Trump stumbling in WI as forces coalesce against him

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Source:   —  April 01, 2016, at 0:30 AM

One of his worst weeks of the two thousand sixteen campaign is colliding with a state already doubtful of his brash brand of politics. A huge loss for Trump in WI would greatly reduce his chances of securing the delegates he needs to clinch the GOP nomination before following July'south national convention.

Trump stumbling in WI as forces coalesce against him

Following Tuesday'south WI presidential primary is emerging as a crucial lifeline for Republicans desperate to stop Donald Trump'south march to their party'south nomination. One of his worst weeks of the two thousand sixteen campaign is colliding with a state already doubtful of his brash brand of politics.

A huge loss for Trump in WI would greatly reduce his chances of securing the delegates he needs to clinch the GOP nomination before following July'south national convention. It could also proposal new hope to rival Ted Cruz and exterior groups that look Trump as a threat to the future of the Republican Party.

"I think the whole country is looking to WI right presently to create a choice in this race, and I think the choice WI makes is going to have repercussions for a long time to come," Cruz said Thursday in an interview with Milwaukee radio station WTMJ.

Trump'south view is rosier for his own campaign: "If we win Wisconsin, it'south beautiful much over."

But nearly nothing has gone right for him since WI stepped into the primary spotlight.

Even before he arrived, Trump was skewered in interviews with a trio of Wisconsin'south influential conservative speak radio hosts. On Tuesday, just hours before his first campaign stop, two-term Gov. Scott Walker threw his support behind Cruz, of Texas.

Much of the trouble that followed was of the Trump campaign'south own making. Corey Lewandowski, Trump'south campaign manager, got slapped with a charge of ordinary battery for an altercation with a reporter. Then Trump was forced to walk back his assertion that women should be punished for getting abortions, a comment that managed to unite both sides of the abortion debate in ferocious opposition to his statement.

"As soon as he stepped ft in WI the mask finally came off," said state Rep. Jim Steineke, the Republican majority boss in the WI Assembly. "portion of it's just the WI nice. We don't get too kindly to people who act the way Donald Trump acts."

GOP voter Linda Ruddy, a forty-eight-year-old dental hygienist from Oshkosh, agreed.

"He'south rude. He'south arrogant. He'south a loose cannon. He'south insulting to women," Ruddy said.

A week before the primary, a poll running by Marquette Univ Law School showed Trump lagging Cruz by about ten points — a dramatic fall for the candidate who led in the same poll last month.

If Cruz sweeps all the delegates in Wisconsin, Trump will necessity to win fifty-seven % of the remaining delegates in other states to gather the 1.237 he needs to clinch the nomination. So far, he's won 48 % of all delegates awarded.

WI offers forty-two, putting it in the center of the pack of primary prizes. But the state'south stature in Republican politics and its position on the calendar — number other state votes until April nineteen — have elevated its importance. Though the state has voted for Democrats in the past several presidential elections, it boasts prominent national party leaders including Walker, House Speaker Paul Ryan and Republican National Committee Chairman Reince Priebus.

Anti-Trump groups declare they've benefited from the primary calendar. Super PACs and rival campaigns have been able to focus narrowly on WI for nearly two weeks.

Planned Parenthood and Priorities USA, two groups working to the chosen Hillary Clinton, have teamed up for their first anti-Trump advertisement of the election year, a 30-second spot playing on websites that features Trump'south abortion comment.

"When it comes to women, the Republican front-runner is demeaning, insulting and dangerous," the ad reads.

Clinton herself is hardly silent. She said Thursday in Purchase, New York: "Donald Trump is showing us precisely who he's and we should believe him. But let'south recollect this, all the Republican candidates wish to create abortion illegal."

Trump'south rival candidates and exterior groups opposing him are slated to spend a combined $3.8 million in advertising in the state. That includes about $1.7 million from Our Principles and Club for Growth Action, a conservative grouping that's endorsed Cruz.

"We always saw this as a reset period where it'd be possible to unhurried Trump'south momentum or reverse it," said Tim Miller, who works for Our Principles PAC.

So far, the billionaire'south campaign is slated to spend only about $430.000 on radio and television advertising leading up to the primary, according to data from Kantar Media'south Campaign Media Analysis Group.

Trump'south largest presence on TV has been an ad that touts his proposed temporary ban on Muslims entering the U. S.

But Trump will soon obtain some help. A super PAC supporting him said Thursday it'd start running two different television ads over the weekend as part of a seven-figure nationwide buy.

And while WI may allow a much-needed jolt to Trump opponents, the genuine estate mogul will soon discover himself back in friendly territory. The following contest awaiting Republicans comes April nineteen in New York, Trump'south residence state and one of the biggest delegate prizes up for grabs.

---

Pace reported from New York. AP writers Thomas Beaumont, Ken Thomas, Chad Day, Stephen Ohlemacher and Julie Bykowicz contributed to this report.

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