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The Latest: Ted Cruz haul raises odds of contested convention

UPDATED: Tue., April 5, 2016

Associated Press

WASHINGTON – The Latest on campaign 2016 as voters in Wisconsin head to the polls for the state’s presidential primary (all times Pacific Daylight Time):

8:45 p.m.

Ted Cruz won most of the delegates in the Wisconsin primary, increasing the likelihood of a contested convention.

Cruz has won at least 33 delegates in Wisconsin and Donald Trump has won at least three. Six delegates are still up for grabs, pending the outcome in two congressional districts.

Trump still has a narrow path to claim the nomination by the end of the primaries on June 7. He must win 57 percent of the remaining delegates to win the nomination before the convention. So far, he is winning just 46 percent.

Tuesday’s outcome increases the importance of the five remaining winner-take-all states: Delaware, Nebraska, Montana, New Jersey and South Dakota.

The AP delegate count:

Trump: 740.

Cruz: 514.

John Kasich: 143.

Needed to win: 1,237.

8:30 p.m.

Bernie Sanders may be gaining ground in the number of states he’s won compared to Hillary Clinton. But in terms of delegates, it’s not so much.

After taking Wisconsin, Sanders has now won 15 states to Clinton’s 18.

Still, Sanders trails Clinton significantly in delegates.

With 86 Wisconsin delegates at stake, Sanders won at least 45 delegates to Clinton’s 31. Ten delegates remain to be allocated, pending final vote tallies.

Based on primaries and caucuses alone, Clinton now has 1,274 delegates to Sanders’ 1,025.

When including superdelegates, or party officials who can back any candidate, Clinton’s lead is 1,743 to Sanders’ 1,056. It takes 2,383 to win.

Sanders must win 67 percent of the remaining delegates and uncommitted superdelegates to win the nomination.

8 p.m.

Ted Cruz’s chief spokesman says Ohio Gov. John Kasich is only staying in the race to make a play to be the vice presidential pick.

Cruz spokesman Jason Miller said Tuesday, after the Texas senator won Wisconsin, that “Kasich has to realize the only thing he’s doing is helping Donald Trump.”

Miller says, “This appears to clearly be auditioning for VP play.”

Cruz said in his victory speech that he can still get to the 1,237 delegates needed to capture the nomination before the primaries are over, or at the convention this summer.

Miller wouldn’t go into detail about how Kasich leaving or staying in the race affects Cruz’s chances.

He says, “There are a number of different scenarios to where we can get to 1,237.”

7:55 p.m.

After a win in Wisconsin, Democratic presidential candidate Bernie Sanders is turning his attention to the coming primary in New York. The contest is expected to be a knock-down, drag-out fight between Sanders and front-runner Hillary Clinton.

A loss in New York would be a significant political blow for Clinton’s campaign. She represented the state for eight years in the Senate.

Sanders says: “Do not tell Secretary Clinton, she’s getting a little nervous. But I believe we have an excellent chance to win New York and a lot of delegates in that state.”

Sanders says he’ll then turn his attention to races in Oregon and California, where his campaign believes he can capture big victories.

Sanders is campaigning in Wyoming, where he’s favored to win Saturday’s caucuses.

7:50 p.m.

GOP front-runner Donald Trump says Texas Sen. Ted Cruz won the Wisconsin primary using illegal campaign tactics.

The Trump campaign has released a statement saying Cruz “was coordinating with his own Super PACs (which is illegal) who totally control him.”

The campaign says, “Ted Cruz is worse than a puppet – he is a Trojan horse, being used by the party bosses attempting to steal the nomination from Mr. Trump.”

Trump’s campaign says it has “total confidence” he will win the Republican nomination.

“Mr. Trump is the only candidate who can secure the delegates needed to win the Republican nomination and ultimately defeat Hillary Clinton, or whomever is the Democratic nominee, in order to Make America Great Again,” the statement says.

7:30 p.m.

Democratic presidential candidate Bernie Sanders says his string of recent victories is cutting into Hillary Clinton’s lead, giving him a real shot at the nomination.

Sanders is campaigning in Wyoming just after his victory in the Wisconsin primary.

He says, “We have now won seven out of eight of the last caucuses and we have won almost all of them with overwhelming landslide numbers.”

Despite those victories, Sanders still trails Clinton in the delegates who determine the party nomination.

Sanders believes he can narrow that gap with a victory in New York on April 19 and some of the five northeastern states that cast ballots a week later. He’s expected to win the Wyoming caucuses Saturday.

He’s casting himself as the stronger general-election candidate against GOP front-runner Donald Trump.

7:15 p.m.

Hillary Clinton is congratulating rival Bernie Sanders on his win in Wisconsin.

“Congrats to (at)BernieSanders,” she wrote on Twitter. “To all the voters and volunteers who poured your hearts into this campaign: Forward!”

Sanders is campaigning in Wyoming, which holds its caucuses Saturday. Clinton spent the evening fundraising in the Bronx.

7:10 p.m.

Texas Sen. Ted Cruz is looking ahead to November, saying he wants to deliver Wisconsin for Republicans for the first time in 32 years.

Cruz won the state Tuesday and talked to supporters in Milwaukee.

Wisconsin has not voted for a Republican for president since Ronald Reagan in 1984. But Cruz says he will be the first Republican since then to win Wisconsin and paint the Badger State “bright Republican red.”

He is ending his victory speech with a warning to Democratic front-runner Hillary Clinton. Cruz says: “Hillary, get ready. Here we come.”

7:05 p.m.

Texas Sen. Ted Cruz says his victory in Wisconsin is uniting the Republican Party and gives him a path forward to winning the nomination, either outright or at the convention this summer.

Cruz says: “Tonight, Wisconsin has lit a candle guiding the way forward. Tonight, we have hope for the future.”

Cruz is also casting a more bipartisan tone in his victory speech Tuesday, quoting John F. Kennedy and Winston Churchill.

Cruz is citing a string of recent victories, and the backing of five former GOP presidential candidates, as evidence that Republicans are getting behind his candidacy. He says his campaign raised $2 million on Tuesday alone.

Cruz says, “I am more and more convinced our campaign is going to earn the 1,237 delegates need to win.”

6:58 p.m.

Hillary Clinton wasn’t greeting voters at a rally, town hall or diner as votes rolled in from Wisconsin. Instead, she was spending her evening with top donors in New York City.

She raised at least $60,000 Tuesday night at a fundraiser hosted by Jack Benheim, the owner of a company that manufactures veterinary health products and nutritional supplements. Benheim, a former vice president of the American Israel Public Affairs Committee, has deep ties to New York’s orthodox Jewish community.

The event underscores how costly the primary race has become for Clinton. Though she holds a significant delegate lead, Bernie Sanders has vowed to take his campaign to the party convention in July. That forces Clinton, who’s more reliant on traditional fundraising than Sanders, to criss-cross the country raising funds.

6:55 p.m.

Bernie Sanders’ win in Wisconsin will net him a handful of additional delegates, but he still lags Hillary Clinton by a big number.

With 86 delegates at stake, Sanders will pick up at least 44. Clinton will gain at least 28.

He still must win 67 percent of the remaining delegates and uncommitted superdelegates in order to win the Democratic presidential nomination.

Based on primaries and caucuses alone, Clinton now has 1,271 delegates to Sanders’ 1,024.

When including superdelegates, or party officials who can back any candidate, Clinton has a wider lead – 1,740 to 1,055.

It takes 2,383 to win.

6:50 p.m.

Ted Cruz is collecting most of the delegates at stake in the Wisconsin primary, and he has a chance to win even more.

Cruz is winning at least 24 delegates, with 18 left to be allocated. By winning Wisconsin, Cruz is making it more likely the race for the Republican nomination will go all the way to a contested convention this summer.

Donald Trump still has a narrow path to claim the nomination by the end of the primaries on June 7. But by losing Wisconsin, Trump’s path gets even narrower.

The AP delegate count:

Trump: 737.

Cruz: 505.

John Kasich: 143.

Needed to win: 1,237.

6:44 p.m.

Bernie Sanders has won the Democratic presidential primary in Wisconsin. It’s the Vermont senator’s sixth straight win over front-runner Hillary Clinton in recent weeks.

The victory in a large state gives a powerful political boost to Sanders backers. But the results barely dent Clinton’s significant delegate lead for the race nomination.

Because Democrats award delegates proportionally, both candidates will add to their tallies. Clinton has the edge both in pledged delegates and the party insiders known as superdelegates.

Sanders is favored to win the next primary caucuses in Wyoming on Saturday.

Both candidates are turning their attention to the April 19 contest in New York. A loss there would be a major political blow for Clinton, who represented the state for eight years in the Senate.

6:32 p.m.

Ted Cruz has won the Republican presidential primary in Wisconsin. The win gives critics of Donald Trump hope that they can stop the GOP front-runner’s rise to the party nomination. They are trying to deny him the majority of delegates and force a contested convention in July.

The Texas senator is casting his victory as a sign that he is the only candidate who can stop Trump. He’s calling on Republicans to unify behind him and pushing Ohio Gov. John Kasich to drop out of the race.

Trump is the favorite in the next primary on April 19 in his home state of New York. He remains the only Republican who can clinch enough delegates to capture the nomination before the party convention.

6 p.m.

Polls have closed in the Midwestern battleground of Wisconsin. Democratic candidate Bernie Sanders leads rival Hillary Clinton in early returns.

On the GOP side, Ted Cruz has the edge over front-runner Donald Trump.

Both Cruz and Sanders are hoping for victories that will give them a wave of fresh momentum in their efforts to capture the White House.

5:20 p.m.

Wisconsin is projected to have its highest turnout in a presidential primary since 1980, but that hasn’t translated into problems at the polls.

The state elections board projects turnout at 40 percent of eligible voters.

Board spokesman Mike Haas says clerks around the state had reported a busy pace but manageable lines throughout the day. The state is holding just its second election since voters were required to show photo identification, and Haas says his office hadn’t heard of any major issues.

Neil Albrecht, executive director of Milwaukee’s election commission, said wait times in the state’s largest city didn’t exceed 30 minutes even during peak voting. Albrecht estimated the city would have four to five times the same-day voter registration it had for the primary four years ago.

4:25 p.m.

Bernie Sanders offered few details on how he would break up big financial institutions during a recent interview with the New York Daily News.

The Vermont senator was pressed on how he would carry out his campaign pledge.

Sanders said some banks are too big and could be broken up either by “having legislation passed, or giving the authority to the secretary of treasury to determine, under Dodd-Frank, that these banks are a danger to the economy over the problem of too-big-to-fail.”

But Sanders did not elaborate on how this would work. When asked how breaking up banks would affect jobs and assets at financial institutions, Sanders said it “is their decision as to what they want to do and how they want to reconfigure themselves. That’s not my decision.”

2:55 p.m.

A potential Donald Trump presidency inspires more excitement among Wisconsin’s GOP primary voters than the other two remaining candidates – but also more fear.

About a quarter say they’re excited about Trump, while less than 15 percent say that of either of his rivals. At the same time, nearly 4 in 10 say they’re scared about what Trump would do as president, while only about 1 in 10 say that about either Cruz or Kasich, according to early results of exit polls conducted for The Associated Press and television networks by Edison Research.

In the case of a brokered convention, nearly 6 in 10 Republicans say the party should nominate the candidate with the most support in the primaries, while just 4 in 10 say it should nominate the candidate the delegates think would make the best nominee.

2:51 p.m.

Democratic voters in Wisconsin are divided on the effect of trade on unemployment, an issue that Vermont Sen. Bernie Sanders has played up in a flood of television ads over the past few weeks.

About 45 percent of Democratic voters say trade with other countries takes away jobs in this country, while nearly 4 in 10 see trade as beneficial, according to early results of exit polls conducted for The Associated Press and television networks by Edison Research. Only about 10 percent see trade as having no effect on job in the United States.

The polls indicate a mixed response on an issue that Sanders has put at the center of some of his most-aired television ads.

Over the past month, Sanders has poured about $2.4 million into radio and television ads in Wisconsin and one of his top aired ads has tucked in several subtle jabs at former Secretary of State Hillary Clinton’s record on trade, according to data from political advertising tracker Kantar Media.

One Sanders ad touts the senator as standing with American workers, linking jobs losses to the North American Free Trade Agreement, which was signed into law by former President Bill Clinton, and the Trans-Pacific Partnership, which Clinton initially supported but has since said she opposes.

2:49 p.m.

Ted Cruz continues to outmaneuver Donald Trump at local conventions, this time in Colorado.

Two of Colorado’s congressional districts held conventions over the weekend and party officials say Cruz won all six delegates at stake. Cruz has also done well at local conventions in North Dakota and Louisiana.

Colorado has a unique system for awarding delegates. There is no statewide primary. Instead, delegates are elected at congressional district conventions and at the state convention on Saturday.

If delegates commit to a presidential candidate when they are running, they must vote for that candidate at the party’s national convention this summer. If they don’t commit, they are free to support the candidate of their choice.

Colorado has a total of 37 delegates, including the state’s three Republican National Committee members.

The AP delegate count heading into the Wisconsin primary on Tuesday:

Trump: 737.

Cruz: 481.

John Kasich: 143.

Needed to win: 1,237.

2:42 p.m.

Bernie Sanders will appear on the Democratic primary ballot in the District of Columbia after lawmakers approved legislation clarifying that he met the filing deadline.

A mix-up between the city’s Democratic Party and its elections board had left open the possibility that Sanders would be left off the primary ballot. Sanders paid a fee to get on the ballot, but the party didn’t submit paperwork to the elections board until the day after the deadline. That led a local activist to file a challenge arguing that Sanders should be left off the ballot.

The District’s primary is June 14, the last one before the Democratic convention.

The D.C. Council approved a bill Tuesday that guarantees Sanders’ place on the ballot, and Democratic Mayor Muriel Bowser says she’ll sign it.

2:26 p.m.

Republican and Democratic voters in Wisconsin say the economy is weighing heavily on their minds as they head to the polls Tuesday.

Nearly three quarters of Democratic voters say they are worried about the direction of the country’s economy, according to early results of exit polls conducted for The Associated Press and television networks by Edison Research. More than a third say the economy and job is the most important issue facing the country and 3 in 10 consider income inequality to be of paramount concern.

The Republicans who came out to vote are even more troubled by the direction of the economy, the early exit polls show. More than 9 in 10 say they are either very or somewhat worried.

Similar to the Democrats, about 30 percent of Republicans consider the economy and jobs the country’s top problem, and just about as many consider government spending the most important issue.

2:16 p.m.

Hillary Clinton is emphasizing her New York ties during a Tuesday campaign stop – and suggested that Donald Trump doesn’t share his home city’s values.

Appearing in Brooklyn, Clinton referenced the owner of Trump Tower and said: “The fellow who’s from New York? I wish he’d get out of one of his towers and walk the streets.”

Clinton, who represented the state for eight years in the Senate, later said she believes “the values of New York are the values of America.”

Clinton’s campaign is stressing the need to get a win in her adopted home state and has emphasized turning out African-American voters. She was joined onstage by minority women, including activists, elected officials and New York City mayor Bill de Blasio’s wife, Chirlane McCray.

1:54 p.m.

Hillary Clinton is stressing her fight for more rights for women, including equal pay, during a New York City campaign stop.

Clinton eschewed going to Wisconsin, which is holding its primary on Tuesday and where she is down in the polls to Bernie Sanders. Instead, she is focusing on the next contest, which is being held in her adopted home state of New York in two weeks.

The ex-secretary of state appeared at Medgar Evers College, a public school named after the slain civil rights activist, in Brooklyn. Clinton pledged to “tirelessly fight” for women’s causes, including abortion rights, and praised local officials for their efforts to help working women, especially the recent increase of the state’s middle wage.

She also said she “loved” the U.S. national women’s soccer team’s lawsuit alleging wage discrimination.

1:50 p.m.

Republican National Committee Chairman Reince Priebus says the outcome of Wisconsin’s election is important, not just for the individual who wins the delegates, but to the outcome of the race in general.

Priebus said in an interview Tuesday on WTMJ radio in Milwaukee that the outcome of Wisconsin’s primary will play an important role in whether there is a contested GOP convention this summer in Cleveland. A win by Ted Cruz would make it more difficult for front-runner Donald Trump to get the 1,237 delegates needed by the end of the primary season to secure the nomination.

But Priebus says the outcome in Wisconsin is also important “on the narrative side.” He says since no other state is voting Tuesday, the focus has been on Wisconsin for two weeks and how the outcome will influence the race going forward.

11:40 a.m.

Republican Ted Cruz is continuing his call for Ohio Gov. John Kasich to get out of the presidential race.

Cruz said in an interview Tuesday on WTMJ radio in Milwaukee that any candidate who doesn’t have a path to winning should end their campaign.

“At this point,” he said, “Kasich has been mathematically eliminated.”

Cruz’s comments come as Wisconsin voters cast ballots in that state primary. Cruz was leading in the polls, but Kasich was trying to win in at least one congressional district. The statewide winner gets 18 delegates, while three delegates are awarded to the winner of each of the state’s eight congressional districts.

Republican front-runner Donald Trump has also called on Kasich to get out of the race. Both Cruz and Trump see their chances improving without Kasich taking votes, and delegates, away from them.

9:30 a.m.

President Barack Obama is responding to questions about Donald Trump’s proposal to cut off billions of dollars in remittances sent by Mexican immigrants living in the U.S.

“Good luck with that,” Obama said in a press briefing Tuesday, citing the dangers of what he described as “half-baked notions.”

Obama told journalists that the proposal is “one more example of something that is not thought through and primarily put forward for political consumption.”

Obama warned of the ramifications such a plan would have on the Mexican economy which, in turn, would drive more immigrants to flee to the U.S. in search of jobs.

“People around the world… don’t expect half-baked notions coming out of the White House. We can’t afford that.”

According to a memo released by his campaign Tuesday, Trump would try to cut off funds sent to Mexico through money transfers known as remittances to compel its government to pay for a wall along the Southern border.

7 a.m.

Voters are lining up across Wisconsin to cast their ballots in the state’s presidential primary.

The stakes are high in Tuesday’s contest as candidates from both parties fight to win enough delegates to become their party nominees. Early polling signaled a tight race for both parties, with Republican Ted Cruz and Democrat Bernie Sanders are angling for victories.

Paul Lorentz, a 42-year-old project manager for Affiliated Engineers, was in line at 6:30 a.m. in Sun Prairie, Wisconsin, to cast a vote for Republican John Kasich. Lorentz says he typically votes Democratic in the general election and Republican in Wisconsin’s open primary, in order to sway that side to a better candidate.

Carrie-Ann Todd, a 39-year-old mother saddled with student debt, is voting for Bernie Sanders due to his efforts to address the cost of college.

“I’m paying more on my student loans than I am on my cars,” Todd said.

5:30 a.m.

Donald Trump says he would force Mexico to pay for a border wall by threatening to cut off billions of dollars in remittances sent by immigrants living in the U.S.

According to a memo released by his campaign Tuesday, Trump would try to compel Mexico to pay for a 1,000-mile wall if he becomes president.

In his proposal, Trump threatened to change a rule under the USA Patriot Act, an anti-terrorism law, to cut off funds sent to Mexico through money transfers known as remittances. Trump said he would withdraw the threat if Mexico makes “a one-time payment of $5-10 billion” to finance the wall.”

The billionaire businessman has estimated his proposed wall would cost between $10 billion and $12 billion, and has argued that it would protect the country from illegal border crossings as well as halting drug shipments.

The release of the memo was first reported by the Washington Post early Tuesday.

12:30 a.m.

Republican Ted Cruz and Democrat Bernie Sanders are angling for victories in Tuesday’s Wisconsin presidential primaries that could give their campaigns a needed boost but still leave them with mathematically challenging paths to their parties’ nominations.

While Sanders remains a powerful force in the Democratic primary, a win over Hillary Clinton would do little to significantly cut into her delegate lead. The stakes are higher for Cruz, who trails Donald Trump but sees Wisconsin as a crucial part of his effort to push the GOP race toward a convention fight.

Leaders in both parties are eager to turn their attention toward the general election. Clinton would enter the fall campaign saddled with persistent questions about her trustworthiness, but also demographic advantages that Democrats believe would be magnified against Trump.

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