Trump, Clinton win big in Northeast primaries
Republican Donald Trump and Democrat Hillary Clinton moved closer to a general election face-off following Tuesday’s Northeastern primaries.
Trump swept the contests in Pennsylvania, Delaware, Rhode Island, Maryland and Connecticut. Clinton won four states, with rival Bernie Sanders picking up Rhode Island.
Trump now has 954 delegates, according to the Associated Press, and he needs 1,237 to claim his party’s nomination. Clinton has 2,151 of 2,383 needed to win the nomination.
Trump was especially dominant in Delaware and Rhode Island, carrying more than 60 percent of the vote.
His main competitor Sen. Ted Cruz has 562 delegates, and Ohio Gov. John Kasich has only 153.
"When the boxer knocks out the other boxer, you don’t have to wait around for a decision," Trump said Tuesday evening, adding, "It’s over. As far as I’m concerned, it’s over."
Clinton also won more than 60 percent of the votes in Delaware and Maryland. Sanders, with 1,338 delegates, acknowledged he is far behind but said in a statement that he intends to plow forward to the Democratic convention in July "with as many delegates as possible to fight for a progressive party platform."
We rounded up the latest statements from the campaign trail, as fact-checked by PolitiFact partners Billy Penn in Pennsylvania and the Providence Journal in Rhode Island, as well as the latest breakdown of their Truth-O-Meter scorecards.
Trump and lost Pa. manufacturing jobs
Trump hit one of his signature notes about the decline of American manufacturing at a campaign rally in the Pennsylvania state capital.
"Pennsylvania has lost 35 percent of its manufacturing jobs since 2001," he said, adding that Harrisburg "has lost 40 percent of its manufacturing jobs since 2001."
PolitiFact Pennsylvania rated that claim Mostly True.
Data from the Bureau of Labor Statistics corroborates Trump’s figure about statewide job losses, but his claim about Harrisburg is a bit high. The city has seen a decrease of about 30 percent in jobs since 2001, not 40 percent.
Trump’s point that Pennsylvania has among the hardest hit in the country also checks out. The state came in seventh for the amount of manufacturing jobs lost. For a state where manufacturing accounts for 10 percent of the labor force and 12 percent of its GDP, that decline is significant.
Clinton champions work on immigration reform in Rhode Island
In a new radio ad in Spanish, Clinton’s campaign claimed that she’s been "standing with Latino families in Rhode Island and across the country for her entire career." (Rhode Island has the 12th largest Hispanic population nationwide, according to the Pew Research Center.)
"She is the only candidate who has stood by our community and immigration reform from the beginning," the ad continues.
There’s evidence that Clinton was there "from the beginning." She provided research on the education and health of migrant children when she worked at the Children’s Defense Fund, registered Latino voters in south Texas in the 1970s, and co-sponsored a slew of legislation that helped immigrants in the Senate.
However, to say she’s the "only" candidate supporting immigration reform minimizes Sanders’ position on the issue. Sanders’ voting record and immigration plan shows his consistent support on a pathway to citizenship.
PolitiFact Rhode Island rated Clinton’s claim Mostly False.
Sanders and the soda tax in Philadelphia
The Democrats turned their attention to a local issue as they campaigned in Philadelphia: Mayor Jim Kenney’s proposed soda tax.
While Clinton voiced support for Kenny’s tax, Sanders called the tax regressive, prompting a rebuttal from Kenney. Responding to the mayor’s claim that he was siding with beverage corporations, Sanders doubled down on his criticism.
"A tax on soda and juice drinks would disproportionately increase taxes on low-income families in Philadelphia," he wrote in an editorial in Philly Magazine.
That’s True, said PolitiFact Pennsylvania.
Berkeley, Calif. is currently the only American city to enact a sugary drink tax, and studies have shown 25 to 75 percent of the cost has been passed on to consumers.
Experts agreed that taxes like the one proposed by Kenney disportionately affected lower income residents because a greater amount of their income is used on food and drinks.
For the record, Kenney’s own finance director has said that most consumers of sugary drinks are in poor neighborhoods.
Bonus: A Pants on Fire for a Rhode Island T-shirt artist
Rhode Island is the smallest state holding a primary today, and earlier this month one of its residents tried to show just how small the state is.
"Rhode Island: 3% bigger at low tide," according to a quirky T-shirt made by Hilary Treadwell.
Treadwell told PolitiFact Rhode Island that she made up the number. Still, PolitiFact Rhode Island wanted to know if her joke had any scientific ground to stand on.
Not at all, they found. The state is small, but not that small. Rhode Island is actually about 0.1 percent bigger at low tide, according to back-of-the-napkin calculations by Bryan Oakley, a geoscientist at Eastern Connecticut State University.
Here’s Sanders’ Truth-O-Meter scorecard: