Like the primaries last week, the Indiana Republican primary was a walkover for Trump. Trump has won the state as expected, and he appears to have won it decisively. With just 12% reporting, he leads Cruz by 20 points, 53-33%. The CNN exit poll suggests that he will end up with more than half the vote. He is very likely to come away with all of the state’s 57 delegates, and if surveys from California are to be believed he is on track to win going away there a month from now. Tonight’s result confirmed that die-hard anti-Trump Republicans are a minority of the GOP.
As usual, Trump did best with non-college degree holders and older voters. He trounced Cruz among those with $100K+ incomes by 26 points, and led Cruz by 11 with those earning between $30K and $50K. Cruz came close among voters that earned between $50K and $100K, but still lose them by 5. Trump’s support from different ideological groups followed a familiar pattern: he received a fair amount of support from very conservative voters (41%), and then dominated among the somewhat conservative (54%) and moderate ones (61%). Cruz won the first group, but it made up just a third of the electorate, while just the somewhat conservative voters made up almost half (44%).
If Cruz was counting on the state’s evangelicals to rescue him, he was disappointed: Trump beat him with evangelicals by five points, and then won with non-evangelicals by 26. Cruz’s support continues to be as narrow and concentrated in one section of the party as Trump’s is broad and spread out. Trump won in every region, but unsurprisingly received the most support from the old industrial areas in the northwestern part of the state. As he often has, Trump lost late-deciders, but had built up such a large lead with the majority that decided their vote earlier that it didn’t matter.
On the question of whether they feel betrayed by Republican politicians, 52% said yes and 44% said no, but Trump won both groups by double digits. Among those that named electability as the most important candidate quality, Trump also won more than half. He did far better among the fifth of voters that care most about a candidate who “tells it like it is” (87%) and the third that care most about a candidate who can “bring change” (63%). The committed anti-Trump contingent in the primary just 25% of the electorate. Asked what they would do if Trump is the nominee, more than half said they would definitely vote for him and a fifth said they would probably do. There were more respondents that said they wouldn’t vote for Cruz or Kasich than said this of Trump. That has been one of the key weaknesses of the anti-Trump Republicans’ efforts: the alternative candidates are even less well-liked by the voters than Trump is.