Yes folks the unimaginable has happened. The unstoppable Trump juggernaut has smashed all of the competition like a giant rolling boulder, leaving the Ted Cruz and John Kasich campaigns dazed and broken after this week’s primary in Indiana. The big surprise of the night was obviously Cruz surrendering the race to Trump, leaving the way clear for Trump to become the presumptive nominee. Preemptively anointing Carly Fiorina as his running mate hadn’t worked; teaming up with Kasich so that only one of them was campaigning in the state hadn’t worked; an awkward, reluctant endorsement from the state’s governor hadn’t worked; talking about basketball rings in front of Hoosier fans hadn’t worked; even having a meltdown and calling Trump a pathological liar on national TV hadn’t worked; so Cruz was left with no other choice but to suspend his campaign.
On the Democratic side the race was tighter. Bernie Sanders bested Hillary Clinton in Indiana 53% to 47%. While he has almost no hope of wresting the nomination away from the delegate-laden front runner, this upset proves that Sanders fans are not yet willing to give up on their revolutionary leader. And despite Clinton saying over and over that she doesn’t take the front runner status for granted, she is already making moves to set up a shadow campaign to get ready for the general election and a Trump take-down – failing to prepare is preparing to fail right? But at the risk of counting too many unhatched chickens, Clinton should also prepare for the battle to bring Sanders voters onto her side, a challenge which will take more than a conciliatory speech and a bullwhip to overcome.
Once again Donald Trump won over 50% of the vote, following a pattern that has emerged during recent weeks of voting. Cruz’s decision to hinge his entire campaign on Indiana meant that a humiliating loss forced him to suspend his campaign. Kasich bowed to pressure and followed suit a day later despite promising to hang on to the bitter end. So Trump is the winner by default (*facepalm*). The GOP is now split between those who want Trump and those who are forced to accept him for the good of the party, because anything is better than another Clinton presidency. Sure he still has to get 1,237 delegates but no one doubts that he’ll reach that number. But rejection by the House speaker, the Bush family and a number of other big donors and Republican elites bodes ill for the Trump train as it turns toward a general election and a wider voting audience. Still, the establishment should beware the will of the angry voter, and ignore them at its peril.
Not ready to say goodbye to Indy yet? Movie for your mood: Raiders of the Lost Ark