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.
Exit polling in this particular primary seemed to dispel a popular chanting point among Trump-kins that the "GOP establishment" is the main group of Republicans who oppose Trump.
While Mr. Trump handily won among Wisconsin moderates, exit polls showed, Mr. Cruz and Mr. Kasich received roughly equal support in that group. Mr. Cruz not only took nearly two-thirds of “very conservative” voters, he also won among voters who called themselves only “somewhat conservative.”
I'm guessing Trump's attack on popular Wisconsin governor Scott Walker last week was a key factor in galvanizing conservative support for Cruz.
If Tuesday's numbers hold, Trump will have a total of 743 delegates to to 517 for Cruz. Yes, it seems pretty certain there will be an open convention come July, and that has turned the Trump campaign into poo flinging monkeys.
Let it never be said that Donald Trump doesn't know how to lose gracefully. pic.twitter.com/qoYVssa43v— Jeff B/DDHQ (@EsotericCD) April 6, 2016
First off, to accuse the Cruz campaign of violating FEC laws would technically constitute slander if indeed said accusation were untrue (and it most likely is). Second, this idea that the "GOP bosses" are pushing Ted friggin' Cruz to be the nominee is absurd on its face. It's a clear indication that the Trump communications team is utterly clueless about the dynamics of the Cruz-"GOPe" relationship, Finally, there's a coordinated effort to "steal the nomination" from Trump? Really? There's no possibility that Trump's ineptitude, slander, lack of organization and buffoonish behavior has any bearing on this at all?
Voters who made their decisions late once again broke sharply against Mr. Trump, who sustained a series of self-inflicted wounds in the last week: A third of voters settled on a candidate over that period, and of those, 46 percent said they backed Mr. Cruz. Only 29 percent embraced Mr. Trump.
Most striking 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, 58 percent said they would be “concerned” or “scared” if he were elected, higher than the other two Republican hopefuls. And 37 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 nominee.
There are 16 states remaining to hold Republican primaries, with the majority being closed primaries (i.e. only registered Republicans are allowed to vote). This means that committed Republicans will be casting votes, which has favored Cruz in prior contests. However, more than half the states involved are on either the east coast or west coast, so Trump may have an advantage as those Republicans tend to be more moderate.
It's on now!