Is this a thing? We’ll see.
It’s two weeks out from the Wisconsin primary, which Ted Cruz is going to have to win if he’s going to keep Donald Trump from getting to 1237 delegates for the nomination. Wisconsin is a winner-take-all affair, and it’s an open primary. Forty-two delegates are at stake, with 24 of those awarded on a winner-take all basis among the eight congressional districts and 10 on a statewide winner-take-all. There are eight unbound delegates.
That it’s an open primary favors Trump. Previous polls favored Trump. The Marquette poll in February, taken from Feb. 18-21, had Trump at 30, Marco Rubio at 20 and Ted Cruz at 19.
But Rubio is now out of the race, so…
As establishment Republicans look for ways to slow Donald Trump’s relentless march toward the party’s presidential nomination, Wisconsin’s winner-take-all GOP primary contest on April 5 offers some intriguing possibilities. In a statewide Emerson College poll released today, Texas Senator Ted Cruz is not only leading Trump 36% to 35% in the upcoming primary, but Cruz is only trailing Hillary Clinton by one point in a hypothetical general election matchup, 46% to 45%. In contrast, Trump is trailing both Clinton and her Democratic rival, Bernie Sanders, by the same 9-point margin of 47% to 38% in a potential general election match-up.
Cruz desperately needs to run John Kasich out of the race, or at least bleed all of his voters out, before Wisconsin…
In the GOP primary, Ohio Governor John Kasich finishes far behind Cruz (36%) and Trump (35%), with 19% of the vote. It appears that Kasich is pulling votes from Cruz as Kasich supporters find Cruz more favorable than Trump, 36% to 27%. Although Trump is roughly even in his favorable/ unfavorable numbers with likely GOP male voters (50/47), he is 10 points under water with GOP women (40/50) and net -28 (33/61) with Independents, who comprise one-third of the Wisconsin electorate. In contrast, Cruz has a +32 favorability with Republican men (64/32), +26 with women (58/32), and +4 (48/44) with Independents.
The poll has Cruz winning the four congressional districts on the eastern side of the state and Trump winning the four on the western side.
Trump at minus-28 with independents is interesting, in that it could result in his losing votes in an open primary. So far he’s benefited from open primaries, but it could be that he’s beginning to irritate those voters.
Cruz doesn’t poll all that well with independents, but he’s a good 10 points better than Hillary Clinton is. Clinton is ahead of Bernie Sanders by 50-44 in the Democrat primary, a lead which is dangerously small given her propensity to underpoll at times and her dependence on minority voters of whom there are scant few in Wisconsin.