Ted Cruz on Tuesday night dropped out of the presidential race, ending one of the best-organized campaigns of 2016 after a series of stinging defeats left Donald Trump as the only candidate capable of clinching the nomination outright.
Cruz had appeared likely to go all the way to the Republican convention, but a string of massive losses in the Northeast, and his subsequent defeat in Indiana, appear to have convinced him there’s no way forward.
“From the beginning I’ve said that I would continue on as long as there was a viable path to victory,” Cruz said, with his wife Heidi by his side. “Tonight I’m sorry to say it appears that path has been foreclosed.”
“With a heavy heart but with boundless optimism for the long-term future of our nation, we are suspending our campaign.”
John Kasich, however, pledged on Tuesday night to stay in the race until a candidate reaches 1,237 bound delegates.
From the start, Cruz has premised his candidacy on the idea that 2016 would be an election driven by resentment toward the established GOP order. It was a strategy that looked prescient as Cruz steadily rose in the polls throughout 2015 and broke into the top tier in Iowa in early 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.