There is no doubt Tuesday was a good night for Donald Trump and Hillary Clinton, the Republican and Democratic presidential front-runners.
Whether either did well enough, however, to put them on a certain path toward winning their parties’ nomination is up for debate.
Trump also did well, winning North Carolina, Illinois and Florida, a victory that effectively knocked one of his main rivals, Florida Senator Marco Rubio, out of the race.
It winnows the Republican field to just three candidates, and Trump is tied with Texas Senator Ted Cruz in Missouri.
The New York businessman missed a potential opportunity to put the race away, though, losing Ohio to John Kasich, the state’s governor. Ohio was particularly important because, like Florida, it assigns delegates on a winner-take-all, rather than a proportional basis, like many other states.
It now remains unclear whether Trump can secure the number of delegates needed to win the nomination outright before the Republican national convention in July, according to Republican analyst Ford O’Connell.
“He’s by far in the best position to get the 1,237 delegates before Cleveland,” O’Connell said. “But to do that, he’s going to have to win roughly 58 to 60 percent of the remaining delegates – it’s a high but not impossible bar.”
O’Connell said there is about a 50-50 chance of a contested convention, in which pledged delegates would be freed to vote for whoever they wish.
Others are less optimistic about Trump’s chances of avoiding a testy convention battle.