Elections

Joe Raedle/Getty Images

Donald Trump dealt Ted Cruz's campaign a fatal loss with his victory in the Indiana GOP primary. Later on Tuesday night, The Texas senator suspended his bid for the White House.

In the Democratic race, Bernie Sanders beat Hillary Clinton, but his victory still won't be enough to close the yawning gap between the two.

Indiana proved decisive in the GOP contest. With his Indiana victory, Trump crossed the 1,000-delegate threshold. He's 84 percent of the way to getting the 1,237 delegates he needs, and he needs just 37 percent of the remaining delegates to get there. It was already mathematically impossible for either Cruz or Ohio Sen. John Kasich to get a majority of delegates on the first convention ballot.

After Cruz suspended his campaign, Republican National Committee Chairman Reince Priebus tweeted that Trump would be the GOP's presumptive nominee and that the party should unite behind him.

Ariel Zambelich/NPR

Ted Cruz is suspending his presidential bid after a disappointing Indiana loss, clearing the way for Donald Trump to be the likely Republican nominee.

"From the beginning I've said that I would continue on as long as there was a viable path to victory," Cruz told supporters gathered in the Hoosier State. "Tonight I'm sorry to say it appears that path has been foreclosed.

"With a heavy heart but with boundless optimism for the long-term future of our nation, we are suspending our campaign," he continued.

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 is far behind in delegates — were mathematically eliminated from getting the 1,237 delegates on the first convention ballot.

Paul Sancya/AP

Every week, we say the next race is pivotal, perhaps decisive even. Every week, it's... true, but in different ways.

This week really could be decisive for Donald Trump and potentially the last stand for the #NeverTrump movement. That's because if Trump sweeps all 57 Indiana delegates Tuesday (the second most delegates in any remaining GOP contest behind California), his path to the nomination would be very clear. He would have crossed the 1,000-delegate threshold and be 85 percent of the way to the magic number of 1,237 needed for the Republican nomination with nine contests remaining.

For the Democrats, even a Bernie Sanders win in Indiana, which is possible, won't do much to change the reality of the trajectory of the race. Sanders would likely wake up the next day with a steeper hill to climb and needing two-thirds of all remaining pledged delegates just for a majority of pledged delegates (and that's to say nothing of superdelegates).

Here's how this week's primary — Indiana — could shift things, by the numbers:

Darron Cummings/AP

Political attention turns to the Hoosier State on Tuesday night, where both the Indiana Republican and Democratic presidential primary contests could be especially consequential.

Ted Cruz needs a victory over Donald Trump to stop the latter's march to the GOP nomination, but he's trailing in polls. The Democratic contest is closer, with Bernie Sanders and Hillary Clinton running neck and neck.

There's an important Republican Senate primary to keep an eye on, too. Here are four things we'll be watching on Tuesday night:

1. How much will Donald Trump grow his delegate lead?

This could well be the last stand for the #NeverTrump forces. They've poured millions into the Hoosier State but may well still come up short in one of their last best hopes to scramble Trump's delegate math equations.

Scott Olson / Getty Images

Democratic presidential candidate Bernie Sanders brought his call for a political revolution to Evansville Monday.

Speaking a day before Indiana’s primary, Sanders told an estimated crowd of more than 3,000 people that the country will be watching tomorrow to see who the Hoosier State supports.

The Evansville Courier and Press reports Sanders told the crowd at Old National Events Plaza that America needs less corporate greed, and a $15-an-hour minimum wage.

Sanders is trailing Hillary Clinton by about 300 pledged delegates.

But Clinton has a huge advantage in support among superdelegates---the Democratic Party leaders who can back any candidate they like at the party’s nominating convention.

Taylor Glascock for NPR

Many manufacturing towns dot the cornfields and highways of Indiana, which holds its presidential primary Tuesday, but two in particular tell the story of very different economic fortunes, and political ties.

Kokomo is an old auto town touched by President Obama's push to bail out the auto industry. And Gary is a rundown steel city with unusual ties to Republican frontrunner Donald Trump, who tried to jump start the city's economy in the '90s and '00s.

But, that doesn't mean the presidential politics there line up with their benefactors.

Indiana is the country's leading manufacturing state per capita — more than 17 percent of Hoosiers work in the industry. And despite recent global trends, manufacturing remains a major influence in the state's economy — as well as its presidential politics.

As Gary got rusty, Trump came ... and went

Gary, Ind. is a city built by U.S. steel on the south shore of Lake Michigan.

Hillary Clinton to Campaign in Appalachia

Apr 29, 2016
Hillary Clinton campaign

Hillary Clinton will campaign in Kentucky, West Virginia and Ohio next week.

The front-runner for the Democratic presidential nomination is scheduled to visit Ashland, Kentucky, and Williamson, West Virginia, on Monday. She will visit West Virginia and Ohio on Tuesday, but details of those stops are not yet available.

In a news release, the campaign said Clinton will meet with voters and discuss her plans to raise incomes for people in overlooked or underserved communities. The Appalachian region has been economically devastated by the decline in the coal industry.

Republicans have criticized Clinton for her comments earlier this year that her policies would put a lot of coal miners and coal companies out of business. Clinton later said she was mistaken and said she is committed to coalfield workers and communities.

Darron Cummings/AP

Ahead of the potentially pivotal Indiana primary Tuesday, Indiana Gov. Mike Pence announced he will be voting for Republican candidate Ted Cruz.

"This is a time for choosing," Pence said on WIBC radio in Indianapolis. He called Cruz, a senator from Texas, a "principled conservative" who "stood up for taxpayers" in fighting spending in Washington, said he was "very impressed" with his "knowledge and devotion" to the Constitution and his "strong, unwavering stand" against abortion rights.

But Pence seemed to go out of his way to praise Republican front-runner Donald Trump. He also stressed that his endorsement was not intended to sway the votes of Indiana Republicans.

"I respect the right of every Hoosier in making their determination," Pence said, adding, "I encourage everyone to make up their own mind."

In fact, Pence mentioned Trump before mentioning his endorsement of Cruz.

Ryland Barton, WKU Public Radio

Ahead of Kentucky’s May 17 Democratic presidential primary, Chelsea Clinton stopped in Lexington on Friday to stump for her mother, Hillary Clinton.

Speaking to about 200 people crowded into Clinton’s storefront field office, the younger Clinton called this year’s presidential election the most important of her lifetime.

“If I think about healthcare or education or our economy or women’s rights, I worry that all of that is currently under threat,” she said.

During her 2008 presidential run, Hillary Clinton took 65 percent of the vote over Barack Obama in the Kentucky primary election, though Obama was already the presumed nominee.

Hillary has a big lead over Vermont Sen. Bernie Sanders in the delegate count: 2,165 to 1,357, with 1,243 still available. The candidates need to get 2,383 delegates to secure the nomination. Kentucky is expected to send 60 delegates to the Democratic National Convention.

Julie Jacobson/AP

Lately, it's been a political guessing game of which Donald Trump is going to show up.

In the past 24 hours alone, the whiplash between what rival-turned-uneven-surrogate Ben Carson called the "two different Donald Trumps" was on bold display.

From a serious foreign policy address in the morning, he returned just hours later to his regular slapstick mockery of his rivals. But as Trump moves even closer to securing his party's White House nomination, the unpredictable dichotomy is one that's sure to worry GOP leaders, anxious over which Trump will show up when it matters most in November.

On Wednesday evening, it was pure, unfiltered Trump who took the stage in Indiana. Hoosier legend, former Indiana University basketball coach Bobby Knight (whose own temper is controversial in itself), introduced him, endorsing the real estate mogul as "the most prepared man in history to step in as president of the United States."

"There has never been a more honest politician than Donald Trump," said Knight, who was fired from IU in 2000 after "uncivil, defiant and unacceptable" behavior that included allegedly choking a player.

Creative Commons

The daughter of former President Bill Clinton and former Secretary of State Hillary Clinton has plans to visit Kentucky this week.

The Lexington Herald-Leader reports Chelsea Clinton will visit Lexington to help open the Hillary for Kentucky Lexington office in her mother's Democratic presidential campaign.

The event is to start at 10:15 a.m. Friday at 1301 Winchester Road.

She is attending a private fundraiser later Friday at the Frankfort home of former Lt. Gov. Crit Luallen and her husband, Lynn Luallen.

Kentucky's primary election is May 17.

John Taggart/Bloomberg via Getty Images and Matt Rourke/AP

Everyone knew Iowa would matter — and New Hampshire, too. The other February contests got a lot of attention, as did Super Tuesday and the mega-states like New York. And, yes, late in the season, you heard people saying, it might all come down to California.

But when did anyone know to get excited about Indiana?

It comes late in the season, with the great majority of states voting sooner and allocating the great majority of delegates, so no one seemed to give a hoot about the Hoosier State — the one and only primary on May 3.

But it has come down to this. The months of campaigning and the millions of dollars and TV hours have brought the contest to the doorstep of the Midwest. With its mix of farmland and once-mighty industrial base, Indiana looks like the last stand for die-hards in both the stop-Trump forces of the Republican Party and the populist revolt on the left of the Democratic Party.

That is because the last two weeks of events in April have combined to put front-runners Donald Trump and Hillary Clinton so far ahead in their respective parties that only the most extraordinary events could prevent their nominations.

Bernie Sanders Campaign

For the third month in a row, Vermont Sen. Bernie Sanders raised more money in Kentucky than any of the other presidential candidates — and his Bluegrass cash flow is accelerating.

According to the latest data from the Federal Election Commission, Sanders raised $126,639 from Kentucky donors in March, more than the combined receipts of former Secretary of State Hillary Clinton, Donald Trump, Texas Sen. Ted Cruz and Ohio Gov. John Kasich. Together they received $119,369.

Sanders’ Kentucky contributions overall still trail Clinton’s by about $92,000, but he is making up ground fast. As of Dec. 31, his Kentucky intake was only 28 percent of Clinton’s. As of March 31, it was 79 percent. He has outraised the three remaining Republican candidates in Kentucky $352,236 to $343,325.

“I think Kentucky is especially engaged in a way that I haven’t seen in a couple of the other states that I’ve been in,” said Kass Bessert, director of the Sanders campaign in Kentucky. “We’re seeing people get involved in politics who have never felt empowered or involved to this extent.”

Manuel Balce Ceneta/AP

Five delegate-rich states on the East Coast will vote Tuesday: Maryland, Pennsylvania, Delaware, Rhode Island and Connecticut. Call it the "Acela Primary" for the train that runs through those states.

There's a lot at stake. Here are four things we're watching:

1. Can Donald Trump wrap up the GOP nomination?

Not literally — he would still need to get to 1,237 delegates to win on the first ballot at the Republican convention this summer. But he's in good shape for Tuesday's primaries. He's been leading in all the states that vote today, and a sweep of these five Mid-Atlantic and New England states will put him well on the way to crushing the hopes of the #NeverTrump movement.

Trump currently has about 845 delegates (see breakdown here), and needs fewer than 400 to clear the 1,237 hurdle.

Pennsylvania is a bit of a wild card. The winner of the state's "primary preference vote" gets 17 at-large delegates who are bound to vote for the winner on the first ballot this summer. But the rest of the state's 54 delegates — three from each congressional district — are unbound. And there is no information on the Pennsylvania ballot about whom a delegate will support at the convention. (Democratic delegates in Pennsylvania, on the other hand, actually commit to a candidate).

Former President Bill Clinton is expected to be in Evansville Tuesday afternoon to drum up support for his wife Hillary Clinton before next week's presidential primary.

Vanderburgh County Democratic Party officials confirm Clinton will be in town for about four hours making multiple stops. It hasn't been confirmed yet if there will also be a rally.

On the Republican side, Donald Trump is reportedly planning a stop in Evansville Thursday.

Trump is set to appear in Indianapolis Wednesday night and executives with the Ford Center in Evansville say they're talking with campaign officials about a potential rally at the arena Thursday but nothing's been finalized.

Texas Senator Ted Cruz spoke to about 1,200 people in Evansville Sunday night.

Indiana's presidential primary is next Tuesday, May 3.

Pages