Pundits and political analysts understood the magnitude of yesterday’s primary election in Indiana. They conjectured that the Hoosier State’s 57 delegate pack would be the deciding factor in the GOP primary race: if Trump won, it was over. As it played out, they were proven right.
After defeating Ted Cruz, the runner-up, by nearly 20%, Donald Trump secured Indiana’s delegates. And with the win, he too secured his spot as the last candidate remaining in the GOP primary race. Ted Cruz announced shortly after the polls closed that he would be suspending his campaign. "Together, we left it all on the field in Indiana. We gave it everything we’ve got, but the voters chose another path." The audience was palpably distraught, booing at the announcement and the realization that Trump would be the Party’s nominee in November.
Some held out hope that Kasich remaining in the race would potentially pose a delegate threat to Trump, if he could capture some of the delegates released by candidates that had dropped out in recent months. However, that beacon of light was short-lived, as individuals within the campaign indicated this morning that he, too, would be suspending his campaign, likely announcing at a press conference at 5PM tonight. CNBC and Fox News both tweeted this morning that this is confirmed.
In Trump’s victory speech last night, he expressed respect for Cruz, saying that he sees a bright future for the senator and that Cruz is an incredible competitor. He has yet to comment on Kasich’s exit from the race.
And with this, Trump is the final contender. He did it. He proved everyone wrong. He took down the GOP Establishment. He took down political standards and norms, upended the notion that those with the most outside campaign financing will inevitably win. Recalling the media coverage of his campaign in August, one cannot help but feel slightly ridiculous for the way the mass media and nearly every analyst doubted the billionaire's potential to win.
It is important to note that there is still a chance that Trump does not win the Party nomination, albeit slim. According to certain legal scholars, fine-print rules regarding how delegates are distributed following the suspensions of campaigns could potentially pose a problem for Trump, but this has not been exhaustively explored at this point. Additionally, if Trump is able to secure the 1,237 delegate count, as it appears he will, such complicated rules will not even matter.
Are you surprised that Trump is the last GOP candidate left?