President Donald Trump officially became the presumptive presidential nominee of the Republican Party on Tuesday night after securing resounding victories in both the Florida and Illinois primary elections.
Trump surpassed the 1,276 delegates needed to secure the nomination two months earlier than he did in 2016 when he battled more than a dozen candidates in the crowded field.
In a statement, Trump campaign spokesperson Tim Murtaugh told The Associated Press the president was attracting “intense” support and record-breaking turnout, even though the primary contests were effectively symbolic.
“It shows the enthusiasm behind President Trump, it shows how unified Republicans are behind President Trump and how intense their support for him is,” said Murtaugh. “Republicans and President Trump’s supporters have been just itching to get involved in the process that will end with his re-election in November.”
While the coronavirus epidemic has made it impossible for the president to hold his traditional rallies, Murtaugh says the Trump campaign is prepared to run an effective virtual campaign.
“The amount of work that we can do digitally and virtually can’t be matched by the other side,” Murtaugh said.
Campaign Manager Brad Parscale tweeted out a victory message after the results of the primaries were announced and noted Trump secured the nomination after handily winning his home state of Florida.
“The Republican Party is more unified and energized than ever before and it’s because of President Trump’s leadership and clear record of accomplishment on behalf of all Americans,” Trump campaign manager Brad Parscale said in a statement.
“As his response to the coronavirus has shown, and as the broad and strong economy demonstrates, the President wakes up every day putting America first in every decision he makes. And voters have responded,” Parscale added.
Congratulations to @realDonaldTrump – the presumptive 2020 Republican nominee for President!
His home state of Florida put him over the top in delegates.
— Brad Parscale – Text TRUMP to 88022 (@parscale) March 18, 2020
Republican National Committee Chairwoman Ronna McDaniel also praised the president both on Twitter and in a statement to the press on Tuesday night.
“Nobody motivates our base more than President Trump, as evidenced by the historic turnout we’ve seen in state after state this primary season,” McDaniel said in a statement. “[We] are thrilled to have President Trump as our Party’s presumptive nominee once again.”
Congratulations to Donald J. Trump on officially becoming the presumptive Republican nominee for President!
His home state of Florida just delivered him the delegates he needed.
Our party is united, our grassroots movement is fired up, and we are ready for FOUR MORE YEARS! pic.twitter.com/B4X9IaQp7f
— Ronna McDaniel (@GOPChairwoman) March 18, 2020
Trump did not face any serious challenge for the nomination, but turnout in the Republican primaries has been high across the board, a sign that voters are excited and fired up to vote for the president in November.
Meanwhile, the Democratic nomination remains up for grabs, though former Vice President Joe Biden is increasing his lead over Sen. Bernie Sanders in the contest.
On Tuesday night, Biden secured victories in the three states holding Democratic primary, which included Florida, Illinois, and Arizona.
Despite struggling mightily to catch up to Biden in the delegate count, Sanders has shown no signs of dropping out of the Democratic primary.