Cruz’s Path to Victory After Wisconsin

By Rachel Alexander Published on April 5, 2016

The Wisconsin Republican presidential primary takes place today, and it is looking like Ted Cruz will come in first. He is leading in all the polls there, although the lead is narrow, averaging 6.5 points ahead of Trump. John Kasich, the only other Republican candidate left in the race, is far behind both. If Cruz wins the state, it will give him more momentum and increase the likelihood of him winning upcoming primaries — although it’s too late at this point for him to acquire the 1,237 delegates to ensure a primary win. Trump’s vast lead has greatly shrunk since the other candidates started dropping out of the race.

Trump claims that if Kasich were not in the race, he would win. However, the type of Republican who supports Kasich tends to be more moderate, not the vocal anti-establishment type that supports Trump. Also, polls between just Cruz and Trump have consistently shown Cruz ahead of Trump; the only reason Trump is still ahead is because Kasich is still in the race. Many conservatives who support Cruz are furious about that, and have called for Kasich to drop out. Rich Lowry, the editor of National Review, said he is “running a delusional vanity project masquerading as a presidential campaign.”

Trump’s lead nationally has shrunk to an average of 7.6 points in the polls. Last week was bad for him; his campaign manager was charged with allegedly assaulted a female reporter, he retweeted attacks on Cruz’s wife, and flip-flopped on abortion, saying he’s pro-choice while simultaneously saying women should be criminally punished for getting abortions. He is polling terribly with Republican women.

The politically astute site FiveThirtyEight has analyzed the polls and done the math in the remaining primary states. A block of Northeastern states have primaries at the end of April, and Republicans in those states tend to be more moderate, which doesn’t help Trump. At best, FiveThirtyEight predicts Trump will end up with 1,185 delegates after the final primary, short of the 1,237 necessary to win the nomination, which means it will be a contested convention. There are over 100 unbound or uncommitted delegates. He would need to  convince 52 of them to vote for him in the first round of voting at the contested convention to win.

If he doesn’t win on the first round, he probably won’t win. At that point, if no one wins the first vote, it becomes a brokered convention and the delegates are free to vote for whoever they want on subsequent rounds of voting. The types of Republicans who serve as delegates are the party faithful types, not the disillusioned types who support Trump. The GOP establishment and conservative base are converging to stop Trump from getting the nomination, and they will do everything they can to persuade delegates to change their votes away from Trump. It is already starting, as some of the delegates Trump thought he had won are being lured over the Cruz ground operation.

Of course, there is still a chance the delegates could be persuaded to vote for another candidate, such as Kasich or even someone not in the race. Kasich has said he thinks the GOP establishment would support him at a contested convention, and fully admits even though he hasn’t won a single state except his home state of Ohio, that he’s staying in the race because he could still win at a contested convention. He did so poorly in Arizona’s primary that he came in fourth, behind Marco Rubio who had dropped out of the race a week earlier. However, he is beating Hillary Clinton in general election polls by a decent margin. Trump is losing to her in polls and Cruz comes in very close.

However, as Lowry observed in his article calling for Kasich to drop out, “The delegate game at a convention would be, in part, an organizational contest, and Kasich’s organization is all but nonexistent. He’d make an electability case based on his good head-to-head poll numbers against Hillary Clinton, although they are elevated because no one has bothered to attack him.”

The prediction market Betfair puts Trump’s chances of winning the nomination at 56 percent, down from 70 percent last week. Betfair also puts the chance of a contested convention at 63 percent. If one of Trump’s former close advisers is right, he only wanted to come in second and doesn’t really want to be president, so it may not be a big deal if he loses.

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  • Wyatt Isaac Gibson

    Actually, your article makes no sense at all about why Trump will lose, and you’re only relying on corruption as the answer. Ted Cruz said yesterday on Mark Levin that if Trump can’t get a majority of the delegates than he shouldn’t be the nominee, yet there is no way Cruz will get them, so why should he be the nominee? Cruz is outright losing to Trump, and cannot beat him, Cruz is a corrupt Harvard lawyer turned politician tired at the hip to globalism. The only reason anyone would support Cruz is if they hate America.

    • Wayne Cook

      Ooooo poor baby…

    • Cletus Aakol

      Mr. Wyatt, what a very poor analysis and outright falsehood you are spreading about the only candidates in this race who respects our constitution and defends our freedom and liberty. It is so sad that you do not follow the records about Cruz and I will advice you to debunk your mind from being biased and to find out a little more about the life of Cruz, you will be convinced that you are wrong in your post. You need to reed the stories about the educational achievement of Cruz before your misinformed comment about his performance at Harvard. I wonder if you have been to Harvard yourself to know he was corrupt from Harvard. It would be important that you become respectful of public leaders even if you don’t like who they are. It is not mandatory you vote for him in the general election if he defeats Trump and gets the nomination. Please, be respectful of yourself and others. Thanks!

      • Wyatt Isaac Gibson

        I don’t respect men like Cruz’s who lie, cheat, and steal, while hiding behind the Bible. I was in the black ops military, instead of Harvard, and it’s Mr. Gibson, not Wyatt, that’s my first name. I’ve done my research on Cruz, I know all about him, so it’s obviously you who should learn about his corrupt ways.

        • Cletus Aakol

          Mr. Gibson,

          There is no point to go back and forth with you on your so call research which is not supported anywhere but simply from your imagination. Point to one documented fact that is nationally known outside this election circle about falsehood involving Ted Cruz and I would reason with you. Until then, your claims are unfounded bias simply because you don’t like him. And my advise is that you keep it to yourself because no one shares it with you. Point one thing that Donald Trump has done for the nation that does not benefit him and his business alone and I will point you to many national achievements of Ted Cruz as a defended of our constitution and Liberty. Please, I still insist that you become a gentleman and respectful of public leaders, even when you don’t like or agree with them. God bless you and have a great week.

  • Ted Cruz’s campaign used dishonest tactics to get Rubio supporters to vote Cruz before Rubio dropped out. They also did similar things against the good doctor, Ben Carson. To be honest, because of who is left in the GOP race, I am seriously considering third party. I’d rather vote for someone who loses, but whom I can live with supporting, than have to face eternity having voted for someone whom I am not convinced Jesus Christ claims.

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