In Wisconsin, Cruz stumps Trump, Sanders bests Clinton

Ron Kampeas

Sen. Ted Cruz, R-Texas, speaking during CPAC 2016 in National Harbor, Maryland, March 4, 2016. (Alex Wong/Getty Images)

Sen. Ted Cruz, R-Texas, speaking during CPAC 2016 in National Harbor, Maryland, March 4, 2016. (Alex Wong/Getty Images)

WASHINGTON (JTA) — In Wisconsin primaries, Ted Cruz wounded Donald Trump’s bid for the Republican nomination and Bernie Sanders gained momentum in his bid to stop Hillary Clinton.

With his win Tuesday, Cruz, a Texas senator, considerably narrowed the likelihood Trump, the real estate magnate and Republican front-runner in the presidential nomination stakes, would make it to the convention in July with a majority of the delegates.

Trump still likely comes to the convention with a plurality, but that sets up the likelihood of the first contested convention in decades, a prospect complicated by the fact that delegates are only pledged to their candidates for the first round of voting, and may switch their votes on subsequent ballots.

“Tonight is a turning point,” Cruz said in his victory speech and on Twitter. “It is a rallying cry.”


Cruz was besting Trump 49 percentage points to Trump’s 34 percent with 77 percent of precincts reporting just before midnight. Ohio Gov. John Kasich, the only other Republican left in the race, had 14 percent of the vote.

Making the defeat more pronounced, Cruz beat Trump in what has been until now the front-runner’s favored territory, the industrial north.

Trump did not make an appearance, but issued a bitter statement accusing Cruz of coordinating with a political action committee, which would be a crime. Trump did not cite any evidence to back his claim.

“Ted Cruz is worse than a puppet – he is a Trojan horse, being used by the party bosses attempting to steal the nomination from Mr. Trump,” the statement from his campaign said.

Sanders, the Independent senator from Vermont, was beating Clinton, the former secretary of state, 56 percent to 44 percent with 84 percent of the vote counted.

The victory lends Sanders momentum, but he is less likely than Trump to keep Clinton, who leads substantially with delegates, from coming to the July convention with a majority of delegates.

Nonetheless, it was the sixth win in a row for Sanders, the first Jewish candidate to win major party nominating contests. He pledged to move to victory with his anti-establishment message.

“Whether we are Muslim or Jewish or Christian when we stand together whether we are gay or straight male or female, yes we can create a government that represents all of us and not just a handful of wealthy campaign contributors,” he said in Laramie, Wyoming where Democrats have a caucus on Saturday.

Clinton congratulated Sanders. “Congrats to @BernieSanders on winning Wisconsin,” she said on Twitter. “To all the voters and volunteers who poured your hearts into this campaign: Forward! –H” Signing her message with her first initial is a signal Clinton composed the tweet herself.

The campaigns now go to New York for the April 19 primary in a state three of the four candidates claim as home: Sanders was born and raised in Brooklyn, Clinton was the senator from the state and still lives there and Trump was born in Queens and keeps his business headquarters in the city.

Let’s block ads! (Why?)