Mr Cruz announced his decision to supporters in Indianapolis
It was the day when, in the unvarnished words of Donald Trump, that Ted Cruz went “wacko”. It ended with the Texas senator finally admitting he no longer had a viable chance to securing the party’s nomination and ending his campaign.
At his election night rally, the televisions had been turned off. Had he left them on, they would have shown that with more than 60 per cent of the polls having been counted, Mr Trump was on 53 points, with the Texas senator on just 37. John Kasich trailed in third place on eight points.
“Thank you to each of you who have fought so hard to save our nation,” he said to supporters gathered at a hotel ballroom in Indianapolis.
“Americans are desperate for change. I said I’d stay in as long as there was a viable chance to victory. Tonight, I’m sorry to say, there is not.”
On Tuesday morning, as he attended a final election rally in Evansville, an angst-looking Mr Cruz was unable to contain his rage about Mr Trump’s latest, colourful swipe at him.
The tycoon had repeated a tabloid magazine claim that Mr Cruz’s father was somehow involved in the assassination of President John F Kennedy. Mr Trump, the Texas senator railed, was utterly amoral, a narcissist, a pathological liar and a serial philanderer.
It was hard not to feel a degree of sympathy for Mr Cruz, a devout Christian who had hoped the state’s social conservatives could save his campaign. But, however correct he was to feel angry about the latest attack on him and his family, it was also clear that some of that anger came from the realisation that he was trailing Mr Trump and that his dream of securing the nomination was poised to be torn apart.
Both Mr Trump and Mr Cruz has acknowledged the crucial importance of the state; just last week Mr Cruz wrote to voters saying that if Mr Trump won Indiana and its 57 delegates, he would be on his way to seeking the Republican nomination. Mr Trump was even blunter. “If we win in Indiana, it’s all over,” he boasted to supporters.
No one could have criticised Mr Cruz for a lack of effort. He travelled all over the state and took his message to people relentlessly. He was supported by his wife, Heidi Cruz, and his recently-minted running mate, Carly Fiorina.
But in the end, Mr Cruz’s determination to campaign as a religious and social conservative and an non-establishment candidate, was insufficient to overcome the whirlwind of support and momentum that Mr Trump has managed to gather around him.
At times, it appeared he believed that just by persuading people of his integrity and decency that it would be sufficient to win their vote. It was not, or at least not in enough cases.
Among his supporters at Tuesday night’s rally, there was sadness and anger. Vicky Vaughan said that for the first time, she was now considering not voting in the presidential election, so determined she was not to vote for Mr Trump.
“I don’t have any respect for a man who swears like that,” she said of Mr Tump.
Mr Cruz came out to speak about ninety minutes after the television networks had called the race for the man with whom he had been engaged in a bitter and at times toxic battle.
“We gave it everything we got. But voters decided differently,” he said.
“It is with a heavy heart, but with boundless optimism for the future of out nation, that we are suspending our campaign.”