Up by 10 in WI: Ted Cruz Heads to California for Donors, Jimmy Kimmel

Republican presidential candidate Sen. Ted Cruz, R-Texas listens during a campaign stop, Wednesday, March 30, 2016, in Madison, Wis. (AP Photo/Andy Manis)
AP Photo/Andy Manis

Ted Cruz is winning so big in Wisconsin right now, he’s leaving the all-important state for southern California days ahead of the Wisconsin primary for an appearance on Jimmy Kimmel’s late-night comedy show and a high-dollar fundraiser in Newport Beach.

According to a copy of the $1,000-per-plate Newport Beach fundraiser invitation shown to Breitbart News, the high-dollar event will include Sen. Ted Cruz, former Florida Gov. Jeb Bush, former Hewlett Packard CEO Carly Fiorina, and Nevada Attorney General Adam Laxalt, and is co-chaired by Rep. Dana Rohrabacher (R-CA) and his wife Rhonda. The event is expected to garner approximately 250 attendees. Jeb Bush also previously held a $25,000-per-couple presidential fundraiser at the Pacific Club.

Rohrabacher was one of the first members of Congress to endorse Cruz, and the strong House conservative has been with him since before he successfully started unifying the GOP behind him after many of Cruz’s rivals dropped out.

That Cruz is attending such a fundraiser in Southern California — and appearing on a late-night comedy show — is a sign of confidence from the Texas conservative days ahead of a key battle in the Badger State. A new Marquette Law School poll released Wednesday shows Cruz leading GOP delegate frontrunner billionaire Donald Trump by 10 points. Cruz received 40 percent to Trump’s 30 percent in the new poll. Ohio Gov. John Kasich lagged in third place with 21 percent. The results show a surge for Cruz, who had just 19 percent in a February version of the Marquette poll that showed Trump with the same 30 percent.

Cruz is aiming to win in Wisconsin and halt Trump’s hopes of gaining enough momentum to reach 1,237 delegates before the convention.

While Cruz is up in the polls in Wisconsin, Trump is barnstorming the state, aiming to regain traction with a series of events over the next several days. It’s a critical state for him too, as he needs to win there to stop the momentum of the so-called “Never Trump” movement inside the GOP.

During Wednesday night’s MSNBC town hall, Trump declared, “Will we get to 1,237 [delegates]? I think so. I do believe we will.”

Florina has been hitting the campaign trail in Wisconsin on behalf of Cruz, and on Wednesday morning, she joined Ted Cruz, his wife Heidi, and his mother Eleanor Darragh to speak at a “Women for Cruz” event in Madison.

Cruz also gained the influential endorsement of Wisconsin Gov. Scott Walker this week, a former candidate in the race for the Republican nomination.

“The results in Wisconsin will impact significantly the primaries to come,” Cruz told the Associated Press last Friday. “Wisconsin, I believe, will play a critical role continuing to unify Republicans behind our campaign. The only way to beat Donald Trump is with unity.” Cruz also spoke of uniting the Republican Party and defeating Hillary Clinton in response to Walker’s endorsement on Tuesday.

Trump appeared in January and last September on the competing late night show The Tonight Show with Jimmy Fallon.

Follow Michelle Moons on Twitter @MichelleDiana.

Washington Political Editor Matthew Boyle contributed to this report.


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