Donald Trump easily won the Indiana GOP presidential primary Tuesday, knocking chief rival Sen. Ted Cruz out of the race and opening a clear path to the 1,237 delegates he needs to claim the Republican nomination for president outright. In the remaining state contests, Trump now only faces one remaining opponent in Ohio Gov. John Kasich, who finished a distant third in Indiana.
But while Trump closed the door on his main competitor Tuesday, NBC News Exit Poll results show he has yet to close the sale with many Republican voters who he would need to win in November. Even as Trump romped to victory in Indiana, a substantial 42 percent of those voting in Tuesday’s GOP primary said they were “scared” or “concerned” by the prospect of a Trump presidency. And nearly one in four Indiana Republicans—23 percent—said they would not vote for Trump in the general election if he is the nominee.
Results from previous NBC News exit polls show that these numbers have barely budged in Trump’s direction as the Republican nomination fight has unfolded. In three GOP primaries held in April (New York, Pennsylvania and Wisconsin), exit polling found 44 percent of voters scared or concerned by Trump. His showing in Indiana thus represented just a two-point gain on this question. And across nine primaries held in March and April where exit polls asked Republican voters if they would vote for Trump if he were the nominee, 27 percent said they would not. Trump’s performance on this item in Indiana was therefore just a 4-point improvement.