Republican presidential candidate Ted Cruz said on Wednesday (20 April) that neither he nor Donald Trump could win the nomination outright, and that the Republican National Convention in Cleveland will be contested.
Cruz referred to the number of delegates, 1237, needed to lock down the Republican nomination at a news conference in Hollywood, Florida. He said: "What is clear today is that we are headed to a contested convention. Nobody is able to reach 1237. I'm not going to reach 1237 and Donald Trump is not going to reach 1237.
"We're going to arrive in Cleveland with me having a ton of delegates and Donald with a ton of delegates. And at that point it is going to be a battle to see who can earn the support of a majority of delegates elected by the people. I believe we will have a tremendous advantage in that battle,"
The comment marks a change for the Texas senator who has been saying he was on the path to win the nomination. Trump's crushing defeat of Ted Cruz in the New York primary tilted the energy in the Republican race back to the front-runner.
Trump's win marked a rebound from his Wisconsin defeat two weeks ago and set him up for another big night on 26 April, when Pennsylvania, Connecticut, Rhode Island, Delaware, and Maryland hold primaries. Cruz said the map next week is in the billionaire businessman's favour but that Trump cannot win after that as the race moves west.
"In order to win the nomination you have to earn a majority. Now there is a reason you have to earn a majority. To be a strong and effective candidate you have put together a majority, assemble a majority," Cruz said.
"He can't earn a majority. He knows he can't earn a majority. Donald is a niche candidate. He gets about a third of the votes in any given state but he can't expand that to be a majority. To win you have to have a broad tent," he added.
New York boosted Trump's delegate tally to 845, while Cruz has 559 and John Kasich 147, according to the AP. The next contests offer 172 delegates for Republicans and more than 460 for Democrats.