Amid a contentious scrap between Republican presidential candidate Donald Trump and the GOP establishment, some exit polls have hinted that the front-runner's campaign may have damaged the party. After Trump's big day Tuesday, during which he swept the five states up for grabs — Connecticut, Delaware, Maryland, Rhode Island and Pennsylvania — the blustery billionaire said in a victory speech it was "my biggest night," assuring a crowd, "I unify people."
The results Tuesday, in fact, came on the heels of the two candidates running against Trump — Texas Sen. Ted Cruz and Ohio Gov. John Kasich — announcing they would work together to prevent the New York City businessman from locking up the nomination.
And like the party itself, GOP voters are divided. In Pennsylvania, exit polls — conducted by Edison Research for the Associated Press and TV networks — showed nearly four in 10 Republican voters said they would be excited by a Trump presidency, while a quarter of GOP voters said "The Donald" in the White House would scare them.
— Anderson Cooper 360° (@AC360) April 27, 2016
The Pennsylvania exit polls also showed that six of 10 GOP voters said the Republican race has divided the party, while seven in 10 Democratic voters said the competition between former Secretary of State Hillary Clinton and Vermont Sen. Bernie Sanders has energized the party.
Trump has called his competitors' cooperation a "faulty deal" and used it as evidence that the system is rigged for political insiders and against him. Trump is chasing down the 1,237 delegates needed to lock-up the nomination. After Tuesday's results, he leads Cruz 949 to 544. Kasich has earned just 153 delegates.
Democratic front-runner Clinton, meanwhile, has built a comfortable lead over Sanders, earning 1,640 delegates to the Vermont senator's 1,331. She won four of five states Tuesday night, losing only in Rhode Island. In a hypothetical general election matchup between the two leading candidates, Clinton leads Trump, 49 percent to 40.5 percent, according to the Real Clear Politics average of polls.