There’s currently discussion about this in seperate threads, but I thought this deserved its own discussion.
It would appear that Cruz was disappointed with his Indiana results, and so he dropped out. But all along, he was never going to win the required number of delegates. So it’s not as if the results of Indiana mattered. He was always going to try to keep Trump from 1254 (or whatever that number was) and then use his superior rule-gaming to try to yoink the nomination at a contested convention.
So why did he drop out now? Was Trump inevitably going to hit 1254? Did Republicans tell him he would never ever be the candidate from a contested convention? Seems like a weird time for him to concede.
I’ve been wondering if a contested convention would be better or worse for the Republicans. Obviously they want to just bypass the results of their primaries and pick someone else, Paul Ryan or whoever. But Trump has stirred up a lot of passion and it would really play into the anti-establishment theme of this election if they were to just ignore their voters and replace him with someone. I think the latter would’ve actually done more damage to the party - so many people would rabidly hate them for denying Trump what he won fairly.
Does this mean Trump is pretty much guaranteed to get the nomination on the first ballot?
Also, if he doesn’t think he’ll win, and therefore is looking to the future for his future, what helps him more? Graciously bowing out and biding his time, or spending another month being buried in sleaze and losing yet more states by shocking double-digit margins? Maybe he even had internal numbers suggesting that his good states like Nebraska were not looking like the sure things they used to be.
Did many of you hear the discussion (so to speak) between Cruz and a group of Indiana citizens? It hurt. It severely hurt.
Cruz was trying to talk, and they wouldn’t have it.
He’d say something general, like, “What do you need?” and they shot back, “You’ll find out tomorrow. Indiana don’t want you.”
Trump tried to make it a conversation. "The question everyone here should ask … "
“Are you Canadian?”
It was the only time this whole campaign I actually felt sympathy for the man. He was trying to engage, and got snuffed. And this is the heartland that he needed to make his own. When Indiana won’t even talk to you, you can’t be much of a Republican.
I wonder if that might have been the moment, in Cruz’ personal mind and experience, when he knew he was done.
Trump winning Indiana meant that New Jersey and California, where he appeared to have double-digit leads, would could put him over the 1237 delegates necessary to win the nomination on the first ballot. He was likely to win three or four of the remaining states besides, so no real chance for a contested convention without some fairly blatant rules-jiggering.
Nevertheless, I would have thought Cruz would stay in until California, or maybe just before. As Trinopus mentioned, that disheartening confrontation with Trump supporters may have had an influence on the timing.
My guess is that this means the Republican Party has accepted that Trump is going to be nominated and has decided to work with him rather than fight him. They’re going to start walking back all the anti-Trump rhetoric we’ve been hearing.
Cruz’ lifeline of support has been the Republican establishment; he doesn’t have his own personal support base. If they cut him off, his campaign was dead.