BREAKING: CRUZ WINS BIG IN WISCONSIN…But Can He Get 1,237 Delegates?

The big question is whether or not Cruz can get the necessary 1,237 delegates?

Senator Ted Cruz soundly defeated Donald J. Trump in the Wisconsin primary on Tuesday, breathing new life into efforts to halt Mr. Trump’s divisive presidential candidacy and dealing a blow to his chances of clinching the Republican nomination before the party’s summer convention.

On the Democratic side, Senator Bernie Sanders defeated Hillary Clinton in a much closer contest.

Mr. Trump’s loss was his most significant setback since Mr. Cruz narrowly defeated him in Iowa, the campaign’s first nominating contest. And after largely dominating the Republican field from the moment he announced his candidacy last June, Mr. Trump now faces a fresh challenge: bouncing back in the face of searing attack ads by Republicans bent on stopping him, persistent questions about his demeanor and campaign organization, and a single ascendant challenger in Mr. Cruz.

In winning Wisconsin so convincingly, Mr. Cruz, of Texas, showed he was capable of appealing to more than just the hard-line and religious conservative Republicans who have been the foundation of his campaign. But he faces daunting tasks of his own. One is consolidating the anti-Trump vote. Another is capturing more moderate Republicans in a series of primaries in Northeastern states that are likely to be favorable territory for Mr. Trump, beginning with New York on April 19.

Standing in Mr. Cruz’s way is Gov. John Kasich of Ohio, who finished a distant third on Tuesday despite spending considerable time in Wisconsin.

While Mr. Trump won among moderates, exit polls showed, Mr. Cruz and Mr. Kasich received roughly equal support among those voters in Wisconsin. Mr. Cruz not only took nearly two-thirds of “very conservative” voters, he also won among voters who called themselves only “somewhat conservative.”

Notably, Mr. Cruz also won among those who did not call themselves born-again Christians — a group with which he has struggled in earlier contests.

Most striking, though, was how many Wisconsin primary voters still harbored deep discomfort with Mr. Trump despite his wide lead in the race for delegates. In exit polls, 55 percent said they would be “concerned” or “scared” if he were elected, higher than the other two Republican hopefuls. And 35 percent of those who voted in the Republican primary said they would support Hillary Clinton, a third-party candidate or no one at all if Mr. Trump were the Republican nominee.

Mr. Cruz’s strong showing will make it more difficult for Mr. Trump to wrap up the 1,237 delegates needed for the GOP nomination before the primary season ends on June 7, when California allocates the largest number of delegates.

Next up on the GOP calendar is the April 19 primary in New York, Mr. Trump’s home state, where polls show him enjoying a commanding lead of more than 30 percentage points over Mr. Cruz, who in some surveys runs behind Mr. Kasich.

New York awards 95 delegates, most of which are allotted proportionately by congressional district. Mr. Trump travels to Long Island on Wednesday to kick off his campaign.

“Trump has more support than anyone else in New York and always had,” said state assemblyman Bill Nojay of Pittsford, in north-central New York. “If the vote was held today, we expect he would win every single congressional district.”

A week later, a swath of other East Coast states vote—Connecticut, Delaware, Maryland, Pennsylvania and Rhode Island. Mr. Cruz’s best hope is in states farther ahead in the calendar—Indiana on May 3 and Nebraska on May 10.

Wisconsin—with its GOP electorate dominated by the kind of working-class, white voters who have been drawn to Mr. Trump elsewhere—was long seen as fertile ground for the New York businessman. But it turned into a hotbed of anti-Trump sentiment. Via: WSJ

Tuesday’s stakes were the greatest for the Republicans since March 15, when five large states cast ballots and Mr. Trump’s victory in Florida drove Senator Marco Rubio out of the race.

Many Republicans hoping to defeat Mr. Trump saw Wisconsin as perhaps their last chance to thwart his march to the nomination. With no other Republican contests in the two weeks before or after, Wisconsin made for an isolated showdown.

For Mr. Trump, it was an opportunity to add to his wide delegate lead and score an important psychological victory just as the race turns to his native Northeast. A win in Wisconsin, the sort of Democratic-leaning Midwestern state he has vowed to carry in November, would restore his momentum and undercut those most resistant to his candidacy. Via: NYT’s

 


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