Donald Trump Wins Indiana

Donald Trump
Donald Trump / AP

Donald Trump was projected to be the winner of the Republican primary in Indiana Tuesday, dealing a blow to Sen. Ted Cruz (R., Texas) in the winner-take-most state.

A flurry of networks called the race in favor of Trump after polls closed at 7 p.m. EST. Trump captured 53 percent of the vote, while Cruz and Ohio Gov. John Kasich trailed behind with 37 percent and 8 percent, respectively.

Shortly after the results out of Indiana, Cruz announced that he would suspend his campaign for president.

"From the beginning, I’ve said that I would continue on as long as there was a viable path to victory," Cruz said during remarks from Indianapolis. "Tonight, I’m sorry to say, it appears that path has been foreclosed. Together, we left it all on the field in Indiana."

Cruz and Trump had engaged in an increasingly nasty spat with one another in recent days. On Tuesday, Trump criticized Cruz’s father Rafael for appealing to evangelical voters to cast ballots for his son, labeling him "disgraceful."

Trump also implied that Rafael Cruz helped Lee Harvey Oswald, who assassinated John F. Kennedy, by referencing an unconfirmed tabloid report that the Texas senator’s father was pictured with Oswald prior to the assassination.

The comments prompted Ted Cruz to label Trump a "pathological liar," a "narcissist," and a "serial philanderer" during a news conference in Indiana later Tuesday.

"This man is a pathological liar, he doesn’t know the difference between truth and lies … in a pattern that is straight out of a psychology textbook, he accuses everyone of lying," Cruz said. "Donald is a bully … bullies don’t come from strength. They come from weakness."

Trump had a clear advantage in Indiana going into Tuesday’s voting. Recent polling had the business mogul beating Cruz by as many as 17 percentage points among likely primary voters in the state.

Cruz sought to boost his support in recent days following Trump’s sweep of the five states that voted in the so-called "Acela primary" last Tuesday. The Texas lawmaker announced last week that Carly Fiorina, a former GOP presidential candidate, would be his running mate should he win the Republican nomination for president.

Trump’s victory in Indiana, and Cruz’s exit from the race, pave the path for Trump to reach the 1,237 delegates he needs to capture the nomination outright. The Republican National Committee declared Trump the "presumptive GOP nominee" Tuesday night and encouraged party members to rally around him.

The Cruz and Kasich campaigns allied against Trump last week, the former committing its resources to Indiana and pledging to clear the path for a Kasich victory in Oregon and New Mexico. Cruz remains Trump’s chief competitor in the race while Kasich has won only his home state of Ohio.

The Kasich campaign put out a statement Tuesday evening saying that the results out of Indiana "are not going to alter Gov. Kasich’s campaign plans."

"Our strategy has been and continues to be one that involves winning the nomination at an open convention," John Weaver, Kasich’s chief strategist, said in the statement. "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."