A new poll from FoxBusiness shows Texas Sen. Ted Cruz with a clear 10-point lead in Wisconsin over Donald Trump and Ohio Gov. John Kasich.
Cruz leads the trio with 42 percent support, followed by Trump with 32 percent. Kasich is a distant third with 19 percent.
The poll, of 742 likely Republican primary voters, was conducted Monday through Wednesday. A portion of the poll, then, was done before Wisconsin Gov. Scott Walker endorsed Cruz in the April 3rd primary.
Of the six most recent polls of the Wisconsin primary, Cruz leads in five of them. He currently has a 3.8 point edge in the RealClearPolitics average of polls. Walker endorsed Cruz on Tuesday, so the impact of his endorsement isn’t yet fully reflected in the polls. In a hypothetical match-up with Walker still in the race, Cruz leads the entire field by more than 20 points.
Cruz does best against Trump among women, leading with female Republican voters by almost 20 points. Trump does better with men, although he trails Cruz by five points here as well. Cruz carries “very conservative” voters by 36 points and “Republicans” by 17 points.
In Wisconsin, Indepedents can vote in the Republican primary. Independent voters prefer Trump by 11 points, 37-26. Independents are evenly split, however, whether they will vote in the Democrat or Republican primary.
Support for both Cruz and Trump is fairly solid. More than 80 percent of each of the candidate’s supporters say they are definitely voting for their choice. Among Kasich supporters, however, 40 percent say they could still change their mind.
By a 2-1 margin, Kasich supporters prefer Cruz (47 percent) over Trump (20 percent) as their second choice.
Hillary Clinton trails Bernie Sanders by five points in the Democrat contest. In a hypothetical general election match-up against Trump, however, she leads the GOP frontrunner by 14 points. In that hypothetical match-up, 42 percent of Republican voters would seriously consider a third party candidate or skip voting.
Also on Thursday, Public Policy Polling (PPP) released their latest survey of Wisconsin. Their poll showed Cruz with just a one point lead over Trump. Their polling memo, however, noted that:
There are indications within the numbers that Cruz could win a wider victory though. In a head to head match up with Trump he leads 49/41. That’s because Kasich voters prefer him over Trump by a 51/19 spread. Only 63% of Kasich voters say they’re definitely going to vote for him (Cruz and Trump are both over 80% on that metric), so if his supporters end up moving to one of the top two it could mean a wider Cruz victory.
Both Cruz (+14) and Kasich (+22) have net-positive favorable ratings among Wisconsin Republicans, according to PPP. Donald Trump (-3) has a net-negative rating with Badger State Republicans. Trump, however, has a -13 favorable rating with Republican women.
The Wisconsin primary is high stakes for both Cruz and Trump. With Trump’s expected victory in the New York primary in two weeks, Cruz needs to add Wisconsin’s 42 delegates to his column, both to close the gap between himself and Trump and block Trump from winning them.
For Trump, a loss in Wisconsin will make it very difficult for him to win the minimum 1,237 delegates he needs to secure the nomination before the convention in Cleveland. Both men are campaigning aggressively in Wisconsin ahead of Tuesday’s vote.
For now, at least, Cruz seems to have the edge leading into the vote.