Cruz and Kasich drop out: what happened and what comes next


Drew Jackson

According to CNN, with Ted Cruz and John Kasich having dropped out, Donald Trump is now the presumptive Republican nominee.

Jason Zappulla, Staff Writer


On the night of Tuesday, May 3, Indiana had its Republican and Democratic primaries. According to, business mogul Donald Trump emerged victorious on the Republican side, while Vermont Senator Bernie Sanders won on the Democratic side. As the votes came in, and a Trump victory became clear, Texas Senator Ted Cruz announced he was dropping out of the presidential race after a disappointing showing in Indiana. While it was clear for some time now that it was impossible for Cruz to outright win the nomination (a claim initially made by Trump and mostly verified by PolitiFact), Cruz and fellow Republican candidate and Governor of Ohio John Kasich stayed in the race in the hope of denying Trump delegates, causing Trump to fall short of a majority and forcing a contested convention (which, in a nutshell, is when delegates are no longer obligated to vote according to the voters, and can vote however they like) where Trump will likely lose the nomination; to this end, Kasich and Cruz even briefly united to combat Trump. Indiana had been a battleground for the #NeverTrump movement, with some (such as FiveThirtyEight) predicting that a Cruz win in Indiana could show that Trump was not invincible, and his momentum could be stopped. Now Cruz, the main representative of #NeverTrump, is gone. Though John Kasich had previously said he will not drop out, the Ohio Governor announced he was ending his presidential run about a day after Indiana. At the same time, Republican National Committee Chairman Reince Priebus tweeted a message urging the party to support Trump, signifying that the party establishment may finally be rallying around Trump.

That said, some may wonder how Ted Cruz got this far. At the end of the day, Cruz was and (despite some support from the establishment later into the campaign) is a factional candidate, attracting very few outside voters out “very conservative” voters. In fact, much of the recent race was a race of factional candidates: Kasich was little known, and regardless, by the time he dropped out Kasich (much like Cruz) had been mathematically eliminated from gaining a majority of delegates and getting the nomination. In the end, it may have been only Kasich’s long-shot odds that led the party elite to support Ted Cruz and make him the chief representative of #NeverTrump, despite Cruz being one of the most hated people among his peers in Congress. Now that hope is lost, and Trump is the last man standing.

With both Kasich and Cruz gone, Trump is effectively unopposed, becoming the presumptive Republican nominee for president. However, as I discussed in a previous piece, Clinton is solidly beating Trump in the polls, and the polling hasn’t changed much since I wrote my article in March; as of May 8, Clinton leads Trump by a sizeable margin in 5 out of 6 polls, with the one poll that shows Trump leading being within the margin of error (MoE). The Republican race may be over, but the battle for the presidency will be a whole new challenge for Donald Trump. Can he emerge from behind to beat Hillary Clinton? Only time will tell, but the numbers don’t favor The Donald.