Trump set for Republican nomination as Cruz quits
WASHINGTONUNITED States billionaire Donald Trump is the presumptive Republican presidential nominee following the crashing out of challenger Ted Cruz from the 2016 White House race.
Although Mr Trump has not formally secured the 1,237 delegates he needs to win the Republican nomination in July - short by about 180 after Indiana - there is no serious opposition left to block his path, the Central News Network (CNN) pointed out.
In fact, according to New York Post, even before Mr Cruz pulled out, the real estate mogul was on track to win the Nebraska primary next week and most of the remaining contests - all the way to huge victories in California and New Jersey on June 7.
Republican National Committee chairman Reince Priebus also declared the race over, saying on Twitter that Mr Trump would be the party's presumptive nominee.
Mr Cruz had been hoping to use Indiana as a firewall to block Mr Trump's march.
But the count by Tuesday night revealed that Mr Trump took 53.1 per cent of the Indiana vote while Mr Cruz attained 36.6 per cent and Ohio governor John Kasich 7.6 per cent.
"We left it all on the field in Indiana," the senator from Texas who failed to stop the Trump juggernaut in the Indiana primary this week said as he announced the suspension of his campaign.
"We gave it everything we've got but the voters chose another path."
For his part, Mr Kasich, who has bagged no more than 160 delegates post-Indiana, insisted he would remain as the sole challenger to Mr Trump in the race.
Republican elites now face the long-feared reality of Mr Trump as an outsider nominee who will lead them into the November presidential election after splitting the party, overturning establishment and conservative power bases and alienating key voters with incendiary rhetoric, said CNN.
"We're going after Hillary Clinton," Mr Trump told jubilant supporters gathered at the Trump Tower in New York following the Indiana victory.
"We're going to win in November and we're going to win big."
Meanwhile, on the Democratic side, with more than two-thirds of Indiana's precincts reporting, Vermont senator Bernie Sanders took 53 per cent of the votes to Mrs Clinton's 47 per cent, reported the Associated Press.
But the former secretary of state has secured 2,202 delegates to date, or 181 away from the 2,383 needed to win the Democratic nomination, reported Fox News.
Mr Sanders, who has only 1,400 delegates, will need to win more than 84 per cent of the remaining delegates and super-delegates to overtake Mrs Clinton, the television channel pointed out.
Still, Mr Sanders' latest victory will allow him to put further pressure on Mrs Clinton to adopt some of his key policy stances, according to Financial Times.
"I think we can pull off one of the greatest political upsets in the history of the United States," an upbeat Mr Sanders declared in Indiana.