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Kasich Dropping Out Of Presidential Race; Donald Trump Assured GOP Nomination

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Donald Trump speaks during a campaign stop in Carmel, Ind., on Monday. Joe Raedle/Getty Images

Donald Trump is apparent GOP presidential nominee after his two remaining rivals ended their White House bids.

Ohio Gov. John Kasich will suspend his presidential campaign at a 5 p.m. press conference Wednesday in Ohio, campaign sources tell NPR. Texas Sen. Ted Cruz dropped out of the race Tuesday night after a disappointing loss in Indiana.

The rapid moves in the past 24 hours bring to a close a wild GOP primary season that leaves the one-time unlikely real estate mogul as the party's presumptive nominee.

 

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Trump inherits a deeply fractured Republican Party and has many challenges in uniting his former rivals and opponents behind his controversial candidacy. #NeverTrump forces poured millions of dollars in ads in Indiana as a last-ditch effort to stop him, an aim that would be for naught.

Both Cruz and Kasich had already been mathematically eliminated from getting the 1,237 requisite delegates to stop Trump on the first ballot at a GOP convention. Instead, their only hope was denying Trump a majority of delegates as well and hoping that GOP delegates would switch allegiances to their camps in a multiple ballot scenario.

For the past month and a half, Cruz and Kasich remained in the race as alternatives to Trump even as their chances remained daunting. Kasich only won one state — his home of Ohio — back on March 15 and hadn't amassed many delegates since then. In fact, he ends fourth in the delegate race behind Florida Sen. Marco Rubio, who suspended his campaign nearly two months ago.

 

Kasich's campaign remained resolute though, believing that at a contested GOP convention in Cleveland this summer that party stalwarts would eventually turn toward the moderate governor of a crucial swing state. Even on Tuesday night as Cruz announced his exit, Kasich's team signaled that they would remain in the race. By Wednesday morning though, they seemed to have finally accepted the harsh reality.

You're most likely to find NPR's Don Gonyea on the road, in some battleground state looking for voters to sit with him at the local lunch spot, the VFW or union hall, at a campaign rally, or at their kitchen tables to tell him what's on their minds. Through countless such conversations over the course of the year, he gets a ground-level view of American elections. Gonyea is NPR's National Political Correspondent, a position he has held since 2010. His reports can be heard on all NPR News programs and at NPR.org. To hear his sound-rich stories is akin to riding in the passenger seat of his rental car, traveling through Iowa or South Carolina or Michigan or wherever, right along with him.
Domenico Montanaro is NPR's senior political editor/correspondent. Based in Washington, D.C., his work appears on air and online delivering analysis of the political climate in Washington and campaigns. He also helps edit political coverage.