Mr. Donald Trump is the presumptive Republican presidential nominee following a decisive victory in the Indiana primary and the decision by Ted Cruz to drop out of the race.
Though Trump has not formally secured the 1,237 delegates he needs to win the nomination — and likely won’t until June — there is no serious opposition left to block his path.
His victory amounts to a stunning takeover of the Republican Party by a candidate with no political experience. Along the way, he eviscerated the GOP’s most accomplished presidential field in a generation and captured the Zeitgeist of a party in which grass roots voters harbor deep ill will toward establishment elites.
“It is a beautiful thing to watch, and a beautiful thing to behold,” Trump said during a victory speech. “We are going to make America great again.”
Cruz tried everything to pull off a last-ditch win in Indiana, including the unusual move of selecting Carly Fiorina as his running mate even though he wasn’t the nominee. He also forged a pact with John Kasich that would allow him to focus on Indiana while the Ohio governor would devote his time to later states.
Clinton on Tuesday suffered an upset in Indiana as her rival Bernie Sanders mounted a come-from-behind victory, denying the former secretary of state a feather in her cap as she seeks their party’s presidential nomination.
Sanders, a self-declared socialist, beat Clinton by 53.2 percent to 46.8 percent with about three quarters of precincts reporting – although Clinton remained well ahead in the overall delegate battle for the nomination.
“Bernie Sanders was behind several points a just a few weeks ago. Thousands were turning to his rallies even in thunderstorms to hear what he had to say,” Al Jazeera’s Alan Fisher, reporting from Indianapolis, said.
“A narrow victory in Indiana is enough to re-inject his campaign with momentum and for him to say that he is going to take it all the way to Democratic convention in Philadelphia in the summer.”