John Kasich will suspend his longshot presidential campaign Wednesday, leaving Donald Trump a clear path to the Republican presidential nomination, multiple campaign sources said.
The Ohio governor was a no-show this morning at a press conference in Virginia, skipping a scheduled flight from Columbus.
Kasich remained on the ground and his campaign said he’ll make an announcement 5 p.m. in Columbus.
Kasich was the only remaining rival to front-runner Trump, after Sen. Ted Cruz of Texas quit the race Tuesday night.
Cruz had set Indiana as a make-or-break contest and he bowed out shortly after the New York tycoon’s decisive primary win in the Hoosier State.
Word of Kasich’s departure from the race came two hours after his team launched a tongue-in-cheek web ad comparing their campaign to a “Star Wars”-esque struggle.
With the movie franchise’s famous theme song playing the background, upwardly scrolling words had Kasich saying he was the “only hope” to save the nation from Trump, Clinton and a bleak 2017.
Kasich has only won his home state of Ohio this campaign season, putting him last in what had been a three-candidate race on Tuesday night.
Following Trump’s big win, the New York real estate tycoon had an estimated 1,047 delegates, far ahead of Cruz at 565 and Kasich at 153.
Sen. Marco Rubio, who left the race in mid-March after failing to win his home state of Florida, still stands in third place with 171 delegates.
Kasich had run a decidedly upbeat campaign designed to be the 180-degree opposite of Trump’s name calling and shouting.
But his Mr. Nice Guy pitch never gained traction outside the Buckeye state.
Kasich did finish second in the New York primary with 25 percent of the vote last month, behind Trump at 60 percent and ahead of Cruz’s 14 percent.
The Ohio governor won four delegates from the Empire State while Trump grabbed 89 delegates.