A desire for Democrats to win the general election was not a motivating factor, however, at least in Pennsylvania, where only about 1 in 10 voters named electability as the top issue. Clinton, however, won more than 8 in 10 of those voters.

Clinton also won among Pennsylvania voters who listed the economy, healthcare and terrorism as the top issues. Only those voters who listed income inequality as their top issue chose Sanders, who has made the wealth gap the cornerstone of his campaign.

A majority of voters also said Clinton would be better at handling gun policy, a major flashpoint on the Democratic side, and one of the few issues on which Clinton has attacked Sanders from the left.

Clinton’s strength in Pennsylvania was fueled by all income groups. She also won among both self-described moderates and liberals in the state, and did particularly well among voters who called Sanders’ policies unrealistic. Clinton, the former secretary of State, also won Pennsylvania’s large urban and suburban populations, with Sanders only winning a majority among rural voters, who made up about a fifth of the Democratic electorate.

As she has in the past, Clinton racked up big totals among African American voters. She won a narrow majority of white voters.

Her biggest weaknesses have become familiar throughout the long primary season. As she has in other states, she lost among younger voters, with more than 8 in 10 under the age of 29 picking Sanders. And nearly 4 in 10 Pennsylvania voters called her untrustworthy, a group that picked Sanders overwhelmingly.

Despite the enthusiasm gap that has been evident at the two candidates’ rallies, Pennsylvania Democratic voters were evenly divided over which candidate offered a more inspiring vision of the future.

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Hillary Clinton calls for unity as she sails to primary victories

(Justin Sullivan/Getty Images)

A triumphant and undeniably confident Hillary Clinton sought to unify her party on Tuesday as she sailed to victory in a handful of East Coast states over rival Bernie Sanders, inching closer to securing the Democratic presidential nomination.

Speaking in the city where Democrats will gather in July for the party’s nominating convention, Clinton said she looked forward to becoming the party’s nominee with the most votes and pledged delegates.

“We will unify our party to win this election and build an America where we can all rise together,” Clinton told hundreds of supporters inside a sprawling ballroom at the Philadelphia Convention Center. “An America where we lift each other up instead of tearing each other down.”

Clinton vowed to push for “bold progressive goals” if she is the Democratic nominee, an appeal to Sanders’ liberal backers, but “backed up by real plans,” she added, an indirect jab at Sanders. She has repeatedly assailed his lofty proposals, such as tuition-free college, and questioned how they could realistically be funded.

“We have to be both dreamers and doers,” she said.

Still, much of Clinton’s 15-minute election night speech centered on unity and she even lauded Sanders.

“I applaud Sen. Sanders had his millions of supporters for challenging us to get unaccountable money out of our politics, the greater emphasis to closing the gap of inequality,” she said to thunderous applause. “Whether you support Sen. Sanders or you support me, there is much more than unites us than divides us.”

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Exit polls point to Trump’s broad appeal

It’s a clean sweep for Trump in the five Republican primaries Tuesday — and exit polls from three of those states demonstrate why: He won in practically every demographic.

Take education level, for example. Trump performed strongly among those who completed less schooling — 7 in 10 of those who finished high school and around 6 in 10 of those with some college.

But he also scooped up around half of the voters with college degrees and was the top finisher, albeit more narrowly, for those with postgraduate degrees. (In Maryland, he had a virtual tie with John Kasich in the highly educated category.)

He also locked up voters across the age spectrum. In Pennsylvania and Connecticut, more than half of voters aged 18-44 picked Trump, and nearly 6 in 10 voters aged 45 and older sided with the front-runner.

His margins were slightly lower in Maryland; he won just under half of the 18- to 44-year-old voters and more than 5 in 10 voters aged 45 and up.

And while Trump’s appeal to female voters has been much scrutinized, he was the top finisher among women in all three states. He won a more than half of women in Pennsylvania and Connecticut and just short of a majority in Maryland.

He did even better with men in those states, picking up around 6 in 10 male voters.

The polls were conducted in Pennsylvania, Maryland and Connecticut by Edison Research for the Associated Press and the television networks.

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Confidence from Clinton camp as she wins Maryland and Delaware

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Donald Trump sweeps all 5 primaries

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Facing potential primary rout, Sanders says he’d make strongest general-election candidate for Democrats

Shortly after the polls closed in Tuesday’s primaries with Democratic front-runner Hillary Clinton expected to have a big night, rival Bernie Sanders gave no signs of surrender and instead argued that he would be the stronger general-election candidate.

“Almost every national poll and every state poll has us defeating [GOP front-runner Donald] Trump, and that margin for us is significantly larger” than Clinton’s, he told several thousand cheering supporters in an arena in Huntington, W.Va.

“The reason we are doing so much better against the Republican candidate is not only are we winning the overwhelming majority of Democratic votes, but we are winning independent votes and some Republican votes as well,” Sanders said of the polls of the hypothetical matchup. “And that is a point that I hope the delegates to the Democratic convention fully understand.”

He spoke minutes after polls closed in five East Coast states. Only one had been called: Maryland, for Clinton. Sanders also highlighted the passion driving his campaign.

“This campaign is doing as well as it is with the extraordinary energy and enthusiasm that we are seeing all across this country,” he said. “Look at this room tonight. We have over 6,000 people. And the reason we are generating this enthusiasm is because we are doing something very unusual in contemporary American politics: We are telling the truth.”

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Donald Trump wins GOP primaries in 3 states, including Pennsylvania

Donald Trump won the Pennsylvania Republican primary, the biggest prize among five states voting Tuesday, as well as Maryland and Connecticut.

However, the Pennsylvania victory commits just 17 of the state’s 71 delegates to support him at the Republican National Convention in Cleveland, preventing Trump from locking up the nomination.

But his win in Pennsylvania, coupled with last week’s decisive victory in New York, extends the front-runner’s lead and further hinders an all-out effort from establishment Republicans to stop him from claiming the party’s nomination.

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Hillary Clinton notches her first victory of the night, in Maryland

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Hillary Clinton prepares for a big night in Philadelphia

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What happens when a fire disrupts an election day hearing on extending polling hours

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Will Republicans coalesce around Donald Trump in the general election? Maybe so, say exit polls

The question has long hovered over Donald Trump: Will the polarizing candidate ever be able to unite Republicans in a general election?

There’s some evidence in early results from Tuesday’s exit polls that it may not be as difficult for him as it once seemed.

Only about a quarter of Republican voters surveyed said they would rule him out in a general election.

That figure is only a little worse than those for Hillary Clinton and Bernie Sanders among Democratic voters.

The evidence, however, is not conclusive. The early exit poll results come from three states -- Pennsylvania, Maryland, and Connecticut -- where Trump’s support is already fairly high among the Republican electorate. So it would follow that the percentage who find him unpalatable would be lower.

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Ted Cruz skips the primary states to rally at Hoosier Gym in Indiana

Ted Cruz ditched the Eastern primaries Tuesday to rally in the Indianapolis suburbs, at the storied Hoosier Gym, no less, as he turns his campaign to next week’s lone primary, in Indiana.

The senator from Texas is banking on Indiana and its 57 delegates in his effort to stop Donald Trump from clinching the Republican nomination for president.

Cruz has been hunkered down in the state for days, and his conservative and Christian credentials are expected to play better here than along the East Coast, where results of the five states voting Tuesday were not expected to go in his favor.

“We’re sick of hearing Trump -- his ignorant remarks,” said resident Clarice Thompson, a retired reading tutor who came out in the evening rain to support Cruz.

Voters here were still mulling the nonaggression pact Cruz reached with Ohio Gov. John Kasich to allow only the Texan to seriously compete in Indiana, in a swap that gave Kasich a chance in New Mexico and Oregon.

“It seems kind of different,” she said. “If it keeps Trump out, go for it.”

Polls showed the race narrowing between Cruz and Trump ahead of Tuesday’s voting.

Or, as they say in this fabled movie-set gym: jump ball.

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At home in the East, Trump counts on a five-state sweep

Donald Trump always figured to have a good day when voters in Pennsylvania and four other Eastern states went to the polls. Just how good may determine whether he wraps up the GOP presidential nomination by summertime or has to fight all the way to the Republican National Convention in July.

Coming off a landslide victory last week in his home state of New York, the Manhattan business mogul was strongly favored to sweep all five states Tuesday and pad his substantial delegate lead over rivals Ted Cruz and John Kasich.

Starting the day, Trump had 845 delegates. Texas Sen. Cruz, with 559, and Ohio Gov. Kasich, with 148, forged a tenuous noncompete agreement this week to try to stop the front-runner and wrestle the nomination away at the Cleveland convention.

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Meanwhile, how that Ted Cruz-John Kasich pact is being received in Indiana

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Even if convention is contested, Republicans want Donald Trump

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Follow along: Live results from the five East Coast primaries

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Exit polls show angry and divided GOP

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Hillary Clinton could all but clinch the nomination in tonight’s primaries -- yet Bernie Sanders will fight on

Bernie Sanders could be all but blocked from winning the Democratic nomination for president after Pennsylvania and four nearby states hold primaries Tuesday, but the Vermonter will fight on — and not necessarily because he sees a path to victory.

With Hillary Clinton’s campaign expected to declare she has effectively clinched the nomination, Sanders signaled Tuesday that he will keep amassing delegates to mount a vigorous effort at the party’s convention in July to push the Democratic Party platform left on the issues that fueled his insurgent campaign.

Clinton heads into Tuesday’s voting in Pennsylvania, Maryland, Connecticut, Delaware and Rhode Island strongly favored to further expand her lead of 275 pledged delegates over Sanders. That would make it nearly impossible for Sanders to catch up, even with voting on June 7 in the biggest prize of the race, California.

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At Penn, some say Hillary Clinton is not a ‘true progressive’

On the campus of the University of Pennsylvania on Tuesday, not far from the Philadelphia Learning Academy in West Philadelphia, support for Bernie Sanders was much more evident.

Students backing the Vermont senator set up stands along Locust Walk that highlighted some of the issues championed by Sanders, such as free college tuition. Moreover, campaign staff was pointing students to polling locations in a last-minute get-out-the vote effort.

Abigail Lowenthal, 20, who is a double major in English and cinema at Penn, was headed to class Tuesday after casting a ballot in support of Sanders. Lowenthal said she was torn between supporting Sanders or Hillary Clinton.

“He supports the everyday person,” Lowenthal said. “Not everyone on this campus knows what it’s like to have to struggle, but I think it’s important to have someone who is fighting for everyone ... someone who has passion in what they’re fighting for.”

Lowenthal said she ultimately will support whomever is the Democratic nominee, and conceded that Sanders has an uphill climb.

“Still, it’s good for Democrats to battle,” she said. “Nothing should be easy.”

Etienne Jacquot, 20, works in IT services at Penn and is not a student, supported Sanders. Unlike Lowenthal, Jacquot, said he will not support Clinton should she become the nominee.

“She’s not a true progressive,” Jacquot said, noting that he’ll be content sitting out the November elections should Clinton win the nomination.

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Voters speak out in Rhode Island

Chilly, drizzly weather didn’t appear to be affecting turnout in Rhode Island, one of five states voting Tuesday.

In the Democratic contest, the state is Bernie Sanders’ best hope of the bunch.

As he walked into a polling place at a firefighters’ station here, Brian Campbell, a retired mail carrier, said he planned to vote for the Vermont senator because of his principled stands — and Campbell’s own disdain for front-runner Hillary Clinton.

“She’s a carpetbagger. She’s a Republican,” said Campbell, 65. “When I was backing L.B.J. in 1964, she was backing [Barry Goldwater], and nothing’s changed.”

Campbell added that the next president needs to focus on the poor and the unemployed, issues he thinks Sanders would champion.

“He’s really trying to stop the country from being overwhelmed by the corporate interests,” he said.

But other Democrats said they feared that Sanders was damaging the party’s prospects in the fall by continuing his campaign as the odds of winning the nomination grow increasingly unlikely.

“He’s staying in too long right now,” said Brock Dufour, 62. “I think he’s hooked on his own platform.”

Dufour, who worked in building maintenance before he retired, said he was proud to cast a ballot for Clinton because of her long resume: secretary of State, senator, first lady and attorney.

“She’s earned it,” he said. “It’s just that simple.”

On the Republican side, front-runner Donald Trump held a rally near here on Monday and is expected to do well in Tuesday’s primaries.

After Tammy Stone, a baker, cast her ballot for Trump, she said he was a breath of fresh air.

“He’s saying a lot of things people wish they could say,” said the 54-year-old. “He’s not like other politicians; he doesn’t sugarcoat anything.”

Her top priority is national security. She says she doesn’t know that Trump needs to build the huge wall he promises along the Mexican border, but she trusts he would increase scrutiny of who is entering the nation.

“Our borders have to be watched a little more closer,” she said.

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Top Barbara Boxer aide headed to work for Hillary Clinton

Laura Schiller, chief of staff to Sen. Barbara Boxer, is leaving next week to work for former Secretary of State Hillary Clinton’s presidential campaign, the senator’s office confirmed Tuesday.

Schiller has been with Boxer’s staff for more than a decade. Boxer, a longtime Clinton supporter, is retiring in January after more than two decades in Washington.

Politico reported that Schiller will replace Maura Keefe, who has been Clinton’s congressional liaison since November.

Before joining Boxer’s staff, Schiller worked as a special assistant to President Bill Clinton and as a speechwriter for then-First Lady Hillary Clinton.

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In West Philadelphia, Hillary Clinton is the chosen one

As voters filed inside a polling location in West Philadelphia on Tuesday afternoon, the overall consensus was support for Hillary Clinton.

Rob Troy, 69, who worked for 25 years removing asbestos from this city’s row houses, said he was a lifelong Democrat.

“This is a loyalty thing,” he said. “The Clintons have been loyal to Democrats, to the black community. They’ve been with us.”

Troy, who cast his ballot at a Philadelphia Learning Academy campus, said he was skeptical of Vermont Sen. Bernie Sanders.

“I’m a lifelong Democrat; so is Hillary. The other guy [Sanders] isn’t,” he said, alluding to Sanders’ past identification as an independent. “That means something to me. … I vote for Democrats.”

For Sabrina Hunter, 55, a nurse, her vote for Clinton was in anticipation of the general election and with Republican front-runner Donald Trump in mind.

“This is about defeating Trump,” she said after voting on her lunch break. “Hillary can; Bernie can’t.”

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Bernie Sanders voter in Philadelphia: ‘He has pushed the party back to its more progressive roots’

Voters at a precinct in Philadelphia’s Chinatown explain how they cast their ballots.

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John Kasich voter in Pennsylvania: ‘The others seem like flakes’

Voters at a West Chester, Pa., precinct near where Donald Trump spoke Monday explain their choices.

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John Kasich: I’m out to stop Hillary Clinton, not Donald Trump

John Kasich tried to explain on Tuesday that his nominal alliance with Ted Cruz isn’t about stopping Donald Trump, but instead Hillary Clinton.

Cruz and Kasich announced late Sunday their joint deal to divvy up states they plan to campaign in. They had said they hope to focus on securing more delegates and thus keep Trump from winning a majority before the convention. Kasich insists he is the most electable Republican in a general election but to become the nominee, he is dependent on a multi-ballot convention.

But cracks in the deal quickly emerged, with Kasich refusing to tell voters in Indiana, whose primary next week he is skipping, to vote for Cruz.

“I don’t tell people how to vote,” Kasich said on NBC’s “Today.”

Kasich explained that he simply wants to be a viable candidate at a contested convention.

“I’m not out to stop Donald Trump, I’m out to stop Hillary Clinton,” he said.

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Elizabeth Warren could serve as my vice president, Sanders says

Bernie Sanders on Tuesday name-dropped Elizabeth Warren while describing women he thinks could be vice president.

“Elizabeth Warren, I think, has been a real champion in standing up for working families, taking on Wall Street,” Sanders said in an interview with MSNBC.

The Democratic presidential candidate said it’s too early to commit to a possible running mate, but that he thinks there are “many” qualified women for the position. He also reiterated that a presidential candidate needs to have “the guts” to take on Wall Street, perhaps Warren’s chief issue.

“The women of this country, the people of this country understand that it would be a great idea to have a woman as vice president, something I would give very, very serious thought to,” he said.

When asked on CNN Tuesday whether he would support Hillary Clinton as the Democratic nominee if she won a majority of delegates, Sanders refused to concede.

“Well, then we’ll see what happens,” he said.

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The Cruz-Kasich merger and four other things to watch in Tuesday’s primaries

Some are calling Tuesday’s batch of elections the “Acela primary,” after the high-speed train route that runs through all five states holding contests: Pennsylvania, Maryland, Delaware, Connecticut and Rhode Island. There’s good reason the name hasn’t caught on, however; these states vote so late in the primary season that they seldom attract much attention.

Not so this year, especially on the Republican side, which remains unsettled. Any of the states could play a crucial role in deciding whether front-runner Donald Trump gets his party’s nomination.

Here are a few things to look out for.

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‘He’s creepy,’ and other comments from undecided voters

Many Pennsylvania voters, on both sides of the party divide, are taking their time figuring out whom to support. Even as voters head to the polls here today, many were still weighing the options Monday afternoon.

Robin and Mike Cavallon, ages 70 and 79, of Chadds Ford, Pa., said they were still searching for a Republican alternative to Donald Trump, whom they find unacceptable. They are concerned with immigration and Social Security.

Deborah Felix, a 61-year-old flight attendant from Chadds Ford, had yet to make up her mind Monday afternoon as well.

“I like Cruz but I don’t know if he has what it takes,” she said, referring to Texas Sen. Ted Cruz.

She values Trump’s fortitude but worries he might make rash decisions.

“If I could make one candidate out of the two of them, I’d be happy,” she said.

How will she decide? “A lot of prayer.”

Matt Stone, a 33-year-old Democrat from Kennett Square, was also having trouble making up his mind. He likes Vermont Sen. Bernie Sanders, but he’s concerned with his ability to win a general election.

His wife, Tina, 30, said Sanders excites her passion for environmental issues and taking money out of politics.

“I think that’s what appealed to me about Bernie,” she said. “It feels like I’m in the 1960s and fighting and fighting for something.”

Bob Wilson, an 88-year-old Democrat from Lancaster, shares their interest in Sanders, but worries he will not help Democrats enough in down-ballot races.

“I’m not sure he has the support of the party,” said Wilson, a retired engineer. “I’d like to see at least the Senate go Democratic.”

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As Clinton and Sanders spar over gun control, Newtown, Conn., is drawn into an unwanted spotlight

The school where the second-deadliest mass shooting in American history took place has been razed. The house where the killer lived with his mother has been torn down and left for open space.

Newtown seems intent on moving past the tragedy a disturbed young man left behind in 2012 when he killed 20 first-graders, six school employees and his mother before taking his own life.

What the town can’t escape is being politicized in the debate over gun control in this country.

Gun violence — notably the massacre at Sandy Hook Elementary School — has become a defining issue in the Democratic race for the presidential nomination. Of the handful of policy differences between front-runner Hillary Clinton and rival Bernie Sanders, gun control is the rare split that has allowed Clinton to position herself as more liberal than Sanders.

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Can Donald Trump come out the winner despite the Cruz-Kasich deal to block him?

Ted Cruz and John Kasich at the March 10 debate in Florida.
(Cristobal Herrera / European Pressphoto Agency)

Ted Cruz and John Kasich may well have been forced by money problems and desperation into an alliance divvying upcoming states in a move to block Donald Trump from the Republican presidential nomination.

The problem? That same sort of insider deal-cutting is what spawned revulsion with the political class that has in turn propelled Trump’s campaign. The deal now risks inspiring even more rage within the voters he has energized in this electoral cycle.

Perhaps the plan, in which Sen. Cruz of Texas will campaign in Indiana and Ohio Gov. Kasich in Oregon and New Mexico, will drive one of them to the party’s nomination after a wild convention in Cleveland this summer. But from the outset, some odds are stacked against it.

Trump already has hundreds more delegates than second-place Cruz, and Kasich has only a few outside of his home state. The campaign is only six weeks from its end, with only 10 states waiting to vote after Tuesday’s primaries, when odds are Trump will record huge victories.

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