Last Tuesday, Ted Cruz sewed up the invaluable endorsement of Wisconsin Governor Scott Walker. Not only did Walker endorse him but he cut an ad for the Cruz campaign. Yesterday, a couple of other things happened that point to Cruz running away with this Tuesday’s primary.
Wisconsin Representative Reid Ribble endorsed Ted Cruz yesterday after struggling to decide between Cruz and Kasich.
What makes this significant is that Ribble is not a hard-core conservative. His HAFA score puts him right at the House average (67%) and he is about in the middle of Wisconsin’s delegation. The fact that he has endorsed Cruz means that he is probably correct in that the majority of the undecided vote in Wisconsin is a) trying to decide between Cruz and Kasich, not between Trump and anyone else, and b) those undecideds will break toward Cruz on Tuesday.
The second bit of news is a new poll confirms that Cruz has a sizable lead in Wisconsin.
The average is skewed by the ridiculous PPP poll that has Trump down one point. If the history of this primary season holds true, Trump is polling about 5 points higher than he will perform on Tuesday (making him sort of the “small hands” candidate). This poll has a whopping 15 percent of the population undecided and, I suspect, most, like Congressman Ribble, will decide that any affinity they have toward John Kasich is more than offset by the necessity of stopping Donald Trump
This is critical, Wisconsin is a “winner take the most” version of the “winner take all model”:
Of Wisconsin’s 42 Republican delegates, 24 are allocated by congressional districts. The GOP’s other 18 delegates come from 15 at large, and three members of the Republican national committee — those go to the winner statewide.
So while there is a state-wide race going on, it would be possible for a candidate to lose 20-plus of the congressional district races by narrow margins. Cruz is going to win the state race but the real battle is to deny Trump and especially Kasich any delegates at all. Shutting out Kasich in a state that, according to his own campaign narrative, is friendly to him will knock him out of the race.