Donald Trump is the presumptive Republican presidential nominee following a decisive victory in the Indiana primary coupled with the decision by Ted Cruz to drop out of the race and also Bernie Sanders won the Indiana Democratic primary.
Though, Trump has not formally secured the 1,237 delegates he needs to win the nomination and likely won’t until June but there is no serious opposition left to block his path. His victory amounts to a stunning takeover of the Republican Party by a candidate with no political experience. Along the way, he eviscerated the GOP’s most accomplished presidential field in a generation and captured the Zeitgeist of a party in which grass roots voters harbour deep ill will toward establishment elites.
Trump said during a victory speech that, “It is a beautiful thing to watch and a beautiful thing to behold. We are going to make America great again”.
Cruz tried everything to pull off a last-ditch win in Indiana including the unusual move of selecting Carly Fiorina as his running mate even though he was not the nominee. He also forged a pact with John Kasich that would allow him to focus on Indiana while the Ohio governor would devote his time to later states but none of the moves worked.
Cruz said, “We left it all on the field in Indiana. We gave it everything we have got but the voters chose another path. So with a heavy heart but with boundless optimism for the long-term future of our nation, we are suspending our campaign”.
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In other news, Bernie Sanders won the Indiana Democratic primary, a victory that will boost his campaign’s morale but do little to cut deeply into Clinton’s lead of nearly 300 pledged delegates. With 93% of the vote counted, Sanders had won 42 pledged delegates in Indiana and Clinton will win 36. Seven superdelegates in the state have already declared for Clinton.
Sanders vowed to fight on even though he admitted that the path he had was a “narrow” one and relied on convincing Democratic super-delegates, party officials and lawmakers to back him and not Clinton.
Sanders said, “The Clinton campaign, a lot of the media had decided the campaign was over,” Sanders told CNN’s Jake Tapper in an interview. “Apparently, the people of Indiana did not quite agree with that”.
Sanders said he had “a shot” to win upcoming primaries in West Virginia, Oregon and Kentucky and argued his new momentum means that even if Clinton’s victory is now seen by many Democrats as inevitable, she is hardly enjoying the triumphant march to the finish line that she hoped for.
Sanders also challenged Clinton, who would prefer to be turning her attention to Trump, to agree to a debate in California before the state’s delegate-rich primary on June 7.