Well, that fateful night is finally upon us. For more than a week, the Ted Cruz presidential campaign has been positioning the state of Indiana as the site of its last stand, where they'd mount their final, best effort to deny Republican frontrunner Donald Trump the 1,237 delegate majority he needs to secure the GOP nomination outright. And from the looks of things, it did not work — Trump won the Indiana primary by a wide margin on Tuesday night. So, how many delegates did Donald Trump win?
The state of Indiana uses a relatively unique system of delegate allocation, so it's a very good question. Indiana Republicans use a hybrid system, combining a statewide winner-take-all prize of 30 pledged delegates, and a winner-take-all system at the congressional district level awarding another 27. That makes 57 in total, and if Trump manages to claim just 44 of them, he'd become the only GOP candidate to cross the 1,000 delegate threshold.
Simply put, the implications of a big night for Trump would be huge — if he sweeps the state, he'd exit Tuesday night needing just 42 percent of the remaining pledged delegates on the schedule to get to 1,237, all while he seems to be hitting his stride in these state-level contests.
So, how many delegates did Trump snap up in the Hoosier State? In simple terms, it's looking like an out-and-out domination of his Republican rivals. He's already secured no less than 51 pledged delegates out of the 57 available, according to The New York Times, with 95 percent of precincts reporting. That means he will indeed surpass that 1,000 delegate threshold, and he's got a wide-open, virtually can't-miss route to the nomination with just nine states remaining. Nothing short of an all-out implosion would be likely to halt his march to 1,237 at this point, and Trump above all other politicians seems impervious to all-out implosions.
Simply put, it's incredibly hard to imagine how he could be denied at this point, meaning the seemingly deliberate decision by so many of Trump's rivals throughout the primary process to stay hands-off with him looks all the worse. In fact, immediately following Trump's big Indiana win, the bottom finally fell out — Texas senator Ted Cruz suspended his presidential campaign.
Clearly, the GOP establishment and the campaigns themselves kept assuming that at some point, the lights would flick on, all the conventional rules of politics would once again matter, and Trump's insurgent run would crumble into dust. But instead, it looks as though he's headed for a coronation at July's Republican National Convention in Cleveland, albeit a deeply contentious one.
More to come ...