How Wisconsin Shakes Up the Race

Trump's path to the nomination is looking trickier
By Rob Quinn,  Newser Staff
Posted Apr 6, 2016 4:39 AM CDT
Updated Apr 6, 2016 5:53 AM CDT
How Wisconsin Shakes Up the Race
Ted Cruz speaks as his wife, Heidi, listens during a primary night campaign event on Tuesday in Milwaukee.   (AP Photo/Paul Sancya)

Wisconsin has handed big victories to Bernie Sanders and Ted Cruz—and to political junkies hoping to see the first contested convention in 40 years. The Badger State results are a stinging setback to front-runners Hillary Clinton and Donald Trump, though the delegate math remains in their favor. A roundup of coverage:

  • The big story isn't how badly Trump did, but how well Cruz did, according to Nate Silver at FiveThirtyEight. Silver notes that with 49% of the vote, Cruz did far better in Wisconsin than he did in neighboring states, and he won among demographic groups, including non-evangelicals, that didn't warm to him in the past.
  • Trump—whose campaign blasted Cruz as "a Trojan horse, being used by the party bosses attempting to steal the nomination"—now needs a big win in New York on April 19 to regain momentum, and polls suggest that he's likely to get one, the AP reports.

  • When Sanders first launched his campaign, nobody thought he would win a single state, but he has now won 15, including six of the last seven to vote (plus the category of "Democrats abroad"), notes Chris Cillizza at the Washington Post. Clinton's lead may still be impossible for Sanders to overcome, he writes, but Sanders has guaranteed himself a voice in the party, and if Clinton fails to win New York, she will be seen as "limping to the nomination."
  • A contested GOP convention is looking more likely all the time, according to Eric Bradner at CNN. Trump is still the only candidate with a realistic chance of getting the necessary 1,237 delegates to wrap up the nomination before the convention, but the Wisconsin loss makes that task a lot more difficult.
  • Exit polls in Wisconsin should worry both Trump and the GOP, the New York Times reports. Only 29% of those who made their decision late picked Trump, and 37% of GOP primary voters said they would vote for Clinton, a third-party candidate, or nobody if he became the party's nominee.
  • Sanders is going to need more nights like Tuesday to have a realistic shot at the nomination, notes Harry Enten at FiveThirtyEight. He will have to score similar wins in states such as New York and Pennsylvania, Enten writes, and will have to do more to win over black voters, a group that he lost to Clinton by more than 40% in Wisconsin.
(More Election 2016 stories.)

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