Following numerous polls that showed Republican presidential front-runner Donald Trump poised to win his latest state primary race on Tuesday, it took CNN just minutes to project that result after polls closed in Indiana.
The victory is expected to put the brash billionaire’s delegate count firmly above 1,000 — and nearly twice that of Texas Sen. Ted Cruz — on his path to earning the 1,237 needed to secure the GOP nomination prior to July’s national convention.
David Mercer, former Democratic National Committee deputy finance director, joined a Fox News Channel panel on Tuesday, breaking down the relevance of Trump’s Hoosier State victory to both the now-presumptive nominee and rival Cruz.
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Asked if the Texas senator still has a path to victory following a loss in Indiana, Mercer replied that he does — albeit a tough one.
“That is because, with 243 delegates still needed by Trump and only 57 delegates … in Indiana, I believe, for Trump to take,” he continued, “you know, there’s still California and other states going forward. Trump is not going to claim victory and the nomination coming out of Indiana.”
While Mercer joined other pundits in referring to Trump as the “presumptive nominee,” he noted that Cruz is not likely to share that assessment.
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“I don’t think you’ll see Cruz, who is the unlikeliest of many not to be a shrinking violet and just fold up his tent,” Mercer concluded. “He’s going to take it through California and he’s going to challenge him — Trump, that is — on getting to the number that he needs for the nomination.”
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