The Republican presidential field has winnowed down to just two candidates following Donald Trump's latest win in Indiana on 3 May. Trump took home a decisive win in the Hoosier State and was even declared the "presumptive" GOP candidate after rival Ted Cruz announced he was suspending his campaign.
The GOP frontrunner was declared the winner of the Indiana primary promptly at 7pm EDT/12am BST as the remaining polling stations closed. In pre-primary polls, Donald Trump led among his Republican rivals by as much as 15 points.
With 93.3% reporting, the real estate mogul maintained a 16.7 point lead against Ted Cruz, 53.3% to 36.6%. Outlier candidate and Ohio Governor John Kasich lagged far behind with just 7.5%.
Trump's latest win helped push him past the 1,000 delegate threshold and placed him on the verge of the necessary delegates needed to officially clinch the nomination. Prior to the primary, he led with 996 delegates, followed by Cruz with 565 and Kasich with 153. After winning the Hoosier State,
Trump nabbed at least 51 of the 57 delegates available, pushing him right in front with 1,047 delegates. The billionaire former reality TV star is expected to also take home the remaining six delegates. Republican candidates need 1,237 delegates to secure the party's nomination.
Cruz out but Kasich remains
The most surprising twist of the night arrived when Texas Senator Ted Cruz announced he was dropping his bid for the presidency. Cruz was the sole remaining GOP candidate who had the closest chance of thwarting Trump, but a string of losses in the last week essentially destroyed his chances. The senator made a last ditched attempt to revive his campaign following the 26 April primaries by choosing former rival Carly Fiorina as his running mate. Unfortunately, the move failed to help his campaign.
By dropping out, Cruz cleared the path for Trump to win the Republican nomination in the first round of voting at the GOP convention in July. Less than an hour after his decision to suspend his campaign was made public, Republican Party chairman Reince Priebus named Trump the "presumptive" GOP nominee and called on the party to "unite and focus on defeating" Democrat Hillary Clinton.
Unlike Cruz, Kasich announced early in the night that he would remain in the race until the convention. "Tonight's results are not going to alter Gov Kasich's campaign plans," a statement from his campaign said. "Our strategy has been and continues to be one that involves winning the nomination at an open convention. The comments from Trump, on the verge of winning in Indiana, heighten the differences between Governor Kasich and his positive, inclusive approach and the disrespectful ramblings from Donald Trump."
Kasich and Trump will face off once again on 10 May for the Nebraska and West Virginia primaries, where 36 and 34 delegates are at stake respectively. Polls show that Trump will easily take home a win in West Virginia, while there are no polls coming out of Nebraska.