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U.S. Sen. Ted Cruz of Texas, the unlikely survivor of a once-crowded GOP presidential field, said Tuesday night that he was suspending his campaign to be his party's presidential candidate, potentially ending any real battle for the GOP nomination.
NBC News earlier in the night projected that Donald Trump would easily win the GOP primary in Indiana. Cruz was the only candidate to notch multiple state victories against the real estate magnate, surviving a crowded field of experienced politicians and political newcomers alike. (Sen. Marco Rubio of Florida had won three contests include Washington D.C. and Puerto Rico).
But the glow of those Cruz victories had faded after Trump won a resounding series of seven straight victories.
"From the beginning I've said that I would continue on as long as there was a viable path to victory. Tonight, I'm sorry to say, it appears that path has been foreclosed," Cruz said during a Tuesday night speech. "The voters chose another path, and so with a heavy heart, but with boundless optimism for the long-term future of our nation, we are suspending our campaign."
Cruz appeared to be positioning for a political future, saying he would continue to fight for the ideals of his supporters.
Cruz and Ohio Gov. John Kasich were seeking to keep Trump from reaching 1,237 delegates, which would allow them to force a convention fight. That in turn could possibly mean someone other than Trump coming out of as the GOP's general election candidate.
But that result appeared less likely after Trump's strong Indiana showing.
"Obviously Trump's victory in Indiana makes the road ahead more challenging," a representative from the #NeverTrump PAC said in a Tuesday evening statement, adding that the group will continue to seek to oppose him.
For its part, the Kasich campaign said in a statement posted on Facebook that the Indiana results "are not going to alter" the candidate's plan.
"Our strategy has been and continues to be one that involves winning the nomination at an open convention," the Kasich campaign said, later sending a message on Twitter reiterating that position.
Just after NBC announced Trump's projected victory, the New York real estate magnate tweeted out an insult aimed at Cruz.