OLYMPIA, Wash. (UPI) — Donald Trump, the likely Republican presidential nominee, scored a primary victory in Washington state on Tuesday as he comes closer to clinching the nomination before the GOP convention.
With more than 70 percent of precincts reporting in Washington, Trump leads with at least 76 percent of votes over Texas Sen. Ted Cruz and Ohio Gov. John Kasich — who both dropped out of the race earlier this month. Trump has secured at least 1,196 delegates, just shy of the 1,237 needed to win the party’s nomination.
The real estate mogul is expected to nab all 27 delegates available in the state. Despite the popular vote win, Washington held its Republican convention this weekend where nearly all delegates selected favored Cruz. The delegates are bound by the results of Tuesday’s primary, but they are free to vote for any candidate on a second ballot should the Republican nomination be contested at the July convention.
The GOP will officially back its nominee during the Republican National Convention scheduled to begin July 28. Five more states — California, Montana, New Jersey, New Mexico and South Dakota — will hold primaries, all on June 7. California is seen as the biggest prize, as 172 delegates are up for grabs.
The Democrats held their caucuses in Washington in March. Vermont Sen. Bernie Sanders was the big winner there, earning 25 delegates to front-runner Hillary Clinton’s nine.
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