Break Time’s Over: Trump and Cruz Battle in Wisconsin
After the slew of primary elections in March, the two weeks between today’s showdown in Wisconsin must have seemed like the entire Republican campaigns slipped into slow motion for some (it probably didn’t help that our site took a week off for Spring Break. Surprise! We’re back!). Still, Donald Trump and Ted Cruz (and probably John Kasich maybe, nobody really knows) are set to vie for another chunk of delegates in Green Bay, Milwaukee, Madison, Shawano, and all across Wisconsin today. Most of the people in the state probably expected to be voting for one of their own today: Governor Scott Walker was briefly in the Presidential race early in the cycle. Now it’s down to three, with Trump holding a commanding lead, and Cruz desperate for the 42 delegates he can get if he wins here.
Polls show Cruz with a small but tenuous lead. Most give him a 3-4 point lead, while the most recent to come out give Trump a big double-digit lead. In that poll, run by American Research Group, Trump wins in all demographic categories except sex. Women prefer Cruz over Trump. Men support Trump with a whopping 57%, compared to just 43% of women who support Cruz.
Statistical analysis site FiveThirtyEight.com give Cruz the odds for winning in Wisconsin at 89%, meaning they believe it would require a minor miracle for Trump to pull off a win today. This would put a damper in Trump’s plans to consolidate remaining states under his banner and get to the magical 1237 delegates he needs to avoid the GOP stealing his nomination away at the Republican convention in August.
Nationally, Trump has 737 delegates, compared to Cruz’s 475. Kasich has a token number of delegates with 143. Surprisingly, Marco Rubio is refusing to let go of his delegates (he won in Puerto Rico and probably somewhere else, too), because he has joined the GOP’s efforts to thwart Trump by any means necessary. Denying Trump the majority of delegates in Wisconsin is a big step, because there’s only a little more than a dozen states left to vote, and each delegate from here on out is crucial. The map of how each state has voted so far is here.
After today, the candidates turn to delegate-rich New York, Donald Trump’s hometown, where he’s expected to blow Cruz out of the water in two weeks. Then five more states in the Northeast vote after that. How Cruz does today could help set the momentum for the month ahead, and determine for certain whether Trump can win the nomination outright or head into the murky waters of a contested convention, where smarmy slimeball sharks like Cruz feel most at home, slithering around the refuse with all the other bottom feeders that are the Republican establishment.