Donald Trump predicted that a victory in Wisconsin’s Tuesday primary could seal his bid for the Republican presidential nomination.
“The world is watching Wisconsin to see if the momentum from this incredible movement can be slowed down,” Trump said at a Monday morning rally in La Crosse, Wis.
“If we do well here, folks, it’s over. If we don’t, it’s not over, but wouldn’t you like to take the credit for ending it? And then we can focus on Hillary instead of these two guys,” he said, referring to GOP rivals Ted Cruz and John Kasich.
There are 42 delegates up for grabs in Tuesday’s primary, the majority of which are awarded at the congressional district level. Those delegates, three for each of the state’s eight districts, are awarded winner-take-all, so a strong performance could net a candidate most of the delegates.
A big win for Trump would keep him on course to narrowly securing the nomination, but a successful night for Cruz would go a long way toward keeping Trump from reaching the 1,237 delegates needed to clinch the nomination and avoid a contested Republican National Convention.
But the race for the Badger State remains tight. A new Emerson College poll released Monday showed Cruz up 5 points. Cruz has led in the last six polls, according to RealClearPolitics.
Cruz has won most of the support from influential Wisconsin Republicans, including Gov. Scott Walker and conservative talk show host Charles Sykes.
But Trump bashed all three repeatedly on the stump, arguing that “we have the machine against us,” and calling Sykes a “dope.”
The GOP front-runner also went after Kasich, who trails both Trump and Cruz significantly in delegates. Trump repeated his call for the Ohio governor to “get the hell out” of the presidential race, arguing that “it’s very very unfair just to have a stubborn guy” like Kasich that doesn’t drop out.
Kasich is mathematically unable to secure the majority of delegates before the convention in July, but he has said he will win in a contested convention because he polls well against Democrat Hillary Clinton in the general election.