Sen. Ted Cruz won an overwhelming victory in Wisconsin on Tuesday night, telling those gathered in Milwaukee that the win is a turning point in the election:
Tonight is a turning point, it is a rallying cry, it is a call from the hardworking men and women of Wisconsin to the people of America.
We have a choice. A real choice. The national political terrain began to change two weeks ago. In the state of Utah we won 69 percent of the vote, a landslide election, winning every single delegate in the state. Then just three days ago in Colorado, two congressional districts voted. Once again, they elected six delegates and of those six delegates we won all six.
And then two days ago in North Dakota we had another tremendous win. They elected their delegates. Of the delegates who specified their support, 18 are supporting our campaign, one is supporting Donald Trump.
Cruz continued pointing out change over the past three weeks in Wisconsin:
Three weeks ago the media had written [us] off, three weeks ago the media said Wisconsin was a perfect state for Donald Trump. But the hardworking men and women of Wisconsin stood and campaigned tirelessly to make sure that tonight was a victory for every American.
Four very different states, Utah, Colorado, North Dakota, Wisconsin, four victories. So just how significant is tonight? Well just today our campaign has raised over $2 million.
The candidate directed people to his website to make more contributions. He said:
In the last two weeks and in the coming days when Colorado and Wyoming finish voting, we are likely to have gained over 100 delegates on Donald Trump. And as a result of tonight, as a result of the people of Wisconsin defying the media, defying the pundits, I am more and more convinced that our campaign is going to earn the 1,237 delegates needed to win…(applause)
Either before Cleveland or at the convention in Cleveland, together we will win a majority of the delegates and together we will beat Hillary Clinton in November. Tonight was a bad night for Hillary Clinton. It was a bad night in the Democratic primary and it was an even worse night for her in the Republican primary.
We are winning because we are uniting the Republican party. Of the 17 candidates who started this race, a terrific, talented, dynamic field, five have now endorsed this campaign: Rick Perry and Lindsay Graham and Jeb Bush and Carly Fiorina and Wisconsin’s own Gov. Scott Walker.
Cruz delivered a quote from John F. Kennedy when he accepted the Democratic party’s nomination, and he quoted Winston Churchill: “‘If we open a quarrel between the present and the past we shall be in danger of losing the future.’ The same is true today.” Cruz went on to say:
Tonight Wisconsin has lit a candle guiding the way forward. Tonight we once again have hope for the future.
Tonight is about unity and tonight is about hope. Young people in America once again have hope that we will bring jobs back to America by repealing Obamacare, passing it, reigning in the federal regulators that are killing small businesses, passing a flat tax and abolishing the IRS. We will unleash incredible economic growth. Our border will finally be made secure and sanctuary cities will end.
Truck drivers and mechanics and plumbers and steel workers, union members, men and women with callouses on their hands, will once again see wages rising, opportunity expanding. Working moms struggling to make ends meet will see take home pay increasing, the cost of living falling, and Common Core ending.
The Senator emphasized “the fundamental freedom of every one of us to live according to our faith and our conscience,” adding:
Instead of negotiating with terrorists, we’ll rip to shreds this catastrophic Iranian nuclear deal. We will defeat radical Islamic terorrism and we will utterly destroy ISIS. We will have a president who keeps us safe. To the soldiers and sailors, the airmen and Marines, to the police officers and firefighters and first responders who risk their lives every day to keep us safe, we will have a Commander-In-Chief who has your back.
Jobs, freedom, and security — that’s what this next election is all about, according to tonight’s GOP victor. He moved on to speak of the American free enterprise system:
It’s what allowed my dad to escape Cuba and come to America with nothing, washing dishes making 50 cents a day to start a business and today to be a pastor traveling the country. It’s what allowed my Irish Italian mom to become the first in her family to go to college, to smash glass ceilings by becoming a pioneering computer programmer. It’s what allowed my wife Heidi … she’s become a successful business leader, a loving mom, and every day she’s teaching our daughters Caroline and Catherine that strong women can accomplish anything in the United States of America.
“That’s America. It’s what we’re fighting for, our children, our future, and Wisconsin has made clear we are free to choose,” he said.
“Hillary, get ready, here we come,” Cruz concluded, asking more Americans to join the campaign.
Wisconsin Gov. Scott Walker introduced Cruz at the election night victory event, and Cruz told Walker that he looks forward to coming back to Wisconsin this fall to win the state for Republicans.
News outlets began calling the race for Cruz within 20 minutes of the close of polls on Tuesday. The state boasts 42 Republican delegates. As of 11 p.m. ET, Cruz received 50 percent of the vote, Trump 33.1 percent, and Ohio Gov. John Kasich 14.5 per cent.
Polls showed a surge for Cruz last week. A March Marquette Law School poll had Cruz up 21 points from February, jumping from 19 percent to 40 percent in March. Trump remained steady at 30 percent in the same two polls.
Cruz could likely pick up additional delegates this week in Colorado. He won six delegates between two congressional districts in the state on Saturday and also won a tentative 18 of 25 preferred delegates in North Dakota on Sunday.
The next Republican presidential primary will be in New York on April 19.
Follow Michelle Moons on Twitter @MichelleDiana