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Trump Surpasses Number Of Delegates Needed To Secure GOP Nomination

AUDIE CORNISH, HOST:

Donald Trump is now the presumptive Republican nominee for president. He's reached the magic number of delegates - 1,237.

KELLY MCEVERS, HOST:

No, there wasn't another primary election that put him over the top. Instead, the Associated Press reports a handful of uncommitted delegates decided to support Trump. It's now certain the he will clinch the nomination at the party convention this summer.

CORNISH: Donald Trump has never done anything conventionally. His journey began last June at Trump Tower in Manhattan.

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DONALD TRUMP: I am officially running...

(APPLAUSE)

TRUMP: ...For president of the United States.

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TRUMP: And we are going to make our country great again.

MCEVERS: Not long after that, he shot to the top of the polls and never looked back.

CORNISH: Republican strategists brushed him off, but they did worry that he could hurt the party's image with some of the things he said, like about Mexicans here illegally.

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TRUMP: They're bringing drugs. They're bringing crime. They're rapists.

MCEVERS: He also called for a temporary ban on Muslims entering the U.S. Despite those remarks or perhaps because of them, Trump's support grew and grew.

CORNISH: In February, voting began. Trump finished behind Ted Cruz in the Iowa Caucuses, but the next week in New Hampshire, he won. As he racked up more wins through the spring, the stop-Trump movement gained steam. The Republican establishment had a sort of identity crisis. What was Trump doing to the Grand Old Party?

MCEVERS: But reality set in for many Republicans three weeks ago. In Indiana, Trump delivered a final blow to his competition. That night, he struck a rare note of conciliation.

(SOUNDBITE OF ARCHIVED RECORDING)

TRUMP: We want to bring unity to the Republican Party. We have to bring unity.

CORNISH: And now Trump is looking forward to battling Hillary Clinton. She has yet to clinch her party's nomination. Transcript provided by NPR, Copyright NPR.