In an email to supporters over the weekend, U.S. Sen. Ted Cruz (R-Texas) declared Tuesday's Indiana Primary, which will determine which candidate will be awarded the state's 57 delegates at the GOP national convention, is "the single, biggest, most important day" of his campaign to date.
"Carly and I are barnstorming Indiana to capture every last vote—as we fight to win the GOP nomination," the email, which included the senator's signature, said. "I can't emphasize enough how important the vote in Indiana is going to be, and frankly, it could be the deciding factor.
"Make no mistake, Indiana is absolutely pivotal.
"The bad news is if Trump wins all the delegates in Indiana, his nomination could be all but determined; but the good news is if we are going to win enough delegates in Indiana—Trump's path to secure 1,237 delegates before the convention is virtually impossible."
Indiana is winner-take-all by congressional district and statewide. In each of the Hoosier State's nine congressional districts, the candidate with the most votes wins all three of the delegates. The remaining 30 delegates are awarded to the candidate with the most votes statewide.
Over the weekend, the Cruz campaign announced the endorsements of more than 50 Indiana faith and family leaders, many of them clergy. New supporters include the leaders of top pro-family organizations, the Indiana Pastors' Alliance, and dozens of pastors.
A number of those leaders offered endorsement statements on the senator's behalf:
Curt Smith, president of the Indiana Family Institute—"Ted Cruz speaks with clarity and conviction on the whole range of issues important to Hoosiers. We believe that America's greatness flows from her strong families, vibrant communities of faith, and commitment to religious liberty, and Ted Cruz is especially focused on these concerns. In Ted Cruz we see a strength and resolve which has become rare in American public life. Ted Cruz's core beliefs align well with Hoosiers' core beliefs and key concerns. But even more importantly, it is obvious that Ted Cruz will not compromise his values or principles when he is serving as our president."
Ron Johnson, executive director of the Indiana Pastors' Alliance—"As a pastor, I appreciate the way Ted Cruz stands for principles instead of political expediency. Ted Cruz is the only true outsider who has actually functioned as a leader, demonstrating in the Senate that he does what he says he will do. I've let my congregation know of my personal and public endorsement for Ted Cruz, and I have contacted all the pastors I know, encouraging them to join me in supporting Ted Cruz. People of faith have a biblical mandate—and a privilege—to elect men and women of integrity to public office."
Micah Clark, executive director of the American Family Association of Indiana—"We always encourage people to vote their values. We encourage people of faith to look at a person's record. Ted Cruz is the only truly pro-life, pro-family and pro-religious freedom candidate for president, from either party. Ted Cruz is a true conservative champion for change."
Over the weekend, the Cruz camp also released two new TV ads in Indiana that attempt to equate many of Donald Trump's policies with those of Democratic presidential front-runner Hillary Clinton. The 30-second spots are titled "Same" and "Coin."
Both ads repeat the phrase "Donald Trump and Hillary Clinton are two sides of the same coin."
In "Same," the ad charges that both Trump and Clinton support raising taxes and banning firearms. In "Coin," the ad alleges that both Trump and Clinton supported the Obamacare mandate and taxpayer support for Planned Parenthood. Both ads focus on Trump's statement that people should use whichever bathroom they feel comfortable with.
According to the Real Clear Politics polling averages in Indiana, Cruz currently trails Trump by nearly 8 percentage points. The Republican presidential front-runner's lead has grown by 1.5 points in the past week.
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