From the start of his campaign, Donald Trump has enjoyed a level of success that few could have imagined. His brash and uncompromising talk attracted many on the right who were thoroughly fed-up with Republican turncoats and weak promises.
Trump skyrocketed to the top of the heap and while the issue of who else would be stay standing lingered, Republican voters decided long ago whether they were “pro-Trump” or “anti-Trump.”
Because he is a “love him or hate him” kind of candidate, he has had difficulty throughout the Republican primary as the field narrows. As Cruz has picked-up the remnants of Bush, Rubio or Carson supporters, Trump stands with a formidable presence, but seemingly incapable of attracting a statistically significant amount of new voters. He has maintained that he’s electable because he attracts crossover votes from Democrats- a fact that might be true, but hardly something that would endear him to conservatives.
On Tuesday, Ted Cruz won Wisconsin’s primary. Anti-Trump commentators are calling it a game-changer while even the most-ardent Trump supporter must now admit that Wisconsin could be the start of a downward trend for the billionaire who many allege has peaked.
A Reuters poll taken this week indicates that though Trump is showing no signs of sweating the Cruz victory, he very well should be.
The poll shows that Cruz is now in a statistical dead-heat with Trump. Trump is up four points for “Republicans,” but Cruz is up two points among “likely Republican primary voters.”
Republican presidential underdog Ted Cruz has pulled into a statistical dead heat with front-runner Donald Trump, according to Reuters/Ipsos polling.
The U.S. senator from Texas has 35.2 percent support among Republicans to Trump’s 39.5 percent, according to the survey taken from April 1-5, putting the two within the poll’s credibility interval of 4.8 percentage points. The two were also briefly in a dead heat on March 28.
Trump first jumped to the top of the Reuters/Ipsos national poll in July 2015. The only time a rival came close to Trump’s lead in the poll before Cruz was Nov. 7. when neurosurgeon Ben Carson briefly tied him.
Cruz had trailed Trump nearly 20-points a month ago.
Meanwhile, as Trump’s momentum slows as he strives for the needed 1237 delegates for a majority at the convention, Cruz has crafted an impressive coalition of delegates who have expressed a willingness to vote for him in the second round if no majority is present in the first.
The bottomline: Trump is in for some sleepless night between now and July.