It was Donald Trump’s turn to rip on Sen. Ted Cruz last night. Cruz bested the billionaire in the Wisconsin GOP primary, and Trump used the occasion to accuse the Texas Senator of collaborating with his Super PACs and party leaders to hijack the race.
That first part is a pretty serious charge – since it’s illegal – but the Trump team has offered no support for the allegation. Moreover, for all the huff and puffery, Ted Cruz can now pocket most of the states 42 delegates.
Is Wisconsin a Waterloo for the billionaire? Ben Philpott, senior editor and longtime political correspondent at KUT in Austin says it all depends if Cruz can keep up his momentum going forward into the next primaries.
“I think that you’re going to see some states that maybe we thought Donald Trump had a clear early lead in because of that name ID – and especially some of those smaller states where we re not see a whole lot of polling – I think you absolutely could see Ted Cruz start to do much better than expected, or at least much better than early predicted,” Philpott says.
Cruz, however, might have a harder time going into states in the Northeast. But anti-Trump sentiment could give him a boost.
“There has been such a concentrated effort to knock Trump off that I think you’re seeing some people, maybe not people peeling away from Donald Trump, but …. Maybe the people that were sitting at home, not feeling exactly happy with any of the choices, maybe now they’re like, ‘Well, at least now I know who I don’t want to vote for.”
Across the aisle, Bernie Sanders beat out Hillary Clinton. But will it make a difference?
“Nate Silver at fivethirtyeight.com did an article just in the past week saying that there is a mathematical way for Bernie Sanders to get to the total number of delegates that he needs to have more pledged delegates heading in to the Democratic convention,” Phillpot says. “But the math is just really hard. Not only does he need to win by double digits – you know, 15 percent in many states – but when he does lose to Hillary Clinton, he can only lose by one or two percentage points.”
Listen to the full interview in the audio player above.