Election 2016: Bernie Sanders wins Indiana presidential primary

WASHINGTON (AP) — The Latest on campaign 2016 as voters in Indiana head to the polls for the state primary (all times Eastern):

9:23 p.m.

Bernie Sanders is the winner of Indiana’s Democratic primary, scoring a late victory over front-runner Hillary Clinton.

But it’s a win that won’t change the reality of the Democratic race.

The Vermont senator is far behind the former secretary of state in the delegate count. He won’t win by a large enough margin Tuesday to keep Clinton from collecting at least some delegates.

Clinton entered the night with 91 percent of the delegates she needs to become the first woman nominated by a major party.


9:05 p.m.

The chairman of the Republican National Committee is calling for unity, saying that Donald Trump will be the “presumptive” Republican nominee for president.

Reince Priebus took to Twitter Tuesday after Ted Cruz ended his bid for the GOP nomination, saying that Donald Trump “will be presumptive @GOP nominee, we need to unite and focus on defeating @HillaryClinton.” He ended his message with the hashtag #NeverClinton.

Trump is due to speak at the Trump Tower in New York City later Tuesday.

8:55 p.m.

Republican presidential front-runner Donald Trump’s campaign staff and supporters are exchanging hugs and handshakes as rival Ted Cruz formally announced his exit from the race.

Trump’s team gathered at his Trump Tower in New York City Tuesday where the Republican front-runner is scheduled to speak shortly.

Cheers broke out in the building’s grand lobby as a television broadcasting Cruz’s speech announced his departure from the race.

8:20 p.m.

Texas Sen. Ted Cruz is ending his presidential campaign, eliminating the biggest impediment to Donald Trump’s march to the Republican nomination.

Cruz’s campaign said he plans to drop out of the race Tuesday following his loss in Indiana’s Republican primary to Trump.

Cruz’s campaign placed its hopes on a data-driven effort to turn out conservative evangelical Christians who had opted out of recent presidential elections. Increasingly, he would modify his travel schedule to go where data showed there might be pockets of untapped supporters.

7:41 p.m.

Donald Trump is thanking voters in Indiana after his big win in the state’s Republican presidential primary.

Trump took to Twitter Tuesday, shortly after his big win which gives him a big boost toward reaching the 1,237 delegates needed to win the nomination.

“Thank you Indiana,” Trump wrote. “We have won in every category. You are very special people-I will never forget!”

Trump’s win dealt a big blow to rival Ted Cruz, who had poured time and resources into the state, which is home to a significant evangelical population.

7:40 p.m.

Bernie Sanders is steering clear of Indiana’s primary, opening his rally in Kentucky on Tuesday night by pointing to his progress in the Democratic presidential campaign.

Sanders isn’t making any predictions about the outcome of Tuesday’s primary in Indiana, saying instead that he has closed the big lead that Hillary Clinton had when he started his campaign a year ago.

Sanders says in Louisville he’s winning the vote of people age 45 and under. He says that shows that his campaign is fighting for the ideas that are important to the future of the country “and the future of the Democratic party.”

Sanders traveled the state and spent about $1.5 million in advertising in Indiana against Clinton. The former secretary of state did not air TV ads and did not campaign extensively in Indiana.

7:20 p.m.

As Donald Trump celebrates his win in Indiana’s presidential primary, Democratic candidates are awaiting to hear who will walk away with most of the state’s Democratic delegates.

Becky Hollenberg, a 32-year-old attorney with the YWCA in Elkhart where she helps people get protective orders against their abusers, said she voted for front-runner Hillary Clinton.

“I think she has good experience. I think she’s really going to be able to be the good leader for the country that we’re looking for,” Hollenberg said.

Hollenberg also said many of the people she works with through the YWCA need better-paying jobs. She also likes how Clinton promotes women’s rights.

Ben Swisher, 41, of Indianapolis stopped at the Broad Ripple Park Family Center in Indianapolis to vote for Bernie Sanders, saying he likes that the senator from Vermont hasn’t taken a lot of money from big corporations.

“I’ve found that a lot of the decisions the government has made in the last several years … have been based on what would benefit a large corporation and not the American people in general,” he said.

Polls closed at 7 p.m. Eastern but the winner of the Democratic primary is not yet known.

7:05 p.m.

Republican presidential candidate Ted Cruz is holding an Indiana primary party inside Indianapolis’s ornate Union Station, but only about a third of the available space was occupied with his backers.

The smaller than usual election night crowd Tuesday was subdued as they awaited Cruz, once breaking out into boos and chants of “Never Trump!” when a pro-Trump ad came on TV in the hall.

Donald Trump has won the state primary, clinching at least 45 delegates, putting him on a solid path to the nomination.

Cruz’s campaign switched from showing televised election results on a big screen to an internal TV feed as the race was called for Trump. Country singer Dierks Bentley’s song “I’ll Hold On” played in the hall as his supporters chatted, ate snacks and drank.

Cruz is due to address his supporters shortly.

7:01 p.m.

Donald Trump will collect at least 45 delegates for his victory in Indiana, putting him on a solid path to clinch the nomination and avoid a contested convention.

There are still 12 delegates left to be allocated.

Trump needs to win just 43 percent of the remaining delegates to capture the nomination by the end of the primaries on June 7.

He has won a majority of the delegates allocated so far.

Trump’s rivals, Ted Cruz and John Kasich, have been mathematically eliminated from reaching the 1,237 delegates needed to win the nomination before the convention. Their only hope is to block Trump and force a contested convention in which no one arrives with a majority of the delegates.

The AP delegate count:

Trump: 1,041.

Cruz: 565.

Kasich: 152.

7:00 p.m.

Donald Trump has won the Republican presidential primary in Indiana, continuing his surge toward clinching the GOP nomination.

The win for Trump is a blow to Ted Cruz, who will fall further behind the billionaire in the race for the 1,237 delegates needed to claim the Republican nomination.

Among his supporters Tuesday was Roger Willett, a 51-year-old Republican who says he has been a Trump supporter since the businessman’s campaign began.

Willett works as a driver escorting oversize truck loads and complained that the economy in rural western Indiana offers few prospects, particularly for people just getting out of school. He says he’s tired of voting for career politicians and called Trump “a working man, for us.”

5:18 p.m.

The economy is weighing heavily on the minds of Indiana voters as they cast ballots in their state’s primary election.

More than 9 in 10 Republican primary voters and more than 8 in 10 Democratic primary voters are either very or somewhat worried about the economy, according to early results from exit polls conducted for The Associated Press and television networks by Edison Research.

Asked about some specific economic issues, two-thirds of Democratic primary voters say Wall Street mostly hurts the economy. And they’re evenly divided over whether trade with other countries mostly helps or hurts the American economy.

5:12 p.m.

Donald Trump and Bernie Sanders have both attacked their parties’ nomination processes. They’ve also gone after their opponents for what they say are unfair tactics. But Indiana voters on both sides don’t see much of a fairness gap in the presidential race.

Only a third of GOP voters say their party’s nomination process has been unfair, according to early results from exit polls conducted for The Associated Press and television networks by Edison Research.

When it comes to tactics, most Democratic primary voters don’t see either Sanders or former Secretary of State Hillary Clinton as having attacked the other unfairly.

Republican primary voters were about equally likely to say that each of the top two candidates ran the most unfair campaign. Four in 10 voters say Trump did, while four in 10 say Texas Sen. Ted Cruz did.

5:04 p.m.

Indiana Democrats voting in the state’s primary election say they’ve been energized by their party’s nominating process, while most GOP voters say their party has been divided by the political sparring among their top candidates.

That’s according to early results from exit polls conducted for The Associated Press and television networks by Edison Research.

Three-quarters of Indiana Democrats in Tuesday’s election say they think the nominating process has energized rather than divided their party. But nearly 6 in 10 Republicans say they think their party has been divided by the nominating process.

About 7 in 10 Democrats say they’d be excited or at least optimistic about the presidency of either former Secretary of State Hillary Clinton or Vermont Sen. Bernie Sanders.

But only about half of Indiana GOP voters are excited or even optimistic about billionaire Donald Trump, Texas Sen. Ted Cruz or Ohio Gov. John Kasich becoming president.

Still, most GOP primary voters say they would probably support Trump, Cruz or Kasich in November.

4:40 p.m.

As Democrats vote in Indiana, Clinton is turning her focus to the general election.

The Democratic leader is using a speech in southern Ohio — a crucial battleground state — to refine her attacks against Donald Trump.

The GOP front-runner, she says, isn’t offering plans to tackle the big problems facing the country, including the epidemic of heroin addiction and decline of the coal industry.

“Donald Trump doesn’t talk about these issues on the campaign trial,” she says. “His tax plan would give $3.3 trillion dollars to millionaires and billionaires. The people who need it the least.”

Clinton says she isn’t worried about the bombastic and personal attacks Trump has successfully used against his Republican rivals.

She says: “people ask me all the time, how are you going to respond to all these attacks, all these names that you’re called. I say really? It’s not like I haven’t been dealing with that for 25 years.”

Clinton adds: “It’s not about me, it’s about us. I’m going to stand up and fight for you.”

Clinton is wrapping up a two-day campaign swing through Kentucky and West Virginia, which hold Democratic primaries later this month.

1:20 p.m.

Donald Trump is hitting back against Ted Cruz’s blistering attack, saying that the Texas senator is “a desperate candidate trying to save his failing campaign.”

Cruz criticized Trump Tuesday as voters went to the polls in the crucial Indiana primary. He called the Republican front-runner “amoral” and warned that the country “can plunge into the abyss” if Trump is elected president.

Trump released his rebuttal a short time later, saying in a statement that “I have watched Lyin’ Ted become more and more unhinged as he is unable to react under the pressure of losing” the last six primary contests.

Trump ?— whose description “Lyin’ Ted” gets a massive response from supporters at his campaign rallies —? said that the outburst proves that Cruz “does not have the temperament to be president of the United States.”

The vicious exchange comes hours after Trump rehashed an unsubstantiated tabloid report that Cruz’s father had links to Lee Harvey Oswald, President John F. Kennedy’s assassin.

1:21 p.m.

As Indiana voters head to the polls, Hillary Clinton says she is turning her attention to the general election.

The Democratic front-runner said in an MSNBC interview Tuesday that her attention needs to be on beating GOP front-runner Donald Trump, if he wins his nomination fight. She adds that such a matchup would be “a tough campaign against a candidate who will literally say or do anything.”

Clinton called his statements on issues like foreign policy, abortion and wages “scary.”

She said Trump “has given no indication that he understands the gravity of the responsibilities that go with being commander in chief.

Clinton added that will be a “big part” of her campaign “because at some point he’s going to have to be held to the standard we hold anybody running for president and commander in chief.”

Clinton also said she has not been contacted by the FBI for an interview as part of the investigation into her private email server.

12:10 p.m.

Texas Sen. Ted Cruz is calling Republican rival Donald Trump utterly amoral, a pathological liar, a serial philanderer and a narcissist at a level this country has never seen.

Cruz unloaded on Trump as voters in Indiana were casting their ballots in that state’s primary. Polls show Cruz significantly behind Trump in a state that Cruz has said is crucial to stopping the billionaire businessman.

Cruz calls Trump’s claims that his father was involved with the assassination of John F. Kennedy “kooky” and “nuts,” says that Trump “doesn’t know the differences between truth and lies” and most of what he says is a “mindless yell.”

Despite Cruz’s criticisms of Trump, he has not ruled out supporting him if he becomes the Republican nominee.

11:30 a.m.

Ted Cruz is launching a blistering attack on his rival Donald Trump, saying that if Indiana lets Trump win Tuesday’s presidential primary, America is “looking, potentially, at the Biff Tannen” presidency, a reference to the 1980’s film “Back to the Future.”

“We are not a proud, boastful, self-centered, mean spirited, hateful, bullying nation,” Cruz told reporters in Evansville, Indiana, before citing the film “Back to the Future II.” The film’s screenwriter said in an interview with The Daily Beast last year that the film’s character Biff Tannen was based on Trump.

“The screenwriter says that he based the character Biff Tannen on Donald Trump — a character of a braggadocios, arrogant buffoon who builds giant casinos with giant pictures of him everywhere he looks,” Cruz said. “We are looking, potentially, at the Biff Tannen presidency.”

Cruz also denounced accusations Trump made Tuesday about his father, Rafael Cruz, that he was acquainted with John F. Kennedy’s assassin, Lee Harvey Oswald, calling his dad “my hero.”

9:55 a.m.

Republican front-runner Donald Trump is resurrecting accusations against rival Ted Cruz’s father, Rafael Cruz, saying that he was with President John F. Kennedy’s assassin Lee Harvey Oswald prior to his death.

“The whole thing is ridiculous,” Trump said on Fox & Friends Tuesday ahead of the Indiana primary. “Right prior to his being shot, and nobody brings it up. They don’t even talk about that.”

A recent National Enquirer report claimed that the elder Cruz appeared in a 1963 photo of Oswald as he handed out leaflets for the Fair Play for Cuba Committee.

The Cruz campaign has denied the accusations.

8:35 a.m.

Texas Sen. Ted Cruz is a no-show at a morning campaign stop outside of Indianapolis.

Cruz was supposed to campaign alongside his wife Heidi and running mate Carly Fiorina at a pancake restaurant Tuesday as voters were set to vote in the state’s crucial primary. But 30 minutes before the scheduled start of the event, Cruz’s campaign said the senator would not be there.

Cruz spokeswoman Catherine Frazier said they made a mistake in saying originally that he would be there. Cruz is slated to make a campaign stop in the southern Indiana city of Evansville later Tuesday morning, then he will take the afternoon off before his primary night gathering in Indianapolis.

Fiorina and Heidi Cruz did show up to shake hands and talk with diners.

Cruz has said he plans to continue his campaign even if he loses Indiana, a state where he’s focused resources and spent most of his time the past two weeks trying to win in an effort to stop front runner Donald Trump. But polls show Trump leading heading into Election Day.

7:45 a.m.

Hillary Clinton’s supporters say she may have offended voters in politically important coal country with what she acknowledge was a misstatement — but at least she’s willing to acknowledge her own mistakes. Donald Trump, they say, “never apologizes for anything.”

Clinton has spent recent days West Virginia and Kentucky being heckled and explaining that she had made a “misstatement” in March when she said in an interview on CNN that she would “put a lot of coal miners and coal companies out of business.” She was responding to a question about how her policies would benefit poor white people in Southern states. She said Monday that “whether people vote for me or not, whether they yell at me or not, it’s not going to affect what I will do to help.”

Democratic National Chairwoman Debbie Wasserman Schultz told CNN Tuesday that Clinton didn’t change the substance of her plans for poor people in the region, adding that “when you say something that comes out in a hurtful way” it helps to let them know you still care about them.

Democratic strategist Brad Woodhouse added on the same network that the episode showed that Clinton is “someone who’s willing to admit a misstatement.” He said Trump, on the other hand, “is someone who never apologizes for anything.”

3:30 a.m.

Republican Ted Cruz faces a high-stakes test for his slumping presidential campaign in Tuesday’s Indiana primary, one of the last opportunities for the Texas senator to halt Donald Trump’s stunning march toward the GOP nomination.

Cruz has spent the past week camped out in Indiana, securing the support of the state’s governor and announcing retired technology executive Carly Fiorina as his running mate.

Yet his aides were pessimistic heading into Tuesday’s voting and were prepared for Cruz to fall short, though the senator vowed to stay in the race, regardless of the results.

While Trump cannot clinch the nomination with a big win in Indiana, his path would get easier and he would have more room for error in the campaign’s final contests.

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