Tuesday, April 5, 2016

Cruz and Sanders Win Wisconsin Primaries

On Tuesday, April 5th, 2016, Wisconsin held both its Democratic and its Republican primaries. Although it was the only state to do so on this day, it was a critical state for both the Republican and the Democratic nomination races. Ted Cruz won the Republican contest, and Bernie Sanders won the Democratic contest.

As of 2:00 AM EDT, with 98% of the Republican precincts reporting, Ted Cruz won 48.3% of the votes, winning 33 delegates, and Donald Trump won 35.1% of the votes, winning 3 delegates. John Kasich won 14% of the votes, which was not enough to garner him any delegates. With 98% of the Democratic precincts reporting, Bernie Sanders won 56.4% of the votes, winning 45 delegates, and Hillary Clinton won 43.3% of the votes, winning 31 delegates.

Courtesy of the New York Times
This was Trump's most significant loss since the Iowa Caucuses, and many of Trump's opponents hope that this marks the beginning of Trump's decline. Cruz even told his supporters, "Tonight is a turning point...It is a rallying cry. It is a call from the hard-working men and women of Wisconsin to the people of America: We have a choice, a real choice" (New York Times). Cruz won 2/3 of "very conservative" voters as well as the majority of "somewhat conservative" voters. Additionally, when asked about Donald Trump, 58% of Republican primary voters "said they would be “concerned” or “scared” if he were elected, higher than the other two Republican hopefuls" (New York Times). However, Cruz still faces a large uphill battle, as Trump still has 740 delegates to Cruz's 514. Additionally, with Kasich still in the race, it could be difficult for Cruz to mobilize the entire non-Trump Republican base behind him.

On the Democratic side, this was Sanders's sixth straight victory, and Sanders supporters hope that he will be able to keep up the momentum in upcoming primaries. The Wisconsin primaries show Bernie's hold over young, white, and working-class voters, as well as voters who want someone honest and trustworthy, as 9/10 of voters believed Sanders was honest, compared to only 6/10 who said so for Clinton. However, Clinton still holds the lead in pledged delegates, as well as an overwhelming amount of the superdelegates. Additionally, Clinton won 7 out of 10 black voters in Wisconsin, and won the majority of voters over 45 years old.

The upcoming New York and Pennsylvania primaries will be very important for the nomination race, as they both have many delegates. 247 and 189 delegates respectively, and will also likely be harder for both Cruz and Sanders to do well in. New York is Trump's home state, and is supposed to do better in Northeastern states. Additionally, with Kasich still in the race, Cruz could potentially not win a majority in certain congressional districts, which would give some delegates to Trump. And for Clinton, both New York and Pennsylvania are more diverse than Wisconsin, which usually serves to help her. She also has already started courting voters in New York today in order to try to secure a solid win. However, Sanders also has ties to New York, his native state, and will be hoping to do well there in order to keep his momentum going.

What effect, if any, do you think Cruz's and Sanders's win in the Wisconsin primary will have on upcoming primaries and the nomination race as a whole? 
What strategies do you think the different candidates will try to use in New York in order to secure votes from both their solid base of voters and reach other votes? 


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