Donald Trump became the presumptive nominee of the Republican Party on Tuesday following the Indiana primary that Trump won resoundingly. As of press time, Trump had over 50% and led Senator Ted Cruz, his closest competitor in the state, by double-digits.
Following the Indiana results, Cruz announced that he was dropping out of the presidential race. Indiana was a crucial state for Cruz and he hoped the state would give his campaign a new bolt of energy while helping to deprive Trump of the necessary 1,237 delegates. Indiana has fifty-seven delegates at stake and they are awarded winner-take-all.
Cruz told the crowd of supporters, “We left it all on the field in Indiana. We gave it everything we’ve got but the voters chose another path.”
Cruz made several moves in an effort to change the tide in Indiana. First, he made a deal with Governor John Kasich’s campaign for them to surrender Indiana in exchange for the Cruz campaign surrendering New Mexico and Oregon. Then, Cruz took the unusual move of naming a running mate before securing the nomination. Cruz announced Carly Fiorina as his running mate in Indiana.
Trump has not formally clinched the nomination yet, though. He is still roughly two hundred delegates away, but he has no significant opposition remaining. Governor John Kasich has not dropped out of the campaign and the campaign has said that he will not drop out as Trump has not reached the threshold yet. Kasich will campaign in New Mexico, Oregon, and California. Those are three of the nine states remaining after Tuesday.
Trump took the stage in Trump Tower in New York City to address supporters and said, “It is a beautiful thing to watch, and a beautiful thing to behold.” Then he went on to his ubiquitous campaign slogan, We are going to make America great again.”
Trump’s speech gave an indication of where the general election may be headed. Trump’s speech was heavy on manufacturing and trade deals, particularly NAFTA, and hammering the trade deals of the past. His positions on trade deals put Trump to the left of former Secretary of State Hillary Clinton and could help him win over blue collar workers in states like Pennsylvania and Ohio.
Following Cruz’s announcement, Republican National Committee Chair Reince Priebus tweeted that Trump is the presumptive nominee.
.@realDonaldTrump will be presumptive @GOP nominee, we all need to unite and focus on defeating @HillaryClinton #NeverClinton
— Reince Priebus (@Reince) May 4, 2016
However, the Kasich campaign was hesitant with this assessment. As John Weaver, the chief strategist for the campaign, tweeted out the technicality.
Appreciate @Reince & his hard work for @GOP, but until someone has 1,237 bound delegates there is no presumptive nominee. CA here we come.
— John Weaver (@JWGOP) May 4, 2016
At the same time, the RNC has been urging party unity and for members to coalesce behind Trump.