Donald Trump appears to be the big winner in this latest installment of Super-ish Tuesday, sweeping the so-called Acela Primary of 5 Northeastern states.
Immediately as the polls closed at 8p ET, Trump was projected to win the primaries in Pennsylvania, Maryland and Connecticut, according to MSNBC. About 25 minutes later, the network called Rhode Island and Delware for Trump, too.
(This post has been updated to reflect current primary results as they come in.)
However, just like last week when Trump trounced his rivals Gov. John Kasich (Ohio) and Sen. Ted Cruz (Texas) in the New York primary, it will take some time before the allotment of delegates becomes clear.
Only Delaware's system is simple: all 16 delegates are awarded to the winner. Maryland's 38 delegates are also winner-take-all, but 24 are reserved for the winner of each congressional district and 14 for the statewide popular vote. Rhode Island's 19 delegates (13 of which are statewide, 6 for the congressional districts) are awarded proportionally.
Connecticut gets a little tricky, with its 28 delegates split in a bunch of weird ways. 15 are winner-take-all for the congressional districts, and 13 are allotted proportionally statewide unless a candidate hits 50 percent, after which it becomes winner-take-all.
But no state's delegate allocation is as wacky (yet crucial) as Pennsylvania. Only 17 of the Keystone State's 71 delegates are allotted via winner-take-all statewide vote. The remaining 54 belong to elected delegates, whom the voters choose without ever knowing who they plan to support. It's a mini and even less transparent version of the Democratic National Committee's superdelegate system that allows Republican Party bigwigs to have an outsized voice in the nomination process.
The #StopTrump alliance of convenience, where Kasich pulled his campaign resources out of Indiana to make it easier for Cruz to battle Trump there in exchange for Cruz going easy on Oregon and New Mexico campaigning, is already proving to be a futile endeavor. Moreover, it gives more ammunition to Trump to frame himself as a righteous outsider.
The Associated Press quotes Trump as saying, "If you collude in business, or if you collude in the stock market, they put you in jail…But in politics, because it's a rigged system, because it's a corrupt enterprise, in politics you're allowed to collude."
The upside of watching these endless machinations of desperately power-hungry men is that the fracturing of the Republican Party — once a "big-tent" coalition of evangelical Christians, military hawks, pro-business economic conservatives, and constitutional libertarians — may actually be upon us.