It is being nicknamed “The Acela Primary,” because all five states holding primaries being held on Tuesday are all on the Northeast corridor for Amtrak. Pennsylvania, Delaware, Maryland, Connecticut, and Rhode Island are linked by the rail line that carries that high-speed train from Washington to Boston.
Donald Trump won big last week in his home state of New York and if he can sweep the five states in the “Acela Primary,” he can continue his march to the 1,237delegates needed to win the Republican nomination on the first ballot.
Texas Sen. Ted Cruz or Ohio Gov. John Kasich, can’t win on the first ballot so they hope to peel of a few delegates in hopes that they can keep Trump from the 1,237 delegates. That would send the trio to Cleveland to an open convention.
How big a favorite is Trump in these states? Cruz and Kasich are already making plans for Indiana, which holds its primary on May 3. Cruz campaigned in the Hoosier State last week, while Kasich plans to be in Indiana as the other states vote on Tuesday. In Pennsylvania, Trump leads the field with 45%, according to a NBC News/Wall Street Journal/Marist poll Sunday, well ahead of Cruz (27%) and John Kasich (24%).
Trump needs the big sweep on Tuesday that is expected because after this week there are very few primaries left. After the Indiana primary on May 3, only nine states will be left, including Nebraska and West Virginia (May 10), Oregon (May 17) and Washington (May 24). The process ends with June 7 contests in California, New Jersey, Montana, New Mexico, and South Dakota.
Trump hopes that a big sweep on Tuesday will give him the momentum he needs for wins later down the line in Indiana, West Virginia, California and New Jersey. Cruz hopes to win out west in Oregon, Washington, Nebraska, Montana, New Mexico with Washington being a bit of a wildcard.