Ted Cruz’s proclamation that Indiana would be the final battleground in the race to become the Republican presidential nominee came true. Unfortunately for him, Donald Trump slam dunked his Oval Office aspirations through the nearest basketball “ring”.
Despite unorthodox maneuvering with fellow candidate John Kasich and bringing on Carly Fiorina as his hypothetical running mate, Cruz suspended his campaign for president after yet another trouncing at the hand of Trump.
Trump earned over 53% of the vote compared to just 37% for Cruz. He and Kasich combined for 44% and underperformed relative to the latest polling data. This decisive win for Trump means he’s expected to lock up all 57 Republican delegates that are up for grabs in the Hoosier State once the votes are fully tallied.
While Trump will still be short of the 1,237 delegates required to secure the Republican nomination, his path to becoming the GOP’s candidate is all but paved in gold. With Cruz out of the race and Kasich trailing far behind, Trump should reach his magic number by June 7 when California and New Jersey, the two largest states remaining, host their primary elections.
In his victory speech, Trump was (by his standards) surprisingly humble, offering praise towards Cruz, saying that his rival had a bright future before setting his sights on Hillary Clinton in November's general election.
Despite losing to Bernie Sanders, Hillary Clinton leaves Indiana with 37 additional delegates thanks to keeping the race close. Sanders edged her out 53 to 47 percent, adding 43 delegates to his total.
Heading into next week's West Virginia primary, Clinton has secured over 2,200 of the 2,383 delegates needed to lock up the Democratic nomination while Sanders has notched 1,400. West Virginia (which Clinton won in 2008) has just 37 delegates at stake so expect Sanders to continue to fight in the following weeks.
Meanwhile, what Trump will do is anyone's guess. Will he continue campaigning through states he should win without a fight or will he use this opportunity to focus on becoming more "presidential" ahead of the general election?
Only time will tell.