POLITICO Playbook: Trump likely to clinch — ‘IT’S OVER’ — MIKE MURPHY: ‘The lights are going out across the Republican Party’

Good Wednesday morning. Donald Trump said last night after winning each of the five Acela Primary states by 29 or more points: “As far as I am concerned, it’s over. … I consider myself the presumptive nominee — absolutely.” He’s right about both. To the pundits who’ll try to infuse next week’s Indiana primary — Ted Cruz’s last stand — with melodrama and cosmic significance: Good luck. Trump won Connecticut by 29, Delaware by 40, Maryland by 31, Pennsylvania by 35, Rhode Island by 39. I think the voters are trying to tell us something.

— A top Republican insider laments that even with conservative calculations, he now projects Trump will cross the magic number of 1,237 delegates to win on the first ballot at the Cleveland convention: “The dominoes are falling, and you can’t stop them. … Kasich staying in the race was an in-kind contribution to Trump. It blocked Cruz from ever getting his one-on-one shot.”

By Mike Allen (@mikeallen; mallen@politico.com) and Daniel Lippman (@dlippman; dlippman@politico.com)

— OLD TRUMP was back for last night’s victory speech (gloating, off the cuff), and Corey Lewandowski was more prominent than Paul Manafort in the camera shot. Trump will have a teleprompter for today’s foreign-policy speech at noon in D.C. A speechwriter supplied a text, but MSNBC reports that Trump “rewrote it.”

— Kevin Madden tells us that for two months, the Trump wave has divided establishment Republicans into two camps: RESIGNATION and RESISTANCE camps — and RESIGNATION is winning. Madden says the too-little, too-late Never Trump movement “only changed the atmospherics, never the fundamentals.” He said it became “pure fantasy” to think you could derail Trump with the momentum he was picking up, going back to at least Nevada on Feb. 23.

— Daniel says that of 39 states that have voted (including D.C.), Trump has won 26. Cruz carried 10 (Alaska, Idaho, Iowa, Kansas, Maine, Oklahoma, Texas, Utah, Wisconsin, Wyoming), Rubio snared two (D.C. and Minnesota) and Kasich took Ohio.

— Cruz has gotten less than 25% of the vote in 20 states (including D.C.).

MIKE MURPHY, who headed the lavishly funded pro-Jeb super PAC, to Brian Williams, co-anchoring MSNBC’s coverage with Rachel Maddow: “The lights are going out across the Republican Party tonight. … It’s like Trump has built a lab to blow a general election, even against Hillary Clinton.”

— Murphy predicted Trump will “turn on the insult comedy” against Clinton: “But her big judo win is to play the victim. … Jeb was the anti-Trump; now we have Trump. … And Kasich, the guy who COULD win a general election, can’t get arrested.”

TRUMP phoner with “Morning Joe” this morning: “I don’t even know if it’s going to be Hillary. … I don’t know what’s happening with the email scandal. … People that did far less are sitting in jail cells.” On his campaign HQ in Trump Tower: “The day the campaign ends, I get the highest rents in the city.” On the camps in his campaign: “Paul actually gets along very well with Corey. They have different functions … very separate functions.”

HILLARY CLINTON, after winning four of five states last night (all but Rhode Island): “Now, the other day, Mr. Trump accused me of playing the ‘woman card.’ (JEERING) Well, if fighting for women’s health care, and paid family leave, and equal pay is playing the ‘woman card,’ then deal me in.”

TOP TWEETS: Cook Political Report’s Dave Wasserman (@Redistrict): “Trump carried every single county and congressional district that voted today” … Democratic pollster Matt McDermott (@mattmfm): “Kasich lost Greenwich to Trump. Greenwich, folks!” By 7 points: http://bit.ly/1MYvEKf … @mattyglesias: “Primary night web traffic isn’t what it used to be. Clearest sign that these nominations are settled” … @HolmesJosh: “Mary Pat [at Trump victory speech] one-ups Christie in the back drop with her best Adele: ‘Hello…it’s me.’” http://bit.ly/26tj4sy

GLENN THRUSH, “Five takeaways from Tuesday’s primaries”: “Trump’s campaign is in turmoil, oh, and he’s groping for a grown-up message. … Yet the Tangerine Tornado keeps winning and winning, by huger and huger margins — shattering the Never-Trump army and making mockery of the shotgun marriage between chastened foes Ted Cruz and John Kasich. … He consolidated the GOP base behind him with a succession of slam-dunk wins that will make it hard for his opponents to argue he’s not the party’s legit choice.” http://politi.co/1VBzwn7

— “Trump passes Romney’s popular vote total, likely to break GOP record,” by Kyle Cheney: “Trump surged to 9.9 million votes … That’s already more than 100,000 more than Romney earned in the entire 2012 primary season [or] John McCain earned in 2008. … [H]e’s positioned to easily pass the modern record-holder George W. Bush — who collected 10.8 million votes in 2000. … [A]nti-Trump forces [are] attempting to thwart the candidate who is likely to win more Republican primary votes than any GOP contender in at least the last 36 years, and maybe ever.” http://politi.co/1XVYN9b

DRUDGE BANNER is Cruz, looking heavenward, “ELIMINATED” — with “TED” in red — linking to the Tea Party site Gateway Pundit, “IT’S OFFICIAL=> Ted Cruz Is Mathematically ELIMINATED from GOP Race — With Chart.” http://bit.ly/1WpjSu0

HUFFPOST BANNER: “EAST MODE: TRUMP 5-STATE SWEEP… DEL TRACKER: 110 Trump, 5 Kasich, 3 Cruz.”

NEARING CLINCH … Upshot’s Nate Cohn on N.Y. Times p. A16, “ Why Donald Trump Is Probably Two States From Victory”: “He has long been favored in the polls in two of the remaining primary states, New Jersey and West Virginia. That leaves Indiana and California as the crucial prizes that would put Mr. Trump over the top — and while he was once thought to be vulnerable in both states, polls have shown him with a modest lead.” http://nyti.ms/1MYER59

YOU’RE INVITED to our “Funny or Die” Playbook Lunch on Friday — our annual pre-WHCA Celebrity Edition: David Litt — who wrote Obama jokes for WHCA dinners as a White House speechwriter, and now is head writer/producer for Funny or Die D.C. — will join Billy Eichner, star of “Billy on the Street” and Hulu’s “Difficult People,” plus Mike Farah, Funny or Die’s president of production. We’ll talk about the intersection of comedy and politics, and have some fun. Doors open 11:30 a.m. Friday at The Newseum, 555 Pennsylvania Avenue NW. Program at noon. #PlaybookLunch RSVP http://bit.ly/1VqS7SW

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CHUCK TODD on “Morning Joe,” on the Cruz-Kasich alliance: “It would have been a great idea six weeks ago.”

JON KARL, on Monday’s “Good Morning America,” reported “an increasing sense of desperation” in the Cruz campaign: “I would not be surprised to see him name a running mate even before the Indiana primary next week,” most likely Carly Fiorina.

TRUMP SPEAKS in D.C. at noon today on foreign policy. The original location was the National Press Club, but an advisory yesterday said: “Due to the overwhelming interest in Mr. Trump’s Foreign Policy speech the venue has been changed to the Mayflower Hotel.”

Then at 6 p.m., he’ll rally thousands at the Indiana State Fairgrounds with basketball coaching legend Bobby Knight.

— AP’s Jill Colvin says the speech “will focus on … trade, the global economy and national security. … Trump has a lot to prove when it comes to calming foreign leaders and policy professionals. They’ve been stunned by his often brash policy proclamations.” http://apne.ws/1T49rGR

FIRST LOOK: “CAP Action and ThinkProgress will release a short brief on how Donald Trump has supported nuclear proliferation and ignored long-standing, successful U.S. foreign policy that has limited proliferation for decades. A companion graphic completely undermines Trump’s claim that nuclear weapons are a growing threat to the U.S.” Posts at 8 a.m. http://bit.ly/1WSlzAv … Graphic http://bit.ly/1VRNHVt

CONTINENTAL DIVIDE — WashPost A1, Phil Rucker and Jose DelReal: “Tuesday’s results brought into sharp relief the regional divide in the Republican race. Trump has dominated east of the Mississippi River, winning every contest — from New England to the Bible Belt, save for three: Maine, Ohio and Wisconsin. … Cruz’s strength has been concentrated in the Plains, Midwest and Rocky Mountain West, where many contests have been caucuses that attract fewer voters than primaries and reward the best-organized campaigns.” http://wapo.st/1YThsTh

EXIT POLLS — AP’s Chad Day and Emily Swanson: “Trump won across nearly all demographic groups -gender, education and income levels alike- in Connecticut, Maryland and Pennsylvania. With the exception of the youngest voters in Maryland, he won all age groups in each state. … Clinton was supported by large majorities of black voters, most women … Sanders won a majority of men and drew the support of younger voters.” http://apne.ws/1WSonxC

PRINT HEADLINES: USA Today, “TRUMP, CLINTON WINS PUT NOVEMBER IN SIGHT” … N.Y. Times 2-col. lead, “TRUMP IN A SWEEP OF EASTERN STATES; CLINTON WINS IN 4: Aura of Inevitability Grows for Both — Sanders Wins in Rhode Island … Pulling Away From Sanders, Clinton Turns Sights to the Fall” … WashPost banner, “’Clinton, Trump roll on in Northeast” … WSJ, “Front-Runners March On” … L.A. Times, “Trump, Clinton win big, nearing endgame … She pads lead, besting Sanders in 4 of 5 states.”

AP DELEGATE TRACKER: Dems (2,383 to clinch): Clinton 2,141 (incl. 519 superdelegates; 242 short); Sanders 1,321 (incl. 39 superdelegates; 1,062 short) … GOP (1,237 to win): Trump 950 (287 short); Cruz 560 (677 short); Kasich 153 (1,084 short). http://apne.ws/1V6bksD

TRUMP, quoted by WashPost Style section’s Reliable Source, describing “Girls” creator Lena Dunham yesterday on “Fox and Friends,” after she said she’s move to Canada is he’s elected: “She’s a B actor and, you know, has no mojo.” http://wapo.st/235zLWF

HOT VIDEO — “Local News Anchors Struggle to Pronounce ‘Acela Primary’” — Bloomberg’s Matt Negrin:http://bloom.bg/2429YV2

“LAURA CAPPS to Announce School Board Candidacy,” by Santa Barbara Independent’s Jerry Roberts: “Capps, the 43-year-old daughter of retiring Rep. Lois Capps, [said:] ‘I’m a Santa Barbara kid … As my (four-year-old) son starts kindergarten in the fall, I want to strengthen our schools for his generation and beyond. … Capps returned to Santa Barbara three years ago, after a successful career in Washington, where she served as an aide to the late Senator Ted Kennedy and a speechwriter to President Bill Clinton.” http://bit.ly/24jiImg … Biographical Vimeo http://bit.ly/1VBBkwp

INSTAGRAMS DU JOUR — @seanmspicer: “Best #selfie ever: me, Trevor Noah, Lindsey Vonn and [model Karlie Kloss] at #time100” http://bit.ly/21eY0Ci  @seanmspicer: “Wrapping up a great night w a small performance by Nicki Minaj #time100” http://bit.ly/21eVD2k

CLICKER: “Melania Trump on Her Rise, Her Family Secrets, and Her True Political Views: ‘Nobody Will Ever Know,’” by Julia Ioffe in GQ http://bit.ly/21eVs7b

2016 PLAYERS — “GOP congressional super PAC brings on Romney aide [Mason Fink] to defend House,” by Alex Isenstadt: “Fink, who was Romney’s 2008 and 2012 finance director and oversaw fundraising for the pro-Jeb Bush Right to Rise super PAC, will serve on the board of the Congressional Leadership Fund, a group devoted to protecting and expanding the House Republican majority. … At last week’s Republican National Committee spring meeting, some party strategists privately speculated that major contributors, turned off by the prospective nominees, would shift their attention to House and Senate races. In recent weeks, Fink was personally approached by House Speaker Paul Ryan to take the job.” http://politi.co/1SrKQzG

FIRST LOOK — “MoveOn.org Names Karine Jean-Pierre As Senior Advisor & National Spokesperson for 2016 Elections”: “She recently served as deputy campaign manager on Martin O’Malley’s presidential campaign. … She has also served as Deputy Battleground States Director for President Obama’s 2012 re-election campaign.” http://politi.co/1T3Zvgo

ARIANNA HUFFINGTON joins Uber’s board : CEO “Travis [Kalanick] loves her for her entrepreneurial spirit, her high EQ and her storytelling ability. They will be on [CNBC] Squawk Box together during the 8:00 hour and both will attend the WHCD at the weekend.” Travis posts on Uber’s blog: “Arianna knows a thing or two about being an entrepreneur. … From the start of our friendship it was obvious that she believes deeply in our mission: transportation as reliable as running water, everywhere for everyone. At a staff event last fall, Arianna told the crowd how she once used Uber to conjure a little magic of her own. …

“That ability to tell stories is invaluable for an engineer like me, whose natural tendency is to rely on data. As I’ve discovered, that doesn’t always work perfectly. So it’s Arianna’s emotional intelligence that I am most excited about learning from. She is one of the few people who begins every conversation by asking how you are, not how your business is doing.” http://ubr.to/26ty7CM … 1-min. video http://bit.ly/21f2IQv

— “27 Tech CEOs and Senior Executives Fly into Nation’s Capital for TechNet Day 2016” http://bit.ly/1NSkcKN

LIFE ONLINE — “Inside “Emojigeddon”: The Fight Over The Future Of The Unicode Consortium,” by BuzzFeed’s Charlie Warzel: “Emails seen by BuzzFeed News reveal an emerging tension at the Unicode Consortium — the 24-year-old organization that was established to develop standards for translating alphabets into code that can be read across all computers and operating systems. … The series of frustrated messages show a deepening rift between those who adhere to the organization’s original mission to code old and obscure and minority languages and those who are investing time and resources toward Unicode’s newer and most popular character sets: emojis.” http://bzfd.it/1UgrvCP

— “Maybe Twitter needs to get used to being small,” by AP’s Barbara Ortutay: “Twitter gets lots of grief from investors because it hasn’t taken over the world the way Facebook did, at least in terms of amassing users. But maybe it’s destined to stay small, serving a vital, if limited, role for the public. Maybe Twitter just isn’t meant to be an all-encompassing social utility. … Things got no better on Tuesday, when Twitter again reported largely stagnant user figures — 310 million, up from 305 million in the fourth quarter.” http://yhoo.it/1SOFEYH

MEDIAWATCH — “Alex Wagner Joins The Atlantic as Senior Editor”: “She will write for The Atlantic, moderate events with AtlanticLIVE, and help to develop video and TV projects with The Atlantic Studios. Wagner begins her role with The Atlantic this weekend. … In this new role, Wagner will write articles for both the magazine and website, drawing upon her decade of experience in both print and digital journalism. As host of MSNBC’s Emmy-nominated ‘NOW with Alex Wagner’ and as a reporter for Huffington Post and Politics Daily, Wagner covered politics and national affairs … Wagner will also work with The Atlantic Studios to help develop projects for TV and web.” http://theatln.tc/1TdciNY

SPORTS BLINK — “Matt Lauer, Meredith Vieira and Savannah Guthrie to Host the Opening Ceremony of the Rio Olympics Friday, Aug. 5 on NBC”: “From the Parade of Nations to the lighting of the Olympic cauldron, Matt, Meredith and Savannah will guide viewers through the spectacle and pageantry that only occurs when the world comes together at the Olympic Games. Rio 2016 will be Lauer’s 11th Olympics for TODAY, and his fifth in a role on the primetime Opening Ceremony broadcast. Vieira works her third Opening Ceremony for NBC. Guthrie, in her third Olympics for TODAY, makes her NBC Olympics debut in Rio.” http://bit.ly/1WSmBg6

OUT AND ABOUT IN NYC: Political guests at the TIME 100 gala last night included Donald and Melania Trump, Jill Biden, Reince Priebus, Rand Paul, Samantha Power, Ehud Barak, David Koch, Christiana Figueres and Gabrielle Giffords. Toasts by Lewis Hamilton, Caitlyn Jenner, Melissa McCarthy, Denis Mukwege and Darren Walker. Pix of Time 100 stars walking the red carpet http://ti.me/1YTcZ3c

— SPOTTED : Scott Kelly, Padma Lakshmi, Alexander Wang, Matt Lauer, Trevor Noah, Marina Abramović, Lindsey Vonn, Mark Kelly, Ben Falcone, Martha Stewart, Gayle King, Jenna Lyons, Wendi Murdoch, Mia Farrow, Charlie Rose, Perry Chen, Jenji Kohan, Matthew Weiner, Diane Paulus, Jason Robert Brown, John Green, Preet Bharara, Arianna Huffington, Pete Cashmore, David Chang, Marie Kondo, Danny Meyer, Sister Rosemary Nyirumbe, Obiageli Ezekwesili.

TRANSITIONS — Liz Johnson, Sen. Kelly Ayotte’s communications director, transitions this week from Capitol Hill to the senator’s reelection campaign, based in New Hampshire’s Queen City of Manchester.

— Brittany Bramell has joined Uber’s DC office leading all Beltway communications. She is a veteran of five political campaigns — including Sen. John McCain and Sen. Lindsey Graham’s presidential campaigns — and previously worked as Press Secretary for Speaker John Boehner.

BIRTHWEEK (was yesterday): John Leganski, deputy floor director for Leader McCarthy, is 25 (h/t Mike Long)

BIRTHDAYS: HFA’s Christina Reynolds, the pride of Brooklyn and North Carolina (h/t Jesse Ferguson) … Adam Clymer … 3 Hill Dems: Sen. Cory Booker (D-NJ) … Rep. GK Butterfield (D-NC) … Hannah Kim, comms. director for Rep. Charlie Rangel, are all turning a year older today, “and are single and available, at least I am!” writes Hannah: “Shameless plug and request for help :)” … WaPo columnist Dana Milbank, the pride of Merrick, NY … Protiviti’s Austin Helm is 30 (h/t fiancée Jen Nedeau) … Lee Whack Jr., press secretary for this summer’s Democratic National Convention, is 32 (h/t AP’s Errin Haines Whack) …

… Politico California Playbook author Carla Marinucci … Rep. Daniel Webster (R-Fla.) … Weesie Vieira, director of editorial comms. at BuzzFeed and a CBS alum … Alex De Luca, director at West End Strategy Team, a big fan of “Hamilton” … Doug Rediker of International Capital Strategies (h/t Peter Baker) … Auburn fan Erica Elliott, VP of public affairs at Franklin Square Capital Partners and a Kevin McCarthy comms. alum … Politico’s Aubree Weaver … Marin Watters, all around good kid and Playbook loyalist, is 10 (h/t dad Robb) … Mark Gardner … Anna Soellner, head of comms. at Driver Group and an MPAA and CAP alum … Michael Crittenden, VP at Mercury and a WSJ alum …

… Dan Gerstein, president of Gotham Ghostwriters … Lee Brenner, business development lead at Microsoft and founder of HyperVocal … Seth Mnookin, co-director of MIT’s Graduate Program in Science Writing … Eric Gioia … Adam Dickter, senior account executive at of Dukas Linden Public Relations … Connor Walsh, founder and managing director at Build Digital and a Cantor alum … Mebus Emily Behrle, USC Schwarzenegger Institute’s director of special projects … Lauren Camera, national education reporter at U.S. News … Bryan Denton, a star photojournalist based in Beirut and frequent contributor to the NYT, who recently published haunting pictures inside Chernobyl’s exclusion zone (helmet tip: Aunt Robin Meszoly of Bloomberg’s Washington bureau) … Alicia “Lisa” Shepard … Gail Hoffman …

… Will Marshall, president and founder of the Progressive Policy Institute … Wayne Laugesen, editorial page editor at Colorado Springs Gazette … Andrew Brenneman … Jon Fasman, Southeast Asia bureau chief for The Economist … Chicago’s Jamie Citron, an Obama alum … Joseph Ricca … Sondy Pope Roberts (h/ts Teresa Vilmain) … Emily Hogin … Ken Reidy … Artyom Mtusov … Molly Magarik … actress Anouk Aimee is 84 … rhythm-and-blues singer Cuba Gooding is 72 … Kate Pierson (The B-52’s) is 68 … Sheena Easton is 57 … singer Allison Iraheta is 24 (h/ts AP)

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