COLUMBUS, Ohio, May 4, 2016 (Gephardt Daily/UPI) — John Kasich will be suspending his bid for the Republican presidential nomination, NBC news is reporting.
NBC said a senior adviser to the Kasich campaign revealed the Ohio governor will announce his campaign suspension at 5 p.m. Central time Wednesday. Kasich reportedly has canceled a planned event in order to make his Wednesday night statement.
This means Donald Trump is on track to be the uncontested nominee.
Kasich had been running in a distant third place in the Republican primaries. Second-place candidate Texas Sen. Ted Cruz suspended his own campaign Tuesday evening.
Trump on Tuesday night took all 57 of the state’s delegates. Cruz suspended his campaign, saying there was no longer a “viable path” to becoming his party’s nominee.
“From the beginning, I’ve said that I would continue as long as there was a viable path to victory,” Cruz said on Tuesday evening.
“Tonight, I’m sorry to say, it appears that path has been foreclosed. The voters chose another path, and so it is with a heavy heart, but with boundless optimism for the long-term future of our nation, we are suspending our campaign.”
A statement Tuesday evening by the Kasich campaign indicated the candidate was planning to continue his campaign. It stated that the Indiana results “are not going to alter” the Kasich’s plan.
“Our strategy has been and continues to be one that involves winning the nomination at an open convention,” the prepared statement said.
The Kasich campaign, however, has sent mixed messages about the candidate’s plans for the remaining nine primaries. Wednesday morning, the campaign released a kitschy video on May 4, otherwise known as “Star Wars Day” (May the fourth be with you). The short Twitter video uses the iconic Star Wars music and scrolling text to lay out a doomsday scenario for many Republicans.
“In a galaxy not so far away … ” the video begins. It goes on to tell voters Hillary Clinton has become president, presumably after soundly defeating Trump, and is preparing to nominate liberal Massachusetts Sen. Elizabeth Warren to the Supreme Court. With the Democrats having won control of both houses of Congress, Nancy Pelosi and Chuck Schumer are preparing tax increases and more Obamacare spending.
The video then cuts to news reports touting Kasich’s electability in the general election. It concludes with the Star Wars line: “You’re our only hope” before flashing the campaign’s logo.