Tuesday’s Republican primary in Indiana has been won by Donald Trump, giving him firm control of the GOP presidential contest, according to projections by Fox News, AP, and other agencies.
The state’s last polling places – in 12 western Indiana counties, all located in the Central Time Zone – closed until 7 p.m. Eastern time.
Trump was hoping for a big victory in Indiana to crush the hopes of Sen. Ted Cruz (R-Tex.) and the “#NeverTrump” movement that had coalesced behind him.
A complete victory in Indiana will give Trump 57 more convention delegates. That wouldn’t be enough to clinch the nomination yet, but it would put him in position to reach the necessary 1,237 delegates in later primaries — and avoid a contested convention.
A win also shows that Trump can take on — and beat — Cruz in what is in effect a one-on-one fight.
The Texas senator spent days campaigning in Indiana, and his supporters spent millions advertising in the state – for naught.
In recent days, the usually-calm Cruz had grown visibly anxious: he struck a nonaggression pact with rival Ohio Gov. John Kasich, named businesswoman Carly Fiorina as his running mate, and then turned to fire-breathing insults. On Tuesday, Cruz accused Trump of having diseases and declared him “utterly amoral.”
None of it worked. Trump handily beat Cruz and Kasich both.
In interviews with Indiana Republican voters on Tuesday, many said they supported Trump because they believed only a businessman could truly change the way government does business.
“He’s the only candidate who is really going to change the system. Everyone else is in bed with the Republican leadership,” said Justin Stinson, 48, a Bloomington software engineer who voted for Trump at a precinct near Indiana University.
Based on a Washington post report.