Texas Sen. Ted Cruz admits he’s putting all his eggs into Indiana, but a new poll suggests a win Tuesday in the Hoosier State’s Republican presidential primary against front-runner Donald Trump may be too high a mountain to climb.
“I’m barnstorming the state,” Cruz said on ABC’s “This Week.” “I’m in a bus with my family, doing everything we can to earn the votes of the men and the women in this state. We are competing hard here. I hope we do well here.”
He made the comments the same day as a new NBC/Wall Street Journal/Marist poll showing Trump leading him by 15 percentage points in Indiana, 49-to-34 percent.
Cruz suggested last week that Indiana will decide the GOP presidential contest among him, Trump and Ohio Gov. John Kasich.
Amid the latest polls, Cruz still stopped short Sunday of saying he must win Indiana to stay in the race after suggesting last week that it was make-or-break.
“It gives me great comfort that this primary is going to be decided by the Midwestern common sense of the Hoosier State,” Cruz told Fox News on Friday, though he did not say definitively whether he would drop out if he loses Indiana.
To be sure, much is at stake before Cruz beyond the 57 delegates up for grabs Tuesday.
He has so far won 10 state contests, but nothing since the Wisconsin primary in early April, while Trump has since won convincingly in New York and in the five Northeast states that held primaries last week.
Last week, Cruz tried to regain some momentum by naming former primary rival Carly Fiorina as his running mate and announcing an endorsement by Indiana Gov. Mike Pence. And his campaign has worked out a deal in which the Kasich campaign will allow Cruz to try to beat Trump one-on-one in Indiana.
Cruz also attacked Trump, saying he talks about stopping the Carrier company from leaving for Mexico but has no plan.
“He has no economic policy to bring back those jobs,” said Cruz, who has increasingly argued that Trump, a billionaire businessman, is as much a Washington insider as Democratic presidential front-runner Hillary Clinton, a former first lady and secretary of state.