The results of the Wisconsin primary on Tuesday, April 5, 2016, might answer the question of whether or not there will be an alternative Republican candidate to Donald Trump. Trump needs a total of 1,237 delegates to qualify for the nomination.
In order to walk away with the Republican nomination at the Republican National Convention, to be held in Cleveland this summer, starting on July 16, the winner needs to have 1,237 votes; a simple majority. As of this writing, not all tallies have been certified; however the Republican National Committee (RNC) reports that Trump leads with 749 delegates. He is trailed bySenator Ted Cruz who has 455 delegates. The only remaining active candidate is Governor John Kasich from Ohio, lagging with 144 delegates.
The RNC is the national leadership organization of the Republican Party and functions in the same way as its Democratic National Committee (DNC) counterpart. The goal for the candidates vying for the nomination is to secure enough delegates before the convention. This could secure their selection before any outside forces can change the outcome.
The tally of the vote in the Wisconsin primary may help to determine if there is an alternative to the current front-runner Trump. The delegates awarded to a candidate is not always a straightforward matter of counting. Wisconsin is not a winner-take-all state. Of the 42 delegates available, the winner of the overall state-wide vote tally only receives 18 of these and the rest are divided between the other candidates. They will be allocated based on the results in the 24 districts in which Wisconsin is divided. In order to win all the state’s delegates, one candidate needs to win the overall tally statewide and also be the winner in each district.
Trump might be faltering a bit as a result of his campaign manager being charged with assault of a reporter and his changing comments about his pro-lie pro-choice opinions. What Trump has going for is his appearance as an iconoclastic politician; that he seems to be his own man. A nationwide Quinnipiac poll from a sampling during March 16-21 was released today, before all the Trump missteps of the last week were taken into account. A key polling question was: “America has lost its identity?” The results reveal that 85 percent of those who favor Trump support this statement.
Poll results indicate that Ted Cruz holds a lead in the state.He has also been endorsed by the state’s governor Scott Walker, who himself was a presidential candidate. In explaining his endorsement, Walker maintained that Cruz was best poised to win the nomination and beat Hillary Clinton in November.
The number of delegates won by Cruz today may well determine if Trump will have enough votes to win his nomination on the first convention ballot. If not, Cruz is positioning himself for a second round. The RNC rules permits certain pledged delegates to become free to vote for whom they want; some after the first ballot, others after another round. In Arizona, Cruz is working on Trump-pledged delegates for a potential second round. Trump won the Arizona winner-take-all primary on March 22, thereby securing 58 delegates – for the first round only.
John Kasich is not poised to do well in Wisconsin but he remains in the race.As the third man in a perceived two-man race, he is positioning himself as the conservative alternative to Trump, should the convention run into multiple rounds of balloting. A few days ago, Trump has accused Kasich of stealing his votes by staying in the competition.
Kasich may be doing this, but he also may be siphoning off votes from Cruz. The Wall Street Journal reported that Republicans are hoping Kasich will remove himself from the race. Establishment Republicans are searching for an alternative to Donald Trump, a man more disliked by them than Ted Cruz.
By Bob Reinhard
GOP: Official site
Quinnipiac University: April 5, 2016 – Deep Dissatisfaction Among U.S. Voters, Quinnipiac University Poll Finds; Trump Supporters Want Leader Who Ignores The Rules
Chicago Tribune: Wisconsin Gov. Walker endorses Ted Cruz for president
CNN: Email shows Cruz moves to weaken Trump grip on delegates
CBS News: Trump attacks Kasich for staying in race The GOP 2016 Race
Photos Courtesy of Gage Skidmore’s Flickr Page – Creative Common License