Gov. John Kasich of Ohio, a moderate voice who tried to portray himself as the adult in the Republican primary field but failed to win any state but his own, ended his long-shot quest for the presidency on Wednesday, cementing Donald J. Trump’s grip on the presidential nomination.
Mr. Kasich’s departure, a day after Donald J. Trump’s victory in the Indiana primary, leaves Mr. Trump as the only candidate remaining in the Republican race. His closest challenger, Senator Ted Cruz of Texas, dropped out Tuesday night.
In remarks in Columbus, Ohio, that lasted about 15 minutes, Mr. Kasich recalled the emotional moments he had on the campaign trail and stressed the need to “live a life bigger than ourselves.” He did not mention Mr. Trump or explain why he was leaving the race.
“I have always said that the Lord has a purpose for me, as he has for everyone,” Mr. Kasich said. “And as I suspend my campaign today, I have renewed faith, deeper faith, that the Lord will show me the way forward and fulfill the purpose of my life.”
Mr. Kasich, a conventional candidate in an unconventional race, outlasted the other governors in the Republican field. But his longevity was largely a testament to his unbending refusal to drop out long after it became clear that voters were not flocking to his campaign.
He rarely wavered from his above-the-fray approach to his rivals, even as they racked up far more delegates. When they attacked one another, Mr. Kasich struck a sunny tone and told people that they were made special by the Lord. While Mr. Trump and Mr. Cruz emphasized their outsider status, he ran unapologetically as a candidate with experience.
Mr. Kasich, citing polls, had insisted that he was the only remaining Republican candidate who could win in November. But while he expressed hope that voters in the Northeast would embrace his more moderate views,he was obliterated by Mr. Trump in the five states that held primaries last week, and he never matched Mr. Cruz as the main alternative to Mr. Trump.
In a last-ditch deal with Mr. Cruz, Mr. Kasich agreed not to compete in Indiana, a critical state for those hoping to stop Mr. Trump. Mr. Cruz, in exchange, agreed not to compete in two states with later contests, Oregon and New Mexico.
Mr. Kasich had hoped that neither opponent would win enough delegates to clinch the nomination before the national convention in July. In that case, many delegates could potentially vote as they wished, regardless of which candidate voters in their home states preferred. Mr. Kasich said he believed his track record in government and his favorable poll numbers in hypothetical matchups against the Democratic front-runner, Hillary Clinton, would win over those delegates.
But Mr. Trump’s victory in Indiana put him in a commanding position to officially secure the nomination on June 7, when the last Republican contests will be held.
A former chairman of the House Budget Committee and the governor of a large and electorally critical state, Mr. Kasich did not lack in credentials. And his tenure as governor of Ohio, a job he entered on the heels of the recession, offered him an alluring story of economic turnaround.
He set himself apart from the Republican field through his moderate views — under the Affordable Care Act, he expanded Medicaid in Ohio, and he talked frequently about the need to help people “in the shadows,” like the poor and the mentally ill. At times, he expressed dismay about the direction of his party, asking last week, “Do the Republicans actually think that they can win an election by scaring every Hispanic in this country to death?”
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