July 31, 2021

Trump wins Indiana, clearing path to nomination

trumpdonald_032516getty-1Republican presidential candidate Donald Trump is projected to win the Indiana primary, dealing a crushing defeat to Ted Cruz and putting himself on a clear path to clinching the nomination.

Trump’s victory will guarantee him at least 30 of the state’s 57 delegates, pushing him over 1,000 as he approaches the 1,237 he needs to clinch the nomination.

The remaining 27 delegates will be allocated in winner-take-all contests at the congressional district level. Trump is likely to take a majority of these.

The results are devastating for Cruz and John Kasich — and the anti-Trump movement.

The battle between Trump and Cruz took an unusual turn the morning of the primary.

The real estate mogul linked Cruz’s father to Lee Harvey Oswald — the man who shot President John F. Kennedy — citing an uncorroborated tabloid story. Cruz unloaded on Trump in response, calling him a “pathological liar” and “utterly amoral.”

Cruz in particular took some big gambles in the run-up to Indiana’s primary.

The Texas senator took the unusual step of announcing a running mate, adding businesswoman Carly Fiorina to his ticket. The move dominated the news cycle and gave his campaign a brief jolt of momentum, but it wasn’t enough to deliver him a victory.

Meanwhile, groups opposed to Trump, like Our Principles PAC and Club for Growth, focused on Indiana as a firewall in the effort to stop the front-runner. They poured millions of dollars’ worth of resources into the state, to no avail.

In addition, Cruz and Kasich entered into a last-minute alliance meant to increase the chances that Trump would miss out on delegates. Kasich stopped campaigning in Indiana, with Cruz saying he’d stay out of future contests in Oregon and New Mexico.

The alliance was shaky from the start, as neither candidate was comfortable publicly embracing the deal. Worse, it seemed to backfire, as Trump grasped onto the alliance as further evidence that the process is “rigged” and establishment Republicans were “colluding” to steal the nomination from him.

It does not appear that the Cruz-Kasich alliance will bear fruit down the road, either.

An Oregon poll released last week found Trump way ahead, with 43 percent support. Cruz, who has said he won’t play in the state, comes in second at 26 percent, with Kasich in third, at 17 percent.

Trump has been steamrolling the competition ever since Cruz scored a big win in Wisconsin in early April, which at the time looked like it might send the GOP toward a contested convention.

Since then, Trump has registered resounding victories in a half-dozen states in the Northeast and mid-Atlantic, taking between 54 percent and 64 percent in each.

Trump can now point to Indiana as evidence that conservatives of all stripes are rallying behind his campaign.

Source: The Hill