The Indiana primary polls are looking good for the Republican and Democratic frontrunners, with both Hillary Clinton and Donald Trump poised for important wins on Tuesday in the Hoosier State.
After Clinton and Trump both won the New York primaries and then cleaned up in the eastern seaboard states that voted last week, they are poised to put away their opponents with big wins in Indiana. The races are not exactly equal, as Hillary Clinton has an all-but-insurmountable lead over Bernie Sanders no matter what happens in Indiana, while Trump still has some work to do to secure the Republican nomination.
Because his opponents — Texas Senator Ted Cruz and Ohio Governor John Kasich — are laying the groundwork for a contested Republican National Convention where they hope to steal the nomination, Trump has to reach 1,237 delegates to win the nomination outright.
That is what makes Indiana so important for the GOP race. Indiana is one of the few winner-take-all states in the race, so Trump can put himself well on pace to reach 1,237 with a win on Tuesday.
It appears to be moving that way. A new poll released Sunday by NBC News/Wall Street Journal/Marist (via USA Today) found that Trump has a 15-point lead over his rivals. He was the pick of 49 percent of voters, with Cruz taking 34 percent and Kasich with 13 percent.
The Indiana primary poll released on Sunday was a sharp turnaround from another recent poll that showed Ted Cruz with an almost exactly opposite lead over Trump instead. The poll, which came from the small Mike Downs Center for Indiana Politics, showed that Cruz had a 16-point lead over Trump among registered voters, winning 45 percent to 29 percent.
The poll found that 13 percent were still undecided.
“This is good news for Cruz, but the volatility of the electorate means all campaigns should view these results cautiously,” pollster Andrew Downs said in a statement.
The truth is likely somewhere between the two polls. Real Clear Politics shows that Trump still has an average lead of 2.3 percent in Indiana, with all other polls included.
Indiana is something of a last stand for Trump’s opponents, who struck an unlikely and unprecedented alliance in order to stop the GOP frontrunner. In a joint announcement from the Cruz and Kasich campaigns, the two announced that they would be working together in order to keep Trump from reaching the 1,237 delegate threshold.
The two announced that Cruz would be focusing on Indiana while Kasich would refrain from trying to win over voters there. Cruz would likewise allow Kasich to take the lead in Oregon and New Mexico. The idea for both is to concentrate the non-Trump vote in the hopes of keeping as many delegates out of his hands as possible.
Trump has exuded confidence in Indiana, telling a crowd at a rally this week that if he wins on Tuesday, the race is “over.”
The race is much closer — though much less significant — on the Democratic side. The NBC News/Wall Street Journal/Marist poll showed that Hillary Clinton holds a slim lead over Vermont Senator Bernie Sanders, winning 50 percent to 46 percent. Clinton has all but pulled out of Indiana, running no ads in the state, and if the results of the Indiana primary poll hold up it would show that she can likely continue beating Sanders while still keeping her focus on the general election.
[Image via Instagram/Donald Trump]