Will Cruz's Dream Be Dead by Sunset?

He's staked everything on Indiana and is behind in the polls
By Rob Quinn,  Newser Staff
Posted May 3, 2016 5:15 AM CDT
Updated May 3, 2016 6:49 AM CDT
Indiana: Cruz's Last Stand?
Ted Cruz waves with his wife, Heidi, and daughters, Caroline, right, and Catherine, during a rally at the Indiana State Fairgrounds in Indianapolis on Monday.   (AP Photo/Michael Conroy)

Tuesday is primary day in Indiana, and it's not clear whether Ted Cruz's dream of being president will still be alive at sundown. Polls show that Donald Trump has pulled ahead in the state, and analysts, some of whom describe Indiana as Cruz's last stand, say it will be almost impossible to stop Trump reaching 1,237 delegates if he has a big win on Tuesday. Indiana awards 30 delegates to the statewide GOP winner and three to the winner of each of its nine congressional districts, adding up to 57 at stake. A roundup of coverage:

  • FiveThirtyEight calls the GOP vote a "desperate last stand for Ted Cruz and the #NeverTrump movement" and predicts that Trump will win enough districts to have a sizable delegate haul even if Cruz wins the state. Cruz's evangelical and conservative core supporters, however, are too concentrated geographically for him to sweep the state.

  • Cruz has been throwing everything he's got at Indiana, even naming a running mate, but Trump has been boosted both by his attacks on trade deals, which resonate in this manufacturing-heavy state, and his increasing "aura of inevitability," the Washington Post reports. "The Cruz team not only put all their chips in the Indiana basket, but they made it very clear how desperate they've become. They have tried everything imaginable," GOP operative Pete Seat tells the paper. "It feels like this is slipping away from Ted Cruz pretty rapidly."
  • The Guardian reports that Cruz was mocked Monday by Trump supporters who asked him if he was Canadian and told him he wasn't wanted in the state. He also struggled to deal with a 12-year-old heckler who shouted, "You suck!" and "Shut up!" Before police removed the boy from the rally, Cruz, who has two young daughters, said, "In my household, when a child behaves that way they get a spanking."
  • Cruz said on Monday that he is "in for the distance," Politico reports, but donors may prove unwilling to cough up more funds if he can't win on Tuesday. "If we lose Indiana, we have to do some soul searching," and things are looking "rough right now," according to a top Cruz aide.
  • The Indianapolis Star reports that prominent conservative political commentator Gary Welsh died on Sunday in an apparent suicide after predicting a Trump victory. "If I'm not around to see the vote results," he wrote in his final post at his Advance Indiana blog, "my prediction is that Trump wins Indiana with just shy of 50% of the vote."
  • The New York Times reports that the Democratic race is also tight, but although Bernie Sanders needs to regain momentum after recent Hillary Clinton wins, votes in Sanders-friendly states like West Virginia and Oregon are on the way after Indiana.
(Read more Election 2016 stories.)

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