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Senior adviser: John Kasich to suspend presidential campaign

Updated

Ohio Gov. John Kasich will suspend his presidential campaign on Wednesday, senior campaign advisers tell NBC News.

Kasich cancelled a press conference in Virginia earlier in the day and announced he would make a statement in Columbus, Ohio, Thursday afternoon.

The decision comes one day after Kasich finished a distant third in the Indiana primary. Top campaign aides had vowed that the governor would stay in the race, even after Ted Cruz, who formed an informal alliance with Kasich, suspended his campaign.

RELATED: It’s Donald Trump’s GOP after Ted Cruz drops out

Kasich will end his run with just one primary victory, which came in his home state of Ohio. He remained in the race long after he was mathematically eliminated from clinching the GOP nomination, arguing that no candidate will earn a majoirity of the delegates ahead of the convention in Cleveland, Ohio, this summer.

But Donald Trump’s commanding win in Indiana on Tuesday made stopping the front-runner nearly impossible. Party leaders like Republican National Committee Chair Reince Priebus called Trump the “presumptive nominee” even with Kasich still in the race.

Though Kasich suspends his campaign as one of the final two remaining GOP candidates, he currently sits fourth in total delegates earned, trailing Trump, Cruz and Marco Rubio – who suspended his campaign March 15.

Kasich campaigned on a message of positivity, largely trying to stay away from the personal attacks that have defined the tumultuous Republican primary. The former congressman earned a number of high-profile endorsements, and voters on the campaign trail frequently thanked him for delivering an optimistic message. In addition to his Ohio victory, he earned a surprisingly strong second-place finish in New Hampshire, where he soundly beat better known rivals like Jeb Bush and Chris Christie.

In the final weeks of their campaigns, Kasich and Cruz entered into an informal alliance. Each focused their campaigns’ efforts on nominating contests where they had the best shot at defeating Trump. But the agreement proved ineffective in the Hoosier State, where Trump easily rolled to victory even though Kasich did not compete in the state. An NBC News/Wall Street Journal/Marist poll showed the pact was largely unpopular among GOP primary voters.

The governor justified his continuation in the race by arguing he is the best Republican to defeat the Democratic nominee in a general election. Out of the final three remaining candidates, Kasich was the only one who consistently beat Hillary Clinton in one-on-one polling.

“You win a primary, you lose the general, what’s the point?” Kasich said last month at an MSNBC town hall. “What do you hang a certificate on your wall? …I’m the only one who consistently beats Hillary.” 

This article first appeared on NBCNews.com

Donald Trump, John Kasich and Republican Party

Senior adviser: John Kasich to suspend presidential campaign

Updated