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Republican Ted Cruz drops out of presidential race

U.S. Senator Ted Cruz is suspending his campaign for the Republican presidential nomination after he lost the crucial primary in Indiana. The move virtually guarantees Donald Trump the party's nomination.

Cruz, speaking to supporters in Indianapolis late on Tuesday, said the defeat in Indiana "foreclosed" his only path to victory.

"We gave it everything we've got, but the voters chose another path," he said. "And so, with a heavy heart, but with boundless optimism for the long-term future of our nation, we are suspending our campaign. But hear me now, I am not suspending our fight for liberty."

Supporters of Cruz shouted in disbelief at his announcement, while supporters at a Donald Trump event erupted in cheers.

Cruz made no mention of Trump or whether he would endorse the businessman's final opponent - Ohio Governor John Kasich - who has failed to win any significant support. The governor said earlier on Tuesday night that he intends to stay in the race unless a candidate secures the required number of delegates.

Although Trump remains short of the 1,237 delegates needed to secure the Republican nomination for president, Tuesday's win in Indiana earned him dozens of delegates and means he would only need modest wins in the remaining 9 contests to avoid a contested convention.

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