Following a crushing loss in Indiana Tuesday, Ted Cruz announced in Indianapolis that he is suspending his campaign for president of the United States. This leaves Donald Trump as the clear front-runner to take the Republican Party's nomination.
Cruz spent the last several weeks campaigning hard in Indiana. Even fellow candidate John Kasich stopped campaigning in Indiana to allow Cruz to go one-on-one against Trump. Despite their efforts, Cruz came well short of catching Trump in Indiana.
Trump on his way to becoming the nominee-in-waiting
"From the beginning, I said that I would continue as long as there was a viable path to victory. Tonight, I am sorry to say it appears that path has been foreclosed," Cruz said. "Together, we left it all on the field in Indiana. We gave it everything we got, but the voters chose another path," Cruz added, with groans coming from the audience. "And so with a heavy heart, but with boundless optimism for the future of our nation, we are suspending our campaign."
At his victory speech Tuesday, Trump was complementary towards Cruz, despite claiming Cruz is a liar for much of the campaign.
"Ted Cruz is one hell of a competitor," Trump said. "He is a tough, smart guy. He has an amazing future."
Trump called on the party to unify following Cruz's departure.
"What Ted did was a brave thing to do, and a great thing to do," Trump said. "We need unity in the Republican Party."
Kasich remains in the race, but is well behind Trump in the delegate count. Kasich told members of the media on Tuesday that he is not planning on dropping out.
Sen.Ted Cruz should be proud of his strong and disciplined campaign," Kasich said in a tweet. "Texas is lucky to have you. Best wishes going forward"
Cruz's announcement came less than a week after his announcement that former candidate Carly Fiorina would join his campaign as his running mate. The Fiorina pick came just hours after Cruz was demolished by Trump in five northeastern states.
"We came together as fellow Warriors in a cause to save the soul of our party, the character and the future of our nation. And that cause continues," Fiorina said.
Trump came into Tuesday's primary with 1002 delegates, while Cruz had just 565. Going into the New York Primary on April 19, Cruz was just 200 delegates behind Trump. After dominating wins in six states plus Indiana, Cruz opted to exit the presidential race.
All of Cruz's 565 delegates now become unbound and can vote for any candidate at the GOP Convention in Cleveland.
"When we launched this campaign 13 months, ago, we saw a movement grow. The pundits said this was hopeless we had 300,000 volunteers across the nation, over 1.5 million contributions averaging about $60 each," Cruz said.
Following the Indiana primary, there are still nine state races remaining, including the state of California.
GOP leaders are beginning to rally around Trump despite past quarrels.
"Donald Trump will be presumptive GOP nominee, we all need to unite and focus on defeating Hillary Clinton," GOP chair Reince Priebus tweeted.
Justin Boggs is a writer for the E.W. Scripps National Desk. Follow him on Twitter @jjboggs or on Facebook.