Donald Trump’s campaign expects him to easily surpass the 1,237 delegates needed to win the Republican presidential nomination, campaign manager Corey Lewandowski says on CNN.
The balloting comes as establishment forces appear increasingly resigned to the likelihood of Trump being the GOP nominee.
Ted Cruz has described Tuesday’s Indiana primary as “the one thing that stands between us and plunging over the cliff.” The Texas senator and others trying to block Donald Trump from the Republican presidential nomination may be about to fall in.
The outcome in Indiana, where balloting across two time zones will end at 7 p.m. Eastern time, could yield a deciding moment as the race enters the home stretch.
The voting comes as Republican establishment forces appear increasingly resigned to the likelihood of Trump as their nominee, while the ragtag coalition of donors and others that comprise the “stop Trump” movement is making what would seem to be its last stand.
A Cruz loss could make the billionaire all but unstoppable in his quest to win the 1,237 delegates needed for the nomination, while a Trump defeat could rekindle the prospect of a contested Republican National Convention in July.
“The Cruz forces are the most well-organized in conventional political tactics, but in a year that defies convention at every step, the Trump phenomenon of mass rallies and digital media seem to have taken hold,” said John Hammond, a Republican National Committee member from Indiana who has not endorsed a presidential candidate. “The demographic in the Hoosier State leans toward Trump.”
Hammond said it’s too soon to say Trump’s nomination is inevitable. “But there is a growing chorus of national Republican realists and strategists who think he can’t be stopped,” he said. “They are filled with anxiety by what that outcome portends for the result in November against Clinton.”
Both Trump and Cruz spent most of the past week in the state, with Trump headlining two rallies there Monday. His message has focused heavily on manufacturing losses, including 1,400 jobs at a Carrier Corp. plant in Indianapolis.