Sen. Ted Cruz (R-Texas) won the backing of Wisconsin’s current governor ahead of the Badger State’s primary, but a former longtime Wisconsin governor argued that voting for Cruz will help Donald Trump and Hillary Clinton.
Former Health and Human Services Secretary Tommy Thompson, who led Wisconsin for 14 years, argued on CNN this morning that Cruz is the spoiler, not Ohio Gov. John Kasich.
Kasich’s camp announced two weeks ago that Thompson would be leading their Wisconsin effort.
“I think that Ted Cruz is trying to get as many votes as he possibly can and trying to get them away from John Kasich,” Thompson said. “I think a vote for Ted Cruz is actually a vote for Hillary Clinton. I don’t think Ted Cruz could beat Hillary Clinton.”
The Kasich campaign underscored this with an email from Thompson to supporters today that included results from a March 24 Monmouth poll that showed Kasich defeating Clinton by 6 points in a head-to-head matchup.
In the same survey, Trump falls by 10 points to Hillary and Cruz loses by 5 points.
The email also cited a Quinnipiac poll released last week showing Kasich topping Clinton 47 percent to 39 percent. In that survey, Clinton topped Trump by 6 points and Cruz by 3 points.
“I know John Kasich, head to head, is the best candidate Republicans can put up to beat Hillary Clinton. If you vote for Ted Cruz or Donald Trump, you’re actually voting for Hillary Clinton,” Thompson said.
The latest Real Clear Politics polling average has Cruz at 33 percent, Trump at 32.3 percent and Kasich at 23 percent.
“It’s a very well-informed electorate. As you know Wisconsin is a state where you really don’t know how the people are going to vote,” Thompson said, stressing Kasich could win there. “Wisconsin is a very independent state.”
“…When people are saying, ‘a vote for Kasich is a vote really for Donald Trump,’ it’s really not the case. I think a vote for Donald Trump and Ted Cruz is a vote for Hillary Clinton because the big race, the big contest, is a presidential election, and John Kasich is the only one of the three candidates that definitely will defeat Hillary Clinton.”