Liveblogging the Wisconsin Primary
I am calling it a night. Ted Cruz won big tonight, taking nearly half the vote and winning across different demographic groups. This is the last primary until April 19, so Cruz has the momentum for two more weeks. That's the good news for him.
The good news for Trump is that, even if Cruz gets lucky and takes 39 delegates from Wisconsin, that's still only 39, while Trump leads by over 200. Cruz needs a few more Wisconsins in order to win the nomination before the convention, and that seems very unlikely.
The bad news for The Donald, however, is that after tonight, it is much more likely the GOP will have an open primary, where Cruz and Trump enter the ring with substantial minorities, but not the majority of delegates, which is required for a win. On the convention floor, Cruz will likely have the upper hand, because he has been working to elect his delegates at the state level (see North Dakota). Ironically, Trump needs the same high percentage of remaining delegates (54 percent) that Bernie Sanders needs to win his nomination. Tonight's results make Trump the underdog and an open convention the frontrunner.
This is bad, but not nearly as bad as the image Trump gave off in his whiny campaign statement following the Wisconsin loss. There, The Donald called Cruz an establishment "Trojan horse," because some party elites are backing the Texas senator.
On the Democratic side, Bernie Sanders won, but the delegate allocation will end up giving him only a few more delegates than Hillary Clinton from the state. Darn those party rules!
Again, this is a wide-based victory for Cruz tonight.
Trump needs exactly 500 delegates to get the winning number.
71 percent reporting:
Cruz -- 49.3 percent (410,702 votes), 33 delegates.
Trump -- 33.8 percent (281,483 votes), 3 delegates.
Kasich -- 14.4 percent (119,734 votes), 0 delegates.
Still to be awarded: 6 delegates.
From FiveThirtyEight's Dave Wasserman:
The final GOP delegate breakdown in Wisconsin looks almost certain to wind up at 36-6 or 39-3 for Cruz over Trump. But it all depends on what happens in the remaining precincts of the 3rd Congressional district, which takes in La Crosse and Eau Claire. Trump leads in most of the 3rd District’s counties, but Cruz leads in Eau Claire by 47 percent to 38 percent with only 18 of 84 precincts reporting.
The Cruz campaign is really seizing the moment here. The Texas senator is more likely to beat Trump in the case of an open convention.
.@alicetweet: "In the eventuality we don't receive 1237 before the convention, we're confident we'll do so on the convention floor."— Fox News (@FoxNews) April 6, 2016
And oh boy.
"It's a very very serious charge" -- Wolf Blitzer, blathering about Trump's "Cruz is a Trojan Horse" horsesh*t— John Podhoretz (@jpodhoretz) April 6, 2016
No really, the numbers bear this out.
Who has a better chance against Clinton, Trump, or barrel of toxic nuclear waste?
No really, it's that bad. Tell your friends.
— David Freddoso (@freddoso) April 6, 2016
And after tonight, it is just as hard for Trump to win the Republican nomination as it is for Sanders to win the Democratic one, mathematically speaking.
— FiveThirtyEight (@FiveThirtyEight) April 6, 2016
Is Trump engaging in excessive whining? And will it hurt his campaign?
Trump breaks a lot of political rules, but one that amazes me most is his extreme whining -- normally that kills campaigns— Benjy Sarlin (@BenjySarlin) April 6, 2016
Cruz won Wisconsin, but the upcoming states do not look favorable for him: New York, then Connecticut, Delaware, Maryland, Pennsylvania, and Rhode Island. If he wins in any of those states against Trump and Kasich, it will be a surprise.
Trump has released a sour grapes statement about his loss in Wisconsin. He called Cruz a "Trojan horse," saying, "Lyin' Ted Cruz had the governor of Wisconsin, many conservative talk radio show hosts, and the entire party apparatus behind him."
NEW: Trump campaign statement tonight pic.twitter.com/ycqP3IJYWn— Robert Costa (@costareports) April 6, 2016
Here's an in-depth look at why Trump will get around 6-9 delegates, while Cruz will likely get at least 33.
It’s still early in the night, but we already know a lot, thanks to the contours of the votes reported so far. Cruz looks poised to win at least 33 delegates out of Wisconsin: he’s won the18 statewide delegates by winning the state, and is clearly on track to win 15 more in five congressional districts: the 1st, 4th, 5th, 6th, and 8th Districts.
Meanwhile, Trump looks likely to avoid a shutout because he’s leading Cruz fairly consistently across the 7th District (he trails in Wausau, but by just 29 votes). Cruz is currently leading in the 2nd District thanks to a 2,645 vote margin in Madison’s Dane County. Relatively few votes have been reported in the western 3rd District, but it looks very close.
Newt Gingrich says that, even if there's an open convention, Trump and Cruz are the only two who will really be in contention.
So Cruz needs to organize from the grassroots up.
Mock this statement if you want, but it precludes the "establishment" saviors like Paul Ryan, who could theoretically be pushed forward in the case of an open convention.
And Trump could still win in 2 or 3 congressional districts, bringing him between 6 and 9 delegates from tonight.