The state of Wisconsin held its presidential primary for both major political parties on Tuesday, April 5. The winner of the Republican primary was Ted Cruz and for the Democrats, the winner was Bernie Sanders.
The Washington Post reported that Cruz’s win, called by The Associated Press just after 9 p.m. Eastern Standard Time, was notable, marking him as the “last best hope” on behalf of the GOP to stop Trump from winning the Republican candidacy. Demographically, most Republicans with college degrees voted for Cruz; he led Trump in this category by over 20 points. He also narrowly beat out Trump for votes among Republicans without college educations. In addition, Cruz also performed well among both men and women and the evangelical base, according to The Washington Post.
“Tonight is a turning point,” Cruz said during his victory speech in Milwaukee. “It is a rallying cry. 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’s win in Wisconsin could potentially be enough to stop Trump from winning the 1,237 delegates needed to obtain the candidacy, according to NBC News. This would lead to a contested convention this summer, which is what many Wisconsin residents seem to want, as an NBC News Exit Poll found that over one third of the Republicans in Wisconsin said they would abandon the Republican party if either Cruz or Trump became the candidate. In addition, according to The New York Times, 55 percent of voters surveyed in exit polls said they would be “concerned or scared” if Trump was elected.
As of 10 p.m. Tuesday, Trump had won 737 delegates, Cruz had won 505 and Ohio Governor John Kasich had won 143, according to The Guardian.
Sanders’ win was also noteworthy, but still not enough to strongly bridge the gap between him and his Democratic rival, Hillary Clinton, who has won over 200 more delegates, not accounting for superdelegates, than Sanders as of 10 p.m. Tuesday. However, The Washington Post stated that this win will provide Sanders with much needed momentum going forward to the primary in New York on April 19. There, Clinton has a home-state advantage, having served as a senator from 2001 to 2009.
Shortly before Sanders’ victory was announced, his campaign manager Jeff Weaver told NPR, “I think it looks like we’re headed for another victory, which would be seven of the last eight contests the senator will have won.”
“He really has a tremendous amount of momentum,” Weaver continued. “We’ll see what the margin of victory is tonight. But I think we’re expecting that there’s going to be a victory.”
Shortly after The Associated Press called his victory, Sanders tweeted, “Wisconsin, today you sent a strong message: when we stand together there is nothing we cannot accomplish.”
“At a time when many of the pundits said ‘Oh, you know those young people, they don’t want to get involved in politics. They’re not really concerned about the major issues facing our country; they’re too busy with their video games or whatever,’” Sanders said during his victory speech. “Well, you know what is happening? All over this country, young people are standing up and they’re saying, ‘You know what? We want to help determine the future of this country.’”
Wyoming holds its Democratic caucus on Saturday, April 9. New York holds its primaries for both parties on April 19, and Connecticut, Delaware, Maryland, Pennsylvania and Rhode Island hold their primaries on April 26.
Editor’s Note: Information from The Washington Post, NBC News, The New York Times, The Guardian and NPR was used in this report.