For Ted Cruz to stop Donald Trump from seizing the Republican presidential nomination, he must replicate his Wisconsin victory in Indiana, another Midwestern state with similar demographics and population.
But even with Ohio Gov. John Kasich’s ceding Indiana to him as part of a nonaggression pact, it’s a tall hurdle.
Mr. Cruz has none of the structural advantages he enjoyed in Wisconsin, where the GOP governor and conservative talk-radio hosts backed him to block Mr. Trump. Indiana’s most respected Republican voices have stayed neutral, and local conservative media haven’t picked sides ahead of the May 3 vote.
During a Tuesday night rally in Knightstown, Mr. Cruz trumpeted Indiana as a place where he can stop Mr. Trump. “Can the state of Indiana stop the media’s chosen Republican candidate?” Mr. Cruz asked the audience. “There is nothing that Hoosiers cannot do.”
Mr. Cruz’s strength is likely to come from the northeast around Fort Wayne, which has a big concentration of social conservatives. The wild card is the Indianapolis area, which includes parts of five different congressional districts. For a state that hasn’t seen a contested GOP presidential primary since 1976, intense attention from the candidates is a once-in-a-lifetime experience.
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“Folks want as close to an Iowa experience as we can get,” said Pete Seat, a former George W. Bush official who helped run Mr. Kasich’s campaign in the state before it shuttered Sunday night. “They want candidates who are sitting down at the table in the diner, eating a pork tenderloin, and getting the full Hoosier experience.”
For Mr. Trump, Indiana presents many obstacles he has faced elsewhere. While Mr. Cruz’s forces have been working the state for months, Trump aides only began organizing here after the March 15 primaries, said Rex Early, the Trump state chairman.Read the full story HERE.
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