Trump wins Indiana, becomes presumptive nominee

Posted at 7:01 PM, May 03, 2016

Republican Donald Trump continued his winning streak Tuesday night as Trump has won Tuesday's Indiana primary and at least 30 of the state's pledged delegates, and could potentially earn up to 27 more delegates based off results. 

Due to Tuesday's result, Ted Cruz opted to exit the presidential race. 

That leaves Trump as the cream of the crop; something GOP leaders would have never imagined when Trump announced his candidacy last summer. At various points, Scott Walker, Jeb Bush, Ben Carson, Marco Rubio and Ted Cruz were seen as more viable candidates than Trump. 

Trump outlasted them all. 

Read more about Cruz's announcement


Trump, a businessman and former reality TV host, has won 28 state contests. The rest of the GOP field, which at one time had 17 hopefuls, combined for 15 wins. He did that despite GOP leaders such as Sen. Lindsey Graham and Gov. Bobby Jindal joining a prominent "Never Trump" movement. 

Now, GOP leaders are working to unify the party behind Trump, who is at this point the inevtible party nominee. 

Trump is on pace to win all 57 delegates in Indiana from Tuesday's contest. He picks up 30 by winning the state. He is leading in all nine congressional districts. The winner of each of Indiana's congressional districts earns three delegates per each district. 

With Cruz out of the race, Trump has his sights squarely on former Secretary of State Hillary Clinton, despite her loss in Indiana. Clinton is well ahead of Sanders in the delegate count, and will likely be the Democratic Party's nominee for president. 

"We're going after Hillary Clinton," Trump said. "She will not be a great president, she will not be a good president, she will be a poor president. She doesn't understand trade. Her husband signed perhaps in the history of the world the single worst trade deal ever done. It is called NAFTA."

Trump promised his supporters in New York that his campaign will win the general election in November. 

Trump used the backing of former Indiana basketball coach Bobby Knight to pull away from Cruz in Indiana. 

"The people of Indiana have been incredible. I started (campaigning in Indiana) about six weeks ago and I had a 20-point deficit," Trump said. "I met incredible people. The crowds got bigger and bigger, and at the end,  I didn’t want to leave. It resonated somehow. We had a tremendous victory tonight. I have to thank Bobby Knight. He was incredible."

According to AP numbers Trump entered Tuesday with 1,002 delegates, roughly 400 more than challenger Cruz. A total of 1,237 delegates are required to win the GOP nomination. As Trump has picked up the vast majority of delegates in the last two weeks, the likelihood of Cruz forcing Trump into a contested convention in July dwindled.

All of Cruz's 565 delegates now become unbound and can vote for any candidate at the GOP Convention in Cleveland. 

Cruz campaigned hard in Indiana, banking on a win in Indiana to resurrect his faltering campaign. Last week, Cruz announced that former candidate Carly Fiorina would be his running mate if he earns the GOP's nomination.

Meanwhile, Ohio Governor John Kasich is in third place in the Indiana primary. He has no campaign events scheduled ahead of next week's primaries in Nebraska and West Virginia. 

Trump and Kasich are the final two candidates standing out of a field that began with 17. 

"I have met some of the most incredible competitors that I have ever competed against right here in the Republican Party," Trump said. 

Trump will win with more than 50 percent of the vote for the seventh straight contest. Although it is looking more likely that Trump will win before reaching July's convention, Trump will likely have to wait until June 7 to claim the nomination when California is among five states holding primaries. 

Despite Kasich staying in the race, the GOP's chairman is beginning to rally around Trump. 

"Donald Trump will be presumptive GOP nominee, we all need to unite and focus on defeating Hillary Clinton," GOP chair Reince Priebus tweeted. 

Kasich's campaign strategist John Weaver fired back at Priebus.

Appreciate Reince and his hard work for GOP, but until someone has 1,237 bound delegates, there is no presumptive nominee. (California), here we come," Weaver responded.

Justin Boggs is a writer for the E.W. Scripps National Desk. Follow him on Twitter @jjboggs or on Facebook.