WASHINGTON, May 3, 2016 — After weeks of intense one-on-one battles with GOP front-runner Donald Trump, Texas Sen. Ted Cruz announced he is dropping out of the GOP race for the White House. Cruz was served a decisive loss in Indiana and announced that there was no longer a “viable path to victory.” He was expected to pursue the fight all the way to the convention, but his recent string of overwhelming losses left him incapable of clinching the nomination outright.
— Ted Cruz (@tedcruz) May 3, 2016
Cruz lost Indiana after pulling out all the stops. He struck a nonaggression pact with John Kasich. He bought TV ads. His supportive super PACs bought TV ads. He blitzed the Sunday shows. He barnstormed the state on a bus tour. He got the governor’s endorsement. He even named his running mate. Losing despite all that represented the final nail in the coffin of his months-long claim that conservatives were coalescing around his insurgent candidacy.
Lyin' Ted Cruz consistently said that he will, and must, win Indiana. If he doesn't he should drop out of the race-stop wasting time & money
— Donald J. Trump (@realDonaldTrump) May 3, 2016
Cruz, a tea party favorite, had hoped to cobble together a winning coalition by consolidating the evangelical and libertarian wings of the Republican Party while racking up commanding wins in the South. He was ultimately unable to achieve any of those things. Exit polls on Tuesday night showed that Indiana’s evangelical voters split their votes evenly between Trump and Cruz. The Texas senator had the edge among late deciders, who made up a quarter of voters, but it wasn’t enough.
In his last day on the campaign trail, Cruz unloaded on Trump, calling the businessman a ”pathological liar” and a “narcissist” who is proud of being a “serial philanderer.” The attacks were reminiscent of the broadsides Sen. Marco Rubio launched against Trump in the waning days of his own campaign. Cruz laced into Trump across the state, criticizing the endorsement he received from boxer Mike Tyson, who served time in prison in Indiana on a rape conviction, and decrying Trump as an insecure bully.
The Fiorina announcement, meant to revive Cruz’s flagging candidacy in the state, gave it no discernable boost. The two barnstormed around the state, where Cruz faced less than enthusiastic crowds and confronted a pro-Trump protester in Marion.
Cruz’s decision to exit comes after his announcement that Carly Fiorina would be his running mate, despite the fact that he didn’t have the nomination. Rather than rally around Cruz and Fiorina, voters abandoned him.
With Cruz officially out, Trump will now turn his artillery on Democratic front-runner Hillary Clinton. Trump has an opportunity to rebrand the GOP and unite voters who are fighting to keep Clinton out of the White House.
Cruz’s failure follows his attempt to form an alliance with John Kasich, which was aimed at keeping Trump from reaching the 1,237 delegates needed to clinch the nomination. Trump’s rise shows that America is ready for an outsider, someone without ties to the Washington establishment who will speak to issues that voters actually care about. Those issues are America, jobs and immigration, not ideology, transgender bathrooms or a war on women.
The voters have found their voice, and that voice is Trump.