UPDATE: Ted Cruz drops out—oh, and Bernie Sanders has won the Indiana Democratic primary.

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The NYT marvels...

Mr. Trump, a real estate tycoon turned reality television celebrity, was not a registered Republican until April 2012. He has given hundreds of thousands of dollars to Democrats, including his likely general election opponent, Hillary Clinton. And, at various points in his life, he has held positions antithetical to Republican orthodoxy on almost every major issue in the conservative canon, including abortion, taxes and gun control. But none of this stopped him from driving nearly every other Republican from the race for the nomination. With his ability to speak to the anxieties of voters, and his shrewd use of celebrity and memorable put-downs, he systematically undercut veteran politicians in a field of candidates that many in the party had hailed as the strongest in at least three decades. And he did so while spending far less money than most of his rivals and employing only a skeletal campaign staff.

The GOP is broken, says Jonathan Chait at NYMag...

Most of America, including a significant minority of Republicans, have seen Trump’s candidacy exactly for the con it is. Trump for President is a category error. He is, as his rivals have described him, a charlatan, a con artist, a congenital liar, a man self-evidently unfit for office at any level, and especially the presidency. As George Will has argued, his unfitness is so manifest that it applies to anybody who considers him suitable for the office; a person is “unqualified for high office because he or she will think Trump is qualified.” ... But actual Republican voters have not seen things this way at all. Indeed, as the campaign has gone on, they have seen things this way less and less. Watching this happen has been astonishing.

Trump succeeded by driving his rivals batshit, says Josh Marshall...

Trump is all about 'dominance politics'. When he knocks out a once-star opponent it really shows. As he did with Rubio, Trump's not just defeating Cruz. He drove him to an epic level of meltdown that it will be hard to forget, long after this nomination battle is over. Not unlike Rubio's end of campaign dignity implosion, Cruz ended this week on a hapless splutter and now a crushing defeat.

Trump is now less than 200 delegates away from clinching the GOP nomination—which he is expected to do easily. It's going to be an ugly general election campaign. Brace yourselves for political violence.

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Vox finds a silver lining...

As Ted Cruz desperately tried to beat Donald Trump in Indiana, he locked on to an issue that has taken over states like North Carolina: transgender people in bathrooms. The issue became a big focal point for Cruz over the past few weeks, as he pushed it in TV ads and stump speeches to draw a contrast between himself and Trump. Cruz perpetuated the myth that letting trans people use the bathroom that aligns with their gender identity will give men cover to sneak into women's bathrooms and sexually harass or assault women. But Trump has, correctly, pointed out that there have been no problems in states and other places in the US that allow trans people use the bathroom of their choice. On Tuesday, with Trump's win in the Indiana primary, we found out just how much Indiana voters care about this issue—which is to say, not a lot.

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