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Republican presidential candidate Donald Trump

Last Man Standing

As his final competitors exit the race, Donald Trump is poised to clinch the Republican nomination for president

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Texas Senator Ted Cruz (left) and Ohio Governor John Kasich

After a long, contentious campaign that began with 17 Republican presidential hopefuls, Donald Trump now has a clear path to clinching his party's nomination.

On Tuesday, Trump easily won the Indiana primary, and one of his two remaining rivals, Texas Senator Ted Cruz, ended his run. Ohio Governor John Kasich pulled the plug on his campaign today.

Trump is now all but assured of amassing the 1,237 delegates he needs to become the G.O.P. nominee. It's likely that he'll face Democrat Hillary Clinton in the general election, even though Clinton lost in Indiana on Tuesday to Vermont Senator Bernie Sanders. 

Up until Tuesday, Cruz had vowed to keep competing against Trump until the Republican National Convention in Cleveland, Ohio, this July. But after Trump won 53 percent of the vote in Indiana—with Cruz winning just 37 percent—Cruz conceded that he no longer sees “a viable path to victory.”

“Together we left everything on the field in Indiana,” Cruz told a somber group of supporters. “We gave it everything we’ve got. But the voters chose another path.”

Deep into the primaries, Cruz remained the last significant challenger to Trump, a billionare businessman and political outsider whose strength as a candidate surprised the party. But despite strong support for Cruz among conservatives and victories in several primaries and caucuses, he couldn’t overtake Trump. Kasich presented himself as a moderate who could be more competitive than Trump or Cruz in November's general election, but Kasich's campaign never caught fire.

With Trump’s nomination all but assured, Americans are seeing something unique in recent history: Trump would be the first major-party nominee since Dwight D. Eisenhower, a five-star general and hero of World War II, to never have held elected office.

Among the Democrats, Sanders defeated Clinton 53 percent to 47 percent in Indiana. But Clinton still maintains a sizable edge in pledged delegates. She’s on track to be the Democratic nominee in what is likely to be a bruising battle with Trump this summer and fall.

CREDITS: View Press/Corbis via Getty Images (Trump); AP Photo/Darron Cummings (Cruz); Ron Sachs/picture-alliance/DPA/AP Images (Kasich)

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