Donald Trump Wins Indiana Primary, Emerges As Presumptive Nominee

Republican presidential candidate Donald Trump speaks at a rally at the Milwaukee Theatre Monday, April 4, 2016, in Milwaukee. (AP Photo/Charles Rex Arbogast)
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Donald Trump is projected to win the Indiana Republican primary according to CNN and MSNBC. The victory cements Trump’s place as the presumptive Republican nominee in the race for the White House.

The Trump victory is a major loss for Sen. Ted Cruz (R-TX) who had needed a win in the state to reverse Trump’s momentum. It is also a setback for the anti-Trump forces in the Republican Party who were seeking to deny Trump a majority of the delegates heading into the Republican convention in July and wrest the nomination from him in Cleveland.

In his last-ditch effort Cruz had even struck a truce with Ohio Gov. John Kasich (R) intended to help him win the state. The agreement between the campaigns outlined that Kasich would stay away from actively campaigning in Indiana in an effort to give Cruz the chance to steal away delegates from Trump there.

Heading into primary day, Trump had comfortably led Cruz by double digits in public opinion surveys.

Trump tweeted after he learned the news that Cruz had gone “wacko.”

The Stop Trump movement admitted that things were about to get harder in their effort. NeverTrump PAC’s senior adviser Rory Cooper tweeted that “obviously Trump’s victory in Indiana makes the road ahead more challenging” Tuesday night.

“We will continue to seek opportunities to oppose his nomination and draw a clear line between him and the values of the conservative cause,” Cooper said in the statement. “If nominated, he will lose in historic fashion.”

In most years, the Indiana primary is an afterthought, but this cycle it earned a surplus of attention and was seen by many as Cruz’s last stand. Cruz had earned the tepid endorsement of Indiana’s Gov. Mike Pence. And, in an effort to make one last appeal to voters, Cruz had taken the highly unusual step of naming a vice presidential candidate in Carly Fiorina while campaigning in the state.

But Trump had his own high-profile endorsements. Stumping for Trump was Hoosier basketball legend Bobby Knight and legendary Notre Dame football coach Lou Holtz.

Indiana awards a total of 57 delegates. Trump will automatically receive 30 delegates for winning the state and then the remaining 27 delegates will be allocated by congressional district. At the end of the night Trump will have more than 1,000 delegates bringing him even closer to winning 1,237 before the convention in July.

John Feehery, a Republican strategist, said that now is the time for the party to rally around Trump in an effort to seriously prepare for a general election campaign.

“In my opinion this thing has been over for awhile,” Feehery says. “But now it is time for a containment strategy. It is time to pick a good vice presidential candidate.”

Feehery argued Trump also needs to begin thinking seriously about publicly appointing a cabinet in an effort to ease party leaders’ fears that he is unfamiliar and unserious about conservative party doctrine.

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