— -- Urging voters to pick him over rival and Republican front-runner Donald Trump, presidential candidate Ted Cruz framed the battle to win the Indiana primary as a choice between good and evil.
"I believe in the people of the Hoosier state. I believe that the men and women gathered here and the goodness of the American people, that we will not give into evil but we will remember who we are and we will stand for our values,” Cruz said at a rally in La Porte, Indiana.
Indiana votes Tuesday and Cruz has called the state "pivotal" to his campaign. A recent NBC-WSJ Marist poll shows him trailing Trump by 15 points in Indiana. While the Texas senator has refused to call Indiana a must-win state, he repeatedly emphasized the state's importance at rallies Sunday.
"This entire political process has conspired to put the state of Indiana in the position to stand up and speak the voice of sanity,” Cruz said.
Indiana's primary follows two weeks of losses for Cruz in six states in the Northeast. Cruz has called Indiana more favorable terrain and urged Hoosiers to rely on their "Midwestern values" to choose him. As the primary ticks closer, Cruz has begun an hourly countdown to when voting begins.
"In 51 hours, it will be over. In 51 hours, this plague of politicians will leave the Hoosier state and in 51 hours, Indiana will have spoken to the country," Cruz said at a rally in Lafayette, Indiana, Sunday.
Cruz continues his campaigning in the state today. Indiana Gov. Mike Pence will join Cruz. Pence endorsed Cruz late last week. Cruz's top surrogates, including his running mate, Carly Fiorina, and conservative radio host Glenn Beck, are fanning out across the state hoping to reach voters.
Cruz has said a win in Indiana could stop Trump from reaching the magic number of 1,237, the number of delegates needed to secure the GOP nomination; but some pundits have questioned whether a loss in the state could end Cruz's presidential bid. In an interview with “This Week,” Cruz said he was "going the distance" no matter the outcome of Indiana's primary.
"It is an incredibly important state," Cruz said Sunday on ABC News' “This Week.”
"We are competing hard. I hope we do well here. I can tell you I'm barnstorming the state, we're in a bus with my family, we're doing everything we can to earn the votes of the men and women in this state. We're going the distance. We're competing the entire distance."