A rarity for presidential elections, Wisconsin has become a battleground for both parties. Typically late in the primary calendar, Wisconsin sees predictable results that favor the leading candidates. This year, the unpredictability of the election has created a whirlwind of speculation around Wisconsin’s primary results.
Around 9:30 p.m. on Tuesday night, NBC News projected Bernie Sanders and Ted Cruz to be their respective party’s winners. The results, called early on, solidified the idea that the GOP convention will most likely be contested, and that Sanders still has a fighting chance to overcome Democratic frontrunner Hillary Clinton.
According to Politico, Cruz’s margin of victory was big enough for the contest to be called early on. And with a third of the votes counted early on, the Associated Press declared Sanders the Democratic winner. He defeated Clinton 56 to 43 percent.
Cruz was the GOP favorite heading into Wisconsin, where Conservatives value “civility, decency and actual conservative principles,” according to Wisconsin radio host Charlie Sykes, quoted in Politico.
Sanders was the Democratic favorite, and Wisconsin’s liberal policies and demographic makeup provided an environment for Sanders to thrive, according to Politico.
These Cruz and Sanders victories give their supporters motivation, but there is still a chance that Trump could sweep the upcoming Northeastern states, and Clinton could continue to add to her leading delegate count in the same region.
The night before the contest, Sanders and Trump both held rallies in downtown Milwaukee. Fittingly, a literal circus, not of the political kind, was in an arena right across the street from the two rallies.
After Trump’s so-called “bad” week last week due to his abortion comments, his tweet about Cruz’s wife and his campaign manager’s arrest, his poll numbers plunged. Trump has typically gained support when he has made otherwise inappropriate comments, but this time around, it seems as though his rhetoric has caught up to him.
Trump’s Milwaukee rally had abysmal attendance, according to Politico. In an attempt to attract women voters, he had his wife Melania give a prepared speech to a half-empty auditorium. The rally lasted for less than an hour.