Why the Indiana Primary was a game-changer

Posted at 1:41 PM, May 04, 2016

Hoosiers don’t typically get much attention from political campaigns, but this year was different.

Candidates blasted Indiana residents with campaign ads on the radio and television, and even showed up for campaign stops.

And the results of Indiana's election changed the game.

After Donald Trump's win in the Hoosier state Tuesday, Ted Cruz ended his presidential campaign, eliminating the biggest impediment to Trump's march to the Republican nomination.

That wasn't the end of it. 

On Wednesday, news broke that Ohio Gov. John Kasich wouldleave the Republican presidential contest, giving Trump a clear path to his party's nomination.

Before Indiana, Trump was already the only Republican candidate left who could earn enough votes – and delegates – to win the party’s nomination outright. Trump needs 1,237 delegates to capture the nomination at the Republican National Convention. After winning 51 in Indiana Tuesday, he's just 190 shy. 

Primary voting is different from general election voting.

During the primary, voters essentially decide which presidential candidate will get the state’s delegates. Those delegates then get together at the Republican National Convention in July and vote for the presidential candidate. Each state has different rules about how their delegate can vote at the convention. Most delegates are bound, which means they’re required to cast a ballot for the candidate their state’s voters elected. A small number of delegates can vote for the candidate they like the best.