Nearly a week ago, I predicted that Ted Cruz would win the state of Wisconsin. This was in no small part because of the Marquette Law School poll, which put Cruz a full ten points ahead of Donald Trump. I didn’t believe it would be a massive victory, but I did believe it would represent a pivot point in the race for the Republican nomination.
When I shared my story on social media, Trump supporters laughed it off because just after publication, another poll came out showing Trump with a ten point advantage over Cruz. I knew this was a fluke, but the Trump cultists saw what they wanted to see.
Well, it’s the day after the Wisconsin election, and not only did Ted Cruz win, he won by a landslide.
According to exit polls, Cruz slammed Trump across the board. Here are some critical stats:
- Cruz: 49%
- Trump: 34%
- Cruz: 56%
- Trump: 33%
- Cruz: 44%
- Trump: 35%
- Cruz: 65%
- Trump: 28%
Shares My Values
- Cruz: 65%
- Trump: 10%
Can Win in November
- Cruz: 68%
- Trump: 19%
Decided Whom to Support in the Last Month
- Cruz: 62%
- Trump: 21%
Cruz also won every single age group by double digits.
What these numbers show is that Cruz is expanding his base. Evangelicals, who have been Trump’s bread and butter, went to Cruz by 23 percent. Even more interesting, Cruz beat Trump with non-evangelical voters by nine percent. Possibly the most relevant statistic is the late deciders (in the last month), who favored Cruz by 41 percent.
This is the pivot point.
The next primary states are all unfavorable to Cruz. New York and much of the northeast is Trumpland, but the momentum Cruz will get out of Tuesday’s win should give him a needed bump heading into those states. Moreover, New York isn’t winner-take-all.
New York has 95 delegates, 11 of which are “at large,” another three “automatic,” and 81 reserved for congressional districts. What this means is that if no candidate surpasses 50 percent of the vote, the 14 at large and automatic delegates will be awarded proportionally. The other 81 delegates will go to the winners of each district. Some districts will be winner-take-all, some will be proportional.
So even if New York isn’t exactly Cruz country, with the system in place, and a boost from a big win in Wisconsin, he has a chance to score quite a few delegates. And Pennsylvania is just peculiar, with 54 of their 71 delegates being “unbound,” meaning they can vote for whomever they want, regardless of which candidate wins the state.
There’s also Nebraska, Montana, New Mexico, and South Dakota, which, given the trends of nearby states, are very favorable to Cruz. And last, but not least, California. The latest RCP polling average has Trump at 35 percent, and Cruz at 27 percent. One recent poll by the LA Times had the two candidates separated by just one percent.
Donald Trump whined after losing Wisconsin. His campaign issued a libelous statement, saying that Cruz “was coordinating with his own Super PACs (which is illegal).”
NEW: Trump campaign statement tonight pic.twitter.com/ycqP3IJYWn
— Robert Costa (@costareports) April 6, 2016
There is absolutely no evidence that Cruz has ever coordinated with any Super PAC. But, Trump likes to toss out untrue or unverified accusations so his followers can disseminate those accusations all across the Internet, and dominate the online conversation.
No matter how hard the Trumpettes try, they can’t take this win away.
Cruz not only beat Trump in Wisconsin, he rode him like a Grand Canyon mule, winning by 13.2 percent–nearly three times the spread predicted by the polls. I think this is the beginning of a new race. Neither candidate will reach the 1,237 delegates needed to clinch the nomination outright, but Cruz will give Trump a run for his money; and come a second vote on the convention floor, Ted Cruz will trounce the Orange Crush.