How the Wisconsin Primary Results Affect The 2016 Presidential Race
The Wisconsin primary that took place on Tuesday, April 5th was a crucial night for several candidates, and for multiple reasons. The winners of the primary election were Ted Cruz and Bernie Sanders.
Both winners had a significant leading margin of double digits, and saw the results as pivotal for their campaigns. So how will these results affect the presidential race going forward? What does it all mean? That is the big question of the day.
The 2016 Republican Nomination
There are multiple dynamic elements at play in the GOP race. There are those Republicans who are solidly behind either Trump or Cruz, and then there are those who are adamantly opposed to Trump – regardless of who the alternative is.
So in addition to active campaigns in place by each candidate, there is also this anti-Trump force that is active as well, almost like a ghost campaign. All of these levels of loyalty are in play during these primary and caucus events.
In order to have any chance at all, Cruz had to win Wisconsin, which he successfully did, securing the bulk of the delegates available from this state. He didn’t just marginally win, he won by a nice double-digit spread.
Does this mean that Cruz can really overtake Trump from here on out? Not necessarily. Wisconsin is a different animal, and the voters there were not quite as upset with the GOP establishment as the rest of the nation seems to be.
This means that they are not driven as forcefully towards Trump, and are likely making decisions on a less emotional level than voters from other states. Since the voter base differs here in regards to their animosity, it does not necessarily set any trends moving forward.
While the Wisconsin win does not guarantee anything in Cruz’ future, it does add to his momentum, and it does help to reduce the number of delegates Trump puts under his belt. In order to stop Trump’s momentum, Cruz is simultaneously making a contested convention more likely.
With the odds of a contested convention increasing, this certainly will have an impact for those betting on the 2016 presidential nomination and general election. This possibility is not what Trump wants at all, but has put a big smile on Kasich’s face. Both Cruz and Kasich believe they could be chosen during a brokered convention; however, there are rumors floating around that Paul Ryan will be the GOP establishment’s pick during the convention.
There is still a lot that is up in the air on the Republican side. Wisconsin did affect the direction that the Republican primary is headed in, but is not enough of an influence to be the sole indicator of anything. You can view the latest odds of winning the GOP nomination here.
The 2016 Democratic Nomination
The Clinton campaign has already responded to her loss by stating that this win did not really help Sanders get closer to the nomination at all. This statement is both right and wrong. Did Sanders close the gap between in pledged delegates between him and Clinton with the win in Wisconsin?
No, not remotely. But what it has done is ensure funding will continue to pour in for Bernie Sanders (he has raised more money than Clinton has recently), and it keeps his momentum going. It was a clear message to the Clinton campaign that he is still alive and kicking, and that voters know it too.
Sanders has won six of the last seven state primaries and caucuses, and he sees this as a momentum that could take him all the way.
Unfortunately, all of these wins have not made much of a dent in the delegate spread as far as pledged delegates go. It would still require quite a miracle for Sanders to win the nomination at this point, but he is clearly in it to win it and is fighting tooth and nail for that miracle to happen. It is to the point where the Democrats in charge cannot brush his potential aside with a chuckle anymore.
He is a serious contender that resonates serious tenacity and ambition and has made a genuine connection with at least a portion of Americans. You can check out the latest betting odds for winning the Democratic nomination here.
What Does it All Mean?
Sanders and Cruz are both underdogs, and everyone loves the triumph of an underdog. Can the Wisconsin triumph of two underdogs transform the election? It is definitely possible. The closer Cruz gets to Trump, the more Trump cries foul and seems unable to handle a truly competitive environment.
Perhaps he senses the possibility of a marginal loss to Cruz or worse, a contested convention on the horizon. With New York’s primary coming up on April 19th, Trump will likely gain back some confidence as it is likely he will take the win for his home state.
The more momentum Sanders builds, the more that the Clinton camp and democrat establishment must acknowledge him as a legitimate opponent. Most still will not admit that Sanders could win the Democrat nomination, but eyebrows are raised and those who previously laughed him off are not laughing quite as much anymore.
With New York’s primary on the horizon, as well as another Super Tuesday coming up on April 26th that includes primarily northeastern states near the Senator’s home stomping grounds, Sanders could certainly end up with some additional delegates and momentum. It will be very interesting to see how it all translates out.