The Indiana GOP primary is a crucial contest for Republican Sen. Ted Cruz of Texas to try and deny front-runner Donald Trump from amassing the delegates necessary to clinch the party nomination. A new poll suggests that the business mogul will prevail.
A Wall Street Journal/NBC News/Marist poll released May 1 projected that Trump has a double-digit lead in the Hoosier state, clocking in with 49 percent support, Politico reports.
Cruz comes in second with 34 percent while Republican Gov. John Kasich of Ohio, who had withdrawn his campaign resources from the Indiana race, comes in third with 13 percent.
Indiana has become a pivotal state for Cruz, whose presidential ambitions suffered a big setback in the April 26 Super Tuesday primaries, when he and Kasich were blown away by Trump in all state contests.
Trump needs to reach 1,237 delegates in order to clinch the GOP nomination of the first ballot of the Republican National Convention in July. Cruz not only needs to win Indiana to help chip away at Trump’s delegate lead, he needs to win in order to regain lost momentum.
“It is the common sense and good judgment of the Hoosier State that is the one thing that stands between us and plunging over the cliff,” Cruz told his supporters during a campaign rally on April 28, according to the Washington Post.
“The people of Indiana will make a choice: Do we want to get behind a campaign that is based on yelling and screaming and cursing and insults?” Cruz continued. “Or do we want to unify behind a positive, optimistic, forward-looking conservative campaign?”
Cruz campaign volunteers have been making thousands of calls to Indiana voters to help drum up a high turnout for the senator. They report that Trump’s assertions that Cruz is dishonest and has been colluding with the GOP establishment to deny him the nomination may be leaving a lasting impression on voters.
“There is some idea that Ted Cruz is rigging the system,” said 68-year-old volunteer Frank Cerrone.
The Cruz campaign has not indicated that Indiana is a must-win, but the senator has emphasized its importance in his overall strategy to defeating Trump in a contested convention scenario.
“It is an incredibly important state,” Cruz told ABC News. “We are competing hard. I hope we do well here. I can tell you I’m barnstorming the state, we’re in a bus with my family, we’re doing everything we can to earn the votes of the men and women in this state.”
The senator added: “We’re going to go into Cleveland. It is going to be a contested convention.”
The people of Indiana will have the chance to make their choice May 3.