Ted Cruz is suspending his presidential bid after a disappointing Indiana loss, clearing the way for Donald Trump to be the likely Republican nominee.
Telling supporters that he had long said he would only continue in the race if there was a viable patch, he said “tonight I’m sorry to say it appears that path has been foreclosed.”
The Texas senator’s exit is a major blow for #NeverTrump forces who had hoped to stop the controversial real estate mogul’s march to the nomination. But as the primary slog wore on, both Cruz and Ohio Gov. John Kasich — who remains in the race though he’s far behind in delegates — were mathematically eliminated from getting the 1,237 delegates on the first convention ballot.
Cruz began as one of a handful of “outsider” candidates who had hoped to ride an anti-Washington mood to the nomination. Even though he was a sitting U.S. senator, Cruz hadn’t made many friends ever since he was elected in 2012 though, famously leading the charge against Obamacare’s implementation, which ultimately led to a 16-day government shutdown.
The first Republican candidate to launch his White House bid last March at Liberty University, Cruz worked hard to appeal to conservative voters and especially evangelicals. But as the primary wore on, he was losing even many of those voters to Trump too, despite his history of infidelity, salty language, casinos and more.
The apex of Cruz’s White House campaign was a victory in the Iowa caucuses, which solidified him as the conservative alternative to Trump in the race. He had built a sophisticated get-out-the-vote and data targeting operation that helped him win there and in other states.
And even as Trump continued to pile up victories, Cruz’s superior organization became apparent, as he beat Trump in many state-level delegate races as he looked to topple Trump at the convention.
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