The eyes of USA and the World will be on the American state of Indiana, come Tuesday as the Republican Primary results will likely decide whether Trump can get to the magic 1,237 figure to clinch the nomination for the Presidential race.
This is especially so after Trump’s big wins in all five states in the recent Primary considerably strengthened his position. Indiana, in a sense, has become that last major political battlefield where the ‘Never Trump’ movement within the Republican Party has congregated to make a final stand of sorts.
The GOP or the Republican Party has so far issued numerous statements and clarifications that it is neutral and equally supports all the three GOP candidates in Donald Trump, John Kasich and Ted Cruz.
However, a visit to the GOP’s Indiana Headquarters would indicate otherwise. The Bhutanese found that right at the entrance, the name of Ted Cruz was right on top and marked in red which is the colour of the GOP followed by John Kasich and then Donald Trump.
In the same conference room of the office the TV channels list stuck on the wall has the GOP favorite and conservative cable news outlet Fox News right on the top with the liberal MSNBC lower below under the Weather Channel.
When The Bhutanese asked the Indiana GOP Chairman, Jeff Cardwell on why Trump’s name was put below the other two candidates the Chairman first remarked saying that it was placed in alphabetical order.
However, when this paper asked the Chairman that as per the alphabetical order Donald Trump with a ‘D’ should actually be on the top, the Chairman gave a laugh and did not answer the question.
Earlier, the Chairman, in response to a question said that the GOP was neutral and did not back any particular candidate in the primary race.
The GOP HQ’s sign with Ted Cruz on top is a symbol of what has been going on behind the scenes with many GOP leaders and figures in the state scrambling to try and ensure that Trump does not win. This is because the state wide winner even with the narrowest margin will get 27 delegates directly with the remaining 27 coming from wins in Congressional districts. There are a total of 54 delegates and with the primary race in the final season, every delegate counts.
Already, the airwaves are being bombarded with commercial television advertisements targeting mainly Trump, though the same strategy did not bring much benefit in Florida that Trump had earlier won.
Donald Trump, not holding back went on twitter to complain about the ‘false and phony’ TV commercials.
Indiana is considered to be a Red State or a state that votes mainly Republican and has a strong conservative Republican base that Ted Cruz in counting on. Polls so far show that Trump only has a narrow lead over Ted Cruz unlike in other states where the lead is much higher. This is why the ‘Never Trump’ movement with not so tacit backing from the GOP leadership is hoping to stop him in Indiana.
The GOP in Indiana plays a crucial role in delegate selection for the primary round. Already, most of the 54 delegates that have been selected by the GOP have more established GOP conservative figures, who are no Trump fans. These delegates while being bound to vote for the winning candidate in the first ballot will be free to vote for anyone in case of a second ballot.
A second ballot will take place in a Republican convention if Trump cannot get to 1,237 delegates. Trump is widely expected to lose the second ballot round unless he can get the 1,237 delegates directly.
Frustrated Trump supporters, many of whom do not fall in this delegate and GOP party apparatus have taken to crying foul. Some GOP delegates have even received death threats from Trump supporters.