Ted Cruz, Bernie Sanders Win Wisconsin Primaries

April 6, 2016

Ted Cruz and Bernie Sanders are the projected winners of the Wisconsin primary, according to the Associated Press.

The victories are important achievements for both candidates as they look to stop their leading rivals and close their delegate gap.

For the Republican Texas senator, he's on pace for a nearly double digit win over Donald Trump, increasing the likelihood of a contested Republican convention this summer in Cleveland.

"Tonight is a turning point. It is a rallying cry," Cruz told supporters at his victory party in Milwaukee. "It is a call from the hardworking men and women of Wisconsin to the people of America. We have a choice. A real choice."

Cruz was flanked by Wisconsin Gov. Scott Walker, who endorsed his former rival last week. Cruz was buoyed especially in the most populous southeastern part of the state around Milwaukee by Walker, who remains very popular with GOP voters, and by the state's influential bloc of conservative radio hosts. Trump, meanwhile, likely made a regrettable calculation in forcefully attacking Walker and his record in Wisconsin.

Cruz will win at least 18 statewide pledged delegates with his win — a number that is sure to grow based on how many congressional district he carries. The Texas senator was performing well in the most populous southeast corner of the state, where there was heavy turnout and long lines all day.

The real estate mogul could still win in the 3rd and 8th congressional districts, where he made final campaign stops on Monday. Those victories would give him six delegates.

Trump didn't hold any public events Tuesday night, likely anticipating a loss. But he was defiant in campaign statement despite his sound defeat.

"Donald J. Trump withstood the onslaught of the establishment yet again. Lyin' Ted Cruz had the Governor of Wisconsin, many conservative talk radio show hosts, and the entire party apparatus behind him," Trump's campaign said in a statement. "Ted Cruz is worse than a puppet— he is a Trojan horse, being used by the party bosses attempting to steal the nomination from Mr. Trump. We have total confidence that Mr. Trump will go on to win in New York, where he holds a substantial lead in all the polls, and beyond."

Ohio Gov. John Kasich will likely end Tuesday with no delegates. His best shot to pick up any delegates was likely in the Madison-based 2nd District where Republicans were more moderate. But Cruz is on pace to win that district. Still, Kasich shows no signs of ending his campaign even though it is mathematically impossible for him to get to the 1,237 delegates needed before the convention, instead banking on floor fight to buoy him. His campaign is looking ahead to the upcoming New York and Pennsylvania primaries to possibly garner more support.

On the Democratic side, Sanders notched an important win over Clinton, building on other recent victories in Hawaii, Alaska and Washington.

"With our victory tonight in Wisconsin, we have now won seven out of eight of the last caucuses and primaries….and we have won almost all of them with overwhelming, landslide numbers," Sanders told supporters in Wyoming, where he's hoping to get another victory in the state's caucuses on Saturday.

The margin will matter for Sanders though. He needs a big victory in the state to cut into Clinton's 263 pledged-delegate advantage. Of the Democrats' 86 pledged delegates, 57 will be awarded proportionally by congressional district, while 19 will be given to the statewide victor. The remaining 10, made up of party leaders and elected officials, will also be awarded proportionally.

Clinton didn't hold a public availability Tuesday night either, instead attending a fundraiser in the Bronx, N.Y., where she raised $600,000 for her campaign.

Copyright 2016 NPR. To see more, visit http://www.npr.org/.

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