Politics & Government

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Updated at 2:30 p.m. ET

Former House Speaker Dennis Hastert admitted at his sentencing hearing Wednesday that he sexually abused more than one student when he was a teacher and wrestling coach in Illinois decades ago, and said he was "ashamed."

Hastert initially said he had "mistreated" athletes, NPR's David Schaper tweeted from the courtroom. He added: "What I did was wrong and I regret it."

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.

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.

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

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

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.

The types of conversations I saw online about Harriet Tubman, Prince and Beyonce over this past week have yet to be duplicated in our nation's discussion of politics. I think that's a bad thing. And I will tell you why.

But first, let's try to put the week in some sort of perspective.

It is possible that the week was the Internet's Blackest Week. Ever.

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

Five delegate-rich states on the East Coast will vote Tuesday: Maryland, Pennsylvania, Delaware, Rhode Island and Connecticut. Call it the "Acela Primary" for the train that runs through those states.

There's a lot at stake. Here are four things we're watching:

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

Copyright 2016 WAMU-FM. To see more, visit WAMU-FM.

If you only considered crowd size at rallies for Bernie Sanders and Hillary Clinton, you might wonder how Clinton has won so many big states. Sanders draws massive, enthusiastic crowds, while Clinton's rallies often seem tiny and subdued by comparison.

Monday night, the eve of five East Coast primaries taking place today, Sanders spoke to an overflow crowd — 3,200 people in total — at Drexel University in Philadelphia. His audience was more than double the crowd that showed up to hear Hillary Clinton speak at Philadelphia's city hall.

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/.

The presidential primaries in Connecticut, Delaware, Maryland, Pennsylvania and Rhode Island will get top billing on Tuesday night, but there are several other down-ballot contests to pay attention to as well.

One Senate primary in Pennsylvania will impact how competitive the race there might be in November, while in Maryland a bitter Democratic contest that's turned on race and gender will likely decide the state's next senator.

More than three in five young Americans prefer that a Democrat win the White House in 2016 rather than a Republican. And Vermont Sen. Bernie Sanders is alone among the five major presidential hopefuls still in the race who has a net positive favorability rating.

Those are two of the findings in a new survey of American adults under 30 years old by Harvard University's Institute of Politics at the John F. Kennedy School of Government.

This post was updated at 8:30 p.m. ET.

A man who says he was sexually abused by former House Speaker Dennis Hastert has sued the Illinois Republican. The alleged victim says he received only $1.7 million of $3.5 million Hastert promised him to keep quiet, NPR's David Schaper reports.

Hastert is scheduled to be sentenced on Wednesday for crimes related to the hush money. He pleaded guilty to structuring cash withdrawals to get around requirements that the bank report big transactions to the federal government.

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