CNN is referring to Tuesday’s Wisconsin Primary as “Groundhog Day” due to its potential to leave America with six more weeks of an intense election.
Trump winning Wisconsin would set him on a clear path to the 1,237 delegates needed for the Republican nomination. A Cruz or Kasich win, however, would slow down Trump’s pace and boost either candidate’s potential to winning the party’s nomination in the July convention.
Texas Sen. Ted Cruz leads the Republican race in Wisconsin, early forecasters show, with Donald Trump in second and Ohio Gov. John Kasich a close third.
While Wisconsin will not make or break Trump’s path to the nomination, it could make it much harder for the front-runner to clinch 1,237 needed delegates.
“The conversation’s going to be, ‘This is going to go to an open convention,’” Ed Goeas, a Republican pollster said to CNN. “I think you’re going to see that conversation really go through the roof.”
Unlike a majority of states, whose voters decide who their delegates will vote for at the Republican National Convention, states such as North Dakota, Tennessee and Colorado have a unique delegate selection process. Through a series of meetings, these states’ respective delegates meet and individually decide whom their votes will go toward in July.
In North Dakota on Saturday, 18 of the state’s 25 delegates stated their support for Cruz. However, these delegates are not locked in until their votes are cast at the convention.
Wisconsin has 42 total delegates at stake for the three remaining Republican candidates. Of those, 18 go to the statewide winner, while the other 24 are divided up between each of Wisconsin’s eight congressional districts, according to CNN.
Even if Cruz won all 42 delegates, though, it would still be possible for Trump to win the 1,237 delegates needed for the nomination. A win in Wisconsin for Cruz, however, would serve overall as a confidence booster for the remaining primaries. Wisconsin’s primary on Tuesday is the only major contest over the next four weeks.
According to CNN, Trump’s campaign is striving to win Wisconsin and his aides are downplaying the effects of a potential loss.
“We want to win every delegate everywhere, so every loss is disappointing,” Barry Bennett, a senior adviser to Trump’s campaign said to CNN. “But it’s not one of our must-win states.”
Trump’s campaign argues that they have modeled a 1,450-delegate plan, which includes zero from Wisconsin.