Donald Trump wins big in Indiana

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Donald Trump Wins Indiana Republican Primary

Donald Trump delivered Ted Cruz a virtual knockout blow Tuesday night, winning Indiana's primary and moving ever closer to securing the Republican presidential nomination.

Multiple outlets projected shortly after polls closed Tuesday that Trump would win the Hoosier State.

The GOP frontrunner led in Indiana by more than 20 points over Cruz, a Texas senator, with about 5% of precincts reporting. John Kasich, the Ohio governor, finished a distant third.

The win puts Trump on a glide path to obtain the needed 1,237 delegates necessary to win the nomination.

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Donald Trump wins big in Indiana

Newt Gingrich

Former Speaker of the House Newt Gingrich could provide Trump with exactly what he is looking for in a running mate — an experienced lawmaker who pushed legislation through Congress for years.

Though he has been actively aboard the Kasich bandwagon in recent days, Gingrich has come to Trump's defense regarding both the establishment backlash to his candidacy and the controversy the frontrunner found himself in after initially failing in a CNN interview to disavow support from former Ku Klux Klan leader David Duke.

(Joe Burbank/Orlando Sentinel/TNS via Getty Images)

Indiana Gov. Mike Pence

Pence is rumored to be one of the final few people on Donald Trump's short list to be running mate. He appeared with him mere days before Trump was expected to announce his decision, and even met with Trump's family. 

Pence found himself in the spotlight in recent months after defending Indiana's religious liberty law that was criticized by many as being discriminatory against the LGBT community. 

(Photo by REUTERS/John Sommers II)

Ivanka Trump

A wildcard choice for sure, some began to wonder if Donald Trump might consider naming his daughter as his running mate after Sen. Bob Corker suggested the move shortly after taking himself out of the mix. 

Ivanka, who would turn 35 mere days before the election, has not addressed the rumors, but brother Eric backed her

(Photo by REUTERS/Carlo Allegri)

Michael Flynn

The 57-year-old retired lieutenant general has been advising the campaign on foreign affairs for months, but as Flynn's under-the-radar candidacy gained steam as Trump's decision drew near.

Conservative supporters have warned that Flynn isn't sufficiently tough on social issues.  

(Photo by REUTERS/Gary Cameron/File photo TPX IMAGES OF THE DAY)

Chris Christie

Gov. Chris Christie of New Jersey is the only 2016 GOP presidential candidate who has endorsed Trump since leaving the race.

Christie could help Trump with more moderate GOP voters, and he certainly has the bombastic personality that would serve as a useful surrogate for Trump, though the two also fiercely criticized each other when they were both candidates in the race.

Back in November, Trump said Christie could have a "place" on his ticket.

(Photo by John Moore/Getty Images)

Jeff Sessions

Sen. Jeff Sessions of Alabama is the only sitting senator to endorse Trump — and he has already been tapped to lead Trump's national-security advisory committee.

"A movement is afoot that must not fade away," Sessions said during the Alabama rally where he announced his support last month.

Sessions is one of the staunchest supporters of Trump's hard-line plan to crack down on illegal immigration. The senator could also give Trump credibility in the South.

(Photo By Bill Clark/CQ Roll Call)

Scott Brown

Former Sen. Scott Brown of Massachusetts was the first current or former senator to endorse Trump. He was known in the Senate as a moderate, and he could help pick up votes with some in the less conservative wing of the Republican Party.

He has supported abortion rights and is in favor of banning assault weapons, but he carries a blue-collar, populist persona. Brown memorably drove a pickup truck to campaign events during his 2010 Senate run in Massachusetts, which was to fill a vacant seat.

Trump acknowledged that Brown may very well be his pick.

During a January event in New Hampshire, Trump said Brown was cut out of "central casting" and could be his vice president. Brown said at the time that Trump was "the next president of the United States."

(Photo by Keith Bedford/The Boston Globe via Getty Images)

Paul LePage

"I was Donald Trump before Donald Trump became popular," Gov. Paul LePage of Maine said while announcing his support for the GOP frontrunner last month on "The Howie Carr Show."

The governor is comparable to Trump when it comes to provocative remarks. In January, LePage found himself at the center of a national firestorm after he made some racially tinged comments about out-of-state drug dealers who come into Maine and "impregnate a young white girl" before leaving.

"Now I get to defend all the good stuff he says," LePage has said of Trump.

LePage also entered politics after a successful business career, but he was reportedly staunchly opposed to Trump's candidacy before suddenly coming on board.

(Photo by Shawn Patrick Ouellette/Portland Press Herald via Getty Images)

Mike Huckabee

Former Gov. Mike Huckabee of Arkansas, who was once in the 2016 GOP presidential race, has been defending Trump in recent weeks. Plus, his daughter is now working as a part of Trump's campaign.

Last week, BuzzFeed reported that advisers close to Huckabee thought the vice-president nod was in the cards for their guy.

Of all the former 2016 White House contenders, Huckabee may be closest to Trump ideologically. Huckabee struck a populist tone on cultural issues and, like Trump, vowed to protect Social Security and Medicare if elected.

(Photo by Christopher Furlong/Getty Images)

John Kasich

Aside from a few brushups in the fall, Gov. John Kasich of Ohio has barely touched Trump along the trail. The same can be said for Trump, whose most brutal attack against Kasich is that he "got lucky" because of the natural-gas reserves in his state.

It has been rumored that Trump would be interested in Kasich as his running mate, though Trump has also recently started criticizing Kasich on the campaign trail.

Kasich has the political experience that Trump says he's seeking. Kasich also hails from the Midwest, one of the most competitive regions in the past few presidential races.

(Photo by Scott Olson/Getty Images)

Rick Scott

It has been an ongoing rumor that Gov. Rick Scott of Florida will endorse Trump after Scott wrote a gushing op-ed article in USA Today in January.

Like Trump, Scott rose to power from the business world. But Scott also has clout in the largest general-election swing state. In addition, he has six years of government experience behind him after being elected to office in 2010.

Of note: The hospital company where Scott served as CEO had to pay a $1.7 billion Medicare fraud penalty in 2000.

(Photo by Joe Raedle/Getty Images)

Sarah Palin

We can dream, right?

John McCain's running mate in 2008, Sarah Palin was a big get for Trump when she endorsed the frontrunner over Ted Cruz, whom she had vigorously campaigned for during his Senate run in 2012.

If Trump is interested in a sharp break with the Republican establishment, picking Palin would certainly send that signal.

It's an open question, however, as to whether she boosted or hindered McCain's run during the 2008 race.

(Photo by Patrick T. Fallon/Bloomberg via Getty Images)

Oklahoma Republican Governor Mary Fallin makes remarks before the opening of the National Governors Association Winter Meeting in Washington, in this February 22, 2014 file photo. REUTERS/Mike Theiler/Files

Late last month, almost all projections forecast that Indiana would be a tough draw for Trump, as well as a must-win, yet favorable, state for Cruz.

The script flipped in the week leading up to the crucial vote, with Trump soaring ahead in the polls while picking up key endorsements such as legendary former Indiana University men's basketball coach Bobby Knight.

A recent NBC/Wall Street Journal poll found that Trump held a gigantic 15-point lead over the Texas senator. FiveThirtyEight gave Trump an 83% chance of winning the state based on its polls-plus model, and a 97% chance of winning based on its polls-only projection.

Trump assured supporters during a Monday rally that his campaign is "way ahead of projection" and that he would secure the Republican presidential nomination on the first ballot at the Republican National Convention in July.

"But if we win Indiana," he added, "it's over."

Knowing that the state, which votes Tuesday, could be the last stand of the "Never Trump" movement, Cruz and anti-Trump forces had gone all out to stop him. Cruz began last week by cutting an unprecedented deal with John Kasich, the Ohio governor.

The deal called for Kasich's campaign to pull out of Indiana, in hopes that his absence would give Cruz the boost he needed to pick up the crucial win. In exchange, Cruz would recede from both Oregon and New Mexico, which both hold contests later in the nominating process.

But less than a week after the deal was announced by both campaigns, the agreement had already collapsed.

The deal wasn't Cruz's only attempt at shifting Hoosier State polls, which showed that Trump held a more than 10-point average advantage leading up to the vote.

Last Wednesday, the Texas senator made another rare announcement. He named ex-presidential hopeful and former Hewlett-Packard CEO Carly Fiorina as his running mate, should he win the GOP nomination. (Both Cruz and Kasich are mathematically eliminated from securing the nomination ahead of the convention, so their potential nominations would have to come from subsequent ballots.)

Trump chastised Cruz for that move as well, calling it a "waste of time."

Based on the results in the state, both moves failed.

Now Trump, who may not have even needed many Indiana delegates, will leave the state with a plethora of them.

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