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After Bernie Sanders lost four of the five presidential primaries Tuesday night, the Democratic hopeful's campaign is laying off many staffers.

Noting that 80 percent of the nominating contests have been completed, Sanders spokesman Michael Briggs said in a statement that "we no longer require many of the loyal and dedicated state and national support staffers who helped us."

Championing "stability" and protectionism, Donald Trump managed a sendup of the foreign policies of the last three American presidents, as well as the candidate he is likely to face this fall in a general election — Hillary Clinton.

"With President Obama and Secretary Clinton, we've had ... a reckless, rudderless and aimless foreign policy — one that has blazed a path of destruction in its wake," Trump charged in a sober foreign policy address at a hotel in Washington. He added, "[T]he legacy of the Obama-Clinton interventions will be weakness, confusion and disarray."

The NPR Politics team is back with a quick take following Sen. Ted Cruz's announcement that if he wins the nomination, Carly Fiorina will be his running mate. Most candidates wait until they actually get the nomination to pick a VP, so what's with all the fanfare? Cruz's announcement came just a day after he all five states that voted in the Northeast primaries.

On the podcast:

  • Political Editor Domenico Montanaro
  • Campaign Reporter Scott Detrow
Copyright 2016 NPR. To see more, visit http://www.npr.org/.

Copyright 2016 NPR. To see more, visit http://www.npr.org/.

Copyright 2016 NPR. To see more, visit http://www.npr.org/.

Copyright 2016 NPR. To see more, visit http://www.npr.org/.

Copyright 2016 NPR. To see more, visit http://www.npr.org/.

Copyright 2016 NPR. To see more, visit http://www.npr.org/.

Copyright 2016 NPR. To see more, visit http://www.npr.org/.

A five-primary victory on Tuesday night seemed to embolden Donald Trump Tuesday night. Taking questions after his victory speech, the Republican front-runner went after Hillary Clinton, his most likely opponent in November, on her gender.

"Well, I think the only card she has is the woman's card," he said. "She's got nothing else going on. And frankly, if Hillary Clinton were a man, I don't think she'd get 5 percent of the vote. The only thing she's got going is the women's vote. And the beautiful thing is that women don't like her, OK?"

OK.

Ted Cruz announced Wednesday he is picking former rival Carly Fiorina as his running mate in a last-ditch move designed to shake up the GOP primary race in which he badly trails Donald Trump.

Calling his decision "one of the most solemn choices you make" as a candidate, at a rally in Indianapolis, Ind., Cruz praised Fiorina's business experience, character and past ability to stand up to the Republican front-runner.

"She doesn't get overly excited," Cruz said. "She doesn't get rattled over what is being thrown at her."

Both Hillary Clinton and Donald Trump rolled in the delegates in Tuesday night's presidential primaries in Connecticut, Delaware, Maryland, Pennsylvania and Rhode Island. But there were some other important results in House and Senate primaries that will have bearing on the general election.

Everyone knew Iowa would matter — and New Hampshire, too. The other February contests got a lot of attention, as did Super Tuesday and the mega-states like New York. And, yes, late in the season, you heard people saying, it might all come down to California.

But when did anyone know to get excited about Indiana?

It comes late in the season, with the great majority of states voting sooner and allocating the great majority of delegates, so no one seemed to give a hoot about the Hoosier State — the one and only primary on May 3.

After big wins in four states Tuesday, Hillary Clinton is on the verge of becoming the Democratic nominee for president. Clinton would become the first woman ever to top a major party's presidential ticket.

That milestone has been somewhat lost in the drama of this campaign, but is still "a really important moment in American society," said political science professor Andra Gillespie of Emory University.

"The impact is just as important for a woman to head the top of a major-party ticket as it was for an African-American to do so eight years ago," she said.

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Copyright 2016 NPR. To see more, visit http://www.npr.org/.

Hillary Clinton hasn't won the nomination, yet. And Vermont Sen. Bernie Sanders hasn't technically lost. But in a statement released after the results were in, Sanders' rhetoric took a notable turn.

"[W]e are in this race until the last vote is cast," he said, with no mention of winning the nomination.

Instead, "[T]his campaign is going to the Democratic National Convention in Philadelphia with as many delegates as possible to fight for a progressive party platform."

The U.S. Supreme Court hears oral arguments Wednesday in a case that tests the corruption conviction of former Virginia Gov. Bob McDonnell.

At issue is a great deal more than one case.

The federal government contends that if the Supreme Court voids the conviction, it could cripple enforcement of laws against public corruption. The defense counters that if the conviction is upheld, it would turn ordinary political acts into crimes.

In his victory speech Tuesday night, having swept all five primary states that voted, Donald Trump made a comment about Hillary Clinton that went viral on social media.

"Well, I think the only card she has is a woman's card," he said. "She's got nothing else going on. And frankly if Hillary Clinton were a man, I don't think she'd get 5 percent of the vote. The only thing she's got going is the women's vote. And the beautiful thing is women don't like her, OK?"

Hillary Clinton now has 2,141 delegates (with pledged and superdelegates combined), as of midnight Wednesday.

That means she is 90 percent of the way to the 2,383 delegates she needs to clinch the Democratic nomination.

Taking superdelegates out of the equation, she leads Bernie Sanders by 351 pledged delegates. (Clinton has 1,622 to Sanders' 1,282.) Sanders would need two-thirds of all remaining pledged delegates to overtake Clinton in that count.

Catch up with these interviews from NPR's special election coverage of the primaries in Connecticut, Delaware, Maryland, Pennsylvania, and Rhode Island, hosted by Scott Detrow and Audie Cornish.

Ed Rendell, former governor of Pennsylvania and Clinton supporter

On why Sanders has done so well with young voters

Donald Trump and Hillary Clinton took definitive steps toward solidifying their respective party's presidential nomination on Tuesday, making their rivals' task to beat them nearly insurmountable.

Trump won all five of the delegate-rich GOP primaries in Connecticut, Maryland, Pennsylvania, Delaware and Rhode Island. Clinton notched four victories in Maryland, Delaware, Connecticut and Pennsylvania, while Bernie Sanders won the Rhode Island Democratic primary.

Copyright 2016 NPR. To see more, visit http://www.npr.org/.

Copyright 2016 NPR. To see more, visit http://www.npr.org/.

Copyright 2016 NPR. To see more, visit http://www.npr.org/.

Copyright 2016 NPR. To see more, visit http://www.npr.org/.

VIDEO: Chocolate Bars With A Political Bite

Apr 26, 2016

It's often said that Washington, D.C., is a town obsessed with politics. Apparently, that obsession extends to its chocolatiers.

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