By Adrianna Pitrelli
INDIANAPOLIS — “Choose Cruz” signs waved and the crowd cheered “We want Ted” as U.S. Sen. Ted Cruz took the stage at the Indiana State Fairgrounds the night before the Indiana primary.
But the question remains: does Indiana want to choose Cruz?
If Hoosiers don’t, the results Tuesday could make it nearly impossible to stop Donald Trump from securing enough delegates to win the nomination on the first ballot at the Republican National Convention.
So in the days leading up to the primary, Cruz has been campaigning in full force. Monday night Cruz held “An American Rally” with special guests including conservative pundit Glenn Beck, U.S. Rep. Louie Gohmert, R-Texas, running mate Carly Fiorina, and Cruz’s wife, Heidi.
In his first-ever endorsement, Glenn announced his support of Cruz after seeing the senator work firsthand in Cruz’s home state of Texas.
“I am here because I found the man who I believe will take the oath and actually mean it,” Beck said. “He will protect and defend the Constitution of the United States of America.”
Even before she was named his running mate, Fiorina said she was working to help Cruz win the Republican nomination. Fiorina, who was originally in the Republican race for president, endorsed him about two months ago.
“There was no path to victory for me,” Fiorina said. “Once you don’t have a path for victory, your job is to move in and help a fellow conservative who can win.”
Cruz said he chose to share the ticket with Fiorina because he believes she is an extraordinary leader. He said he also admires how well Fiorina stands up to bullies including Donald Trump and Hillary Clinton.
“Perhaps my favorite thing about Carly is that she utterly terrifies Clinton,” Cruz said.
As president, Cruz said he would repeal Obamacare and follow the Constitution. He also supports cutting taxes and replacing the current tax system with a simple flat tax system.
“I will not compromise away your religious beliefs,” Cruz said. “I will not compromise away your second amendment right.”
His promises of conservatism appealed to many voters in the crowd. Breanne Bond of Washington, Illinois attended the rally to encourage Hoosiers to vote for Cruz.
“He is the last hope that America has to turn this country around,” said Bond.
Sharon Hull of Fort Wayne said it is time for a change.
“I like his conservatism and I appreciate what he stands for,” Hull said.
But in the end, Cruz has to hope the conservative values some voters see in him will be enough to push Hoosiers to choose him.
“Indiana faces a choice,” he said. “It’s a choice not just for the state and not just for the Republican Party, but for the entire country.”
Adrianna Pitrelli is a reporter for TheStatehouseFile.com, a news website powered by Franklin College journalism students.