April 5, 2016 Wisconsin Primary

< April 1-3  |  April 5  |  April 8-9 >
April 5 Dems: WI

42 Delegates
:  Wisconsin was the only contest on the day and stood as a bit of a peak in the nominating calendar; the previous primary was on March 22 and the next is on April 19 (although there were contests in North Dakota and Colorado in between).  Wisconsin saw competitive contests in both parties.  The expectation heading into Primary Day was that Cruz would defeat Trump by a sizable margin.  Cruz and his campaign worked hard to make sure that happened, and they won by a 13-point margin over Trump; they then sought to portray the win as a major turning point in the campaign.


Official Results - Government Accountability Board  |  Ballot [PDF]
MORE  (9+w/in)
Rubio 10,591 (0.96%),  Carson 5,660 (0.51%),  Bush 3,054 (0.28%),  Paul 2,519 (0.23%),  Huckabee 1,424 (0.13%), 
 Christie 1,191 (0.11%),  Fiorina 772 (0.07%),  Santorum 511 (0.05%),  Gilmore 245 (0.02%) and Victor Williams (w/in) 39
Not included in total: Scattering 1,381

Organization:  BUSH  |  CRUZ  |  FIORINA  |  KASICH  |  RUBIO  |  TRUMP

High turnout was expected due to competitive contests in both parties.  Wisconsin's Government Accountability Board "projected that 1.75 million Wisconsin residents – or 40 percent of eligible voters – will vote in the 2016 Spring Election and Presidential Preference Primary, which would be the highest turnout since 1980 for an April election"  Wisconsin's new photo ID law may have contributed to confusion and long lines in some areas. (+)

In the lead-up to April 5 Cruz did more events in Wisconsin than any other candidate of either party, his campaign opened at least half a dozen offices, and he secured endorsements of Gov. Walker, U.S. Reps. Grothman and Ribble and over 20 state legislators.  Walker as well as Carly Fiorina and Sen. Mike Lee stumped with Cruz, and Cruz-allied super PACs were active, hosting several of his rallies and running advertising.

Trump meanwhile endured a bad week leading up to the primary as his campaign manager was charged with battery and he suggested that "there would have to be "some form of punishment" for women if abortion became illegal.  Talk radio also aligned against Trump.  Further, Trump had not fared particularly well in neighboring Minnesota, where he finished third with 21-percent, and in Iowa he was second with 24-percent, although both were caucus states.  Trump did make an effort though, doing a dozen events in the lead-up to the primary. 

Kasich had an organization, opened a couple of offices and did some advertising, but put in relatively little time campaigning in the state.  (see: Campaign Activity)

Cruz won a group of 24 counties in south and central eastern Wisconsin from Milwaukee to Dane (Madison) to Oshkosh (Winnebago) to Green Bay (Brown), and he won several counties from Eau Claire to the Minnesota border.  Trump won a big swath across northern Wisconsin, most of western Wisconsin and, narrowly, Kenosha County in the far southeast.  Kasich's best showing was in Dane County where he finished third with a bit more than 29% of the vote.

Cruz Calls Wisconsin Victory a “Turning Point”
Trump "Withstood the onslaught of the establishment yet again"
Kasich for America: The Nomination Contest is Wide Open
Democrats and Aligned

National delegate allocation:  Cruz 36, Trump 6.