Election 2016

Ted Cruz defeats national front-runner Donald Trump

Image By: Jon Yoon and Jon Yoon

Texas Sen. Ted Cruz easily beat national front-runner Donald Trump in the Wisconsin primary Tuesday, making it more difficult for the business mogul to clinch the GOP nomination prior to the convention in Cleveland this summer.

Trump’s poor showing in a state stung by many of the same forces of globalization that propelled him to victories in rust belt states like Michigan caps off an unusually incoherent stretch. Trump’s Twitter war with Cruz over the relative attractiveness of their wives and his startling call to punish women who undergo abortions dismayed Wisconsinites who hoped to see him act more presidential and serious.

“I wish it was a little more about the issues,” lamented freshman Sam Farber after voting at Gordon Dining and Event Center.

Prominent state politicians agree. Gov. Scott Walker, who left the race in September with a hopeful plea to his rivals to “clear the field” for a principled conservative to consolidate support and defeat Trump, ecstatically introduced Cruz at a Milwaukee victory rally, who is finally benefiting from a pared-down ballot.

To the peppy blare of the UW-Madison’s hallowed “On Wisconsin,” Walker patted the state on the back.

“We don’t need leaders who talk about how bad things are,” Walker said. “Just as Wisconsin has been a leader in the past, we’re proud here on April 5 to be a leader again showing a turning point in this election.”

Cruz emerged, and after robotically rattling off his core policies, including a regressive flat tax, curbed regulations and the abolishment of Obamacare as a remedy for Milwaukee’s economic woes, praised Wisconsin’s Republican voters.

“Tonight Wisconsin has lit a candle guiding the way forward,” Cruz said, borrowing the state motto. “Tonight we again have hope for the future. I look forward to coming back to the state of Wisconsin this fall and in November, for the first time since 1984 painting the great state of Wisconsin red.”

Cruz’s path to the 1,237 delegates to secure the GOP nomination outright remains impossibly narrow. However, his strong finish increases the chances of a brokered convention, where Ohio Gov. John Kasich also hopes to compete for delegates despite another loss in Wisconsin.

Despite heated rhetoric from candidates, the primary served as an important reminder of civic duty.

“I did a lot of research before I came [to the poll],” said freshman and first-time voter Maddie Valee. “I actually looked at issues.”

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