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Trump wins Indiana's primary — and probably the GOP nomination

Andrew Prokop is a senior politics correspondent at Vox, covering the White House, elections, and political scandals and investigations. He’s worked at Vox since the site’s launch in 2014, and before that, he worked as a research assistant at the New Yorker’s Washington, DC, bureau.

Donald Trump has won the Indiana primary, according to calls by multiple media outlets — and that victory means he's now overwhelmingly likely to be the Republican nominee.

Though Ted Cruz and John Kasich may stay in the race for a while longer, much of the political world viewed Indiana as effectively the last stand for the stop Trump campaign.

That's because before tonight's results, it seemed quite plausible that Trump could finish in first place but fail to win the majority of 1,237 delegates he needs to win the GOP nomination on the first ballot — which could have triggered a dramatic contested convention.

But most plausible projections of how Trump could fall short required him to lose Indiana. And now that he has most or all of the Hoosier State's 57 delegates in his pocket, it will be relatively easy for him to reach that outright majority from the remaining states to vote.

Indeed, if current polling is accurate, he'll get there with room to spare.

Trump's path in the remaining states to vote

Though results in each of Indiana's congressional districts still have to be tallied, Trump will likely end the night with about 1,049 delegates — placing him just 188 or so away from the nomination, with 445 more delegates to be allotted in the remaining nine states.

  • On May 10, West Virginia is expected to go strongly for Trump (though it has odd delegate allocation rules that could depress his total somewhat), and Nebraska is expected to give all its delegates to Cruz.
  • On May 17 and May 24, the candidates will split Oregon and Washington's delegates due to proportional allocation rules.

Then, five states vote on June 7, the final day of voting in the GOP contest.

  • New Jersey is viewed as a near-certain Trump state, and it's winner-take-all with 51 delegates at stake.
  • South Dakota and Montana are believed to be likely Cruz states — though considering his recent popularity decline, he may not be able to take them, Montana especially, for granted.
  • New Mexico will split delegates due to proportional allocation.
  • And then there's California, the big one, with 172 delegates at stake overall, with 13 going to the statewide winner and 159 to the winners in the state's congressional districts.

Even with tonight's victory, Trump will still have to win a handful of congressional districts in California or peel away one of those Cruz states to get that majority.

But considering that he's currently winning by California by 26 points in the RealClearPolitics average, it doesn't look like that will be much of a problem. And an outright win in California gives him the nomination easily.

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