When it matters, the Wisconsin primary has a history for shaking things up.
Tuesday is a rare event where the Badger State’s primary is playing a role in both the Republican and the Democratic primaries.
Here are five things to watch Tuesday:
1. Stop-Trump effort
Republican Donald Trump was leading in Wisconsin polls a few weeks ago, but newer polls show Texas Sen. Ted Cruz winning and Ohio Gov. John Kasich coming in third.
A big win for Cruz would give him more delegates in his effort to keep Trump from reaching the 1,237 number he needs to secure the nomination. The statewide winner will take 18 of the state’s 42 delegates.
The winners of the state’s eight congressional districts will get three delegates in each district they carry. The newest polls from Emerson, CBS News and Fox Business show the same trend - Cruz at over 40 percent, Trump hovering between 32 and 35 and Kasich down around 20 percent. If Cruz manages a sweep in Wisconsin, the likelihood of an open convention in Cleveland becomes more likely. If Cruz takes all of the delegates in Wisconsin, Trump would need to win 57 percent of all of the remaining delegates to clinch the nomination.
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2. A second wind for Sanders
If Vermont Sen. Bernie Sanders wins Wisconsin it would be a boost to his campaign heading toward New York where Hillary Clinton has a large lead in the polls. Wisconsin is full of college students, union voters and could be a good state for Sanders. There’s 96 delegates up for grabs in the state for Democrats. Ten of those are superdelegates and 86 are pledged. The reason the state is so important for Sanders is that it boosts his “momentum” story line. If he wins here, he will have won six of the last seven contests. Latest Real Clear Politics polling average gives Sanders a slight edge over Clinton, 47.8 to 44.7 percent.
3. Could solidify race for Clinton and Trump
In 1960, then-Sen. John F. Kennedy won the Wisconsin primary defeating Hubert Humphry. The win put him on course for the nomination. If Trump and Clinton pull off wins in Wisconsin, that would be major blows to the challenges from Cruz and Sanders. The polls hint that anything is possible. This state has a history of siding with front-runners.
4. More pressure on Kasich to get out
If Ohio Gov. John Kasich comes in a distant third as polls predict in Wisconsin, there will be more calls for him to drop out of the race. Since Wisconsin is a Midwestern state, Kasich should be polling better here. A big loss in Wisconsin sends the message Kasich can’t win any states other than his home state of Ohio, which he won March 15. The interesting thing is both Cruz and Trump want Kasich out saying he’s pulling votes from each of them. Kasich and his aides repeatedly say he’s staying in the race.
5. Moving on to New York
After Wisconsin votes, all eyes shift to New York where Trump and Clinton have big leads in the polls. Both are looking to take big leads in the delegate counts there. For Republicans, there will be 95 delegates up for grabs in the Empire State. Eighty-one of those are chosen by congressional district, 14 are at-large delegates. For Democrats, there’s a whopping 291 delegates at stake. Most are awarded to the winners of the state’s 27 congressional districts. Eighty-four of the delegates are awarded to the statewide winner. The remaining delegates are superdelegates.
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