Wednesday, April 06, 2016

Trump hits bump in Wisconsin, but rural areas stick with him as race enters new phase

Republican presidential candidate Donald Trump has performed well in rural areas. Now, more than ever, he may be relying on rural votes to get the required number of delegates to receive the Republican nomination. If rural areas don't push him over the top, the nomination could be decided at the Republican National Convention, which could spell trouble for the businessman, who has quickly been alienating himself from members of his own party. Texas Sen. Ted Cruz has been surging, having won Utah, North Dakota and Wisconsin, picking up 86 delegates, to six for Trump. Overall, Trump leads 743-517, with the magic number being 1,237 and only 882 not yet allocated. (New York Times map)

While Cruz won Wisconsin, 48.2 percent to 35.1 percent, his "strength did have limits," Nate Cohn reports for The New York Times. "It was heavily concentrated in the more populous eastern part of the state. In the older, more rural, less religious and less educated western and northern areas of the state, Trump still ran far ahead of Cruz. The distinctly regional element of Cruz’s strength at least raises the possibility that it won’t be replicated elsewhere. The region is one of the few places in the northern U.S. where Republicans dominate in well-educated suburbs."

If no candidate reaches 1,237 delegates, "the Republicans’ choice for the Nov. 8 election will be made at a contested convention, picked by delegates gathering in Cleveland in July," Steve Holland reports for Reuters. "Trump needs to win 55 percent of the delegates that remain to be awarded. Cruz needs to win more than 80 percent of the remaining delegates up for grabs to secure the nomination,  a difficult task even with momentum. A Reuters/Ipsos poll on Tuesday showed Cruz about even with Trump nationally, as his recent gains mark the first time since November that a rival has threatened Trump's standing at the head of the Republican pack."

Ohio Gov. John Kasich remains in the race as it heads to primaries in northeastern states, most notably New York.

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