The Battle For Wisconsin: What's At Stake In Tonight's Primary - Live Feed

Live (if voice-overed) feed from CNN:

 

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First Exit Polls Data

 

Some samples of exit polling from Politico:

A majority of voters casting their ballots in the Wisconsin Republican primary on Tuesday said the party's nominee should be the candidate who receives the most delegates, regardless of whether that person clinches the 1,237 majority outright, according to an NBC News exit poll.

While 56 percent said the nomination should go to the candidate with the most votes, 42 percent said the delegates should be able to choose anyone they prefer at July's Republican National Convention in Cleveland. More than eight-in-ten of those who said they supported Donald Trump (83 percent) said they preferred the nomination go to the person with the most votes, while just 42 percent of those backing another candidate said the same.

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Preview

When the 2016 race kicked kicked off last year, few pundits would have predicted Wisconsin’s April primary might be a game changer on both sides of the aisle. But the Badger state, which heads to the polls today, could be key in determining if the Republicans head to a contested convention and if Bernie Sanders retains momentum after five straight victories.

Polls close at 9 p.m. EDT. Results could be known shortly after the polls close.

Before we show what's at stake, here is a reminder of what the current delegate breakdown looks like.

First the Democrats:

 

And the GOP:

 

Ahead of tonight's primary, Trump has 737 of the 1,237 delegates needed to sew up the Republican nomination, and Mr Cruz 475. Clinton has 1,243 delegates to Mr Sanders' 980, with 2,383 required for the Democratic nomination.

A Wisconsin victory for Cruz, who is leading in the polls, would raise the odds of the Republican nomination being wrested from Mr Trump in a contested convention, which could tear the party apart. Trump would need to elevate his game and reap 57% of remaining delegates to win outright before July's party conference, according to the Associated Press.

The Real Clear Politics polling average put Cruz ahead of Trump, 35 percent to 32 percent, while Kasich trailed wilth 23 percent. On the Democratic side, Clinton led in the poll average, 48 percent to 47 percent.

Trump unleashed his wife Melania in Milwaukee on Monday as he sought to shore up his support among female voters. "No matter who you are, man or a woman, he treats everyone equal," said 45-year-old Mrs Trump in a rare speech.

Among the Democrats, former Secretary of State Mrs Clinton is saddled with persistent questions about her honesty and trustworthiness.

Grassroots enthusiasm for Mr Sanders remains high, but the self-proclaimed democratic socialist needs to win at least 60% of all remaining delegates.

Both Clinton and Trump look likely to perform better in New York's upcoming primary and five northeastern states that vote on 26 April. Wisconsin is the first of several midwestern and northeastern states voting in April. New York holds its primary on April 19.  Connecticut, Delaware, Maryland, Pennsylvania and Rhode Island hold their primaries on April 26.

Cruz and Mr Trump are calling for Ohio Governor John Kasich, the only other Republican still hanging on in the race, to drop out. But he has refused.

Raising the stake for Trump is that according to a just released Reuters/Ipsos poll Cruz has pulled into a statistical dead heat with front-runner Donald Trump.  Cruz received 35.2 percent of support to Trump's 39.5 percent, the poll of 568 Republicans taken April 1-5 found. The numbers put the two within the poll's 4.8 percentage-point credibility interval, a measure of accuracy. Cruz and Trump were also briefly in a dead heat on March 28.

Trump has led almost continually in national Reuters/Ipsos polling since last July. Ohio Governor John Kasich, the only other Republican still in the race for the party's nomination, placed third in Tuesday's Reuters/Ipsos poll, with 18.7 percent.

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Here’s a rundown of everything at stake today:

GOP

State voting: Wisconsin

Delegates up for grabs: 42

Delegate Allocation explained: Of the 42 delegates, 24 are in Congressional districts, (3 in each of the 8 districts) and 18 are at-large delegates. The at-large delegates are winner-take-all and based on the statewide vote. Whoever wins the statewide vote gets all 18 delegates. The Congressional districts are winner-take-all based on district. So, for example, if Ted Cruz wins one Congressional district, he will get all 3 of the delegates there. If he wins all 8 districts, he will get all 24 delegates.

Why it matters: The setup makes it possible for the winner to sweep all 42 delegates, and makes it even more likely they will amass a majority. This presents an ideal opportunity for Cruz and John Kasich, who are trying to stop Donald Trump from clinching the 1,237 delegates needed for the nomination. The latest Marquette University Law School poll showed Cruz with 40-30 lead over Trump. Trump leads Cruz by 262 delegates, but Trump still needs to win 57 percent of the remaining delegates to get to 1,237. If Cruz wins big in Wisconsin, he makes Trump's path to that number more complicated. And if John Kasich manages to win one or 2 congressional districts, that would set Trump back even further.

However, Trump does have one advantage: Wisconsin is an open primary, where he tends to perform better than in caucuses and closed primaries.

DEMOCRATS

State voting: Wisconsin

Delegates up for grabs: 86 pledged, and 10 superdelegates, former and current Democratic leaders and elected officials, who can select the candidate of their choosing, wherever they want and whenever they want, and can switch at any time.

Delegate Allocation explained: As is standard for the Democrats, both candidates have to get a minimum of 15 percent of the vote to amass any delegates. Both Clinton and Sanders are virtually certain to hit that threshold.

Why it matters: Sanders has proven he can play in the Midwest, beating Clinton in Michigan and coming in close behind her in Missouri and Illinois. According to a recent Marquette University Law School poll, he has a four point lead over her. Clinton leads Sanders by 263 pledged delegates, and her lead widens to 701 delegates when incorporating the superdelegates who have committed to her. Even if Clinton loses in Wisconsin, Sanders is unlikely to make a dent in that delegate lead; If the race is as close as the polls are forecasting, the Vermont senator is unlikely to gain many more delegates. And while Clinton needs to win 42 percent of the remaining pledged delegates, Sanders needs to win 57 percent. When factoring in superdelegates, Clinton need to win 36 percent and Sanders needs to win 73 percent.

But while math may be on her side, a loss in Wisconsin would mean Clinton heads into her adopted home state of New York having lost six states in two weeks -- a fact Sanders is well aware of.

"I don’t want to get Hillary Clinton any more nervous than she already is," he said at a campaign stop Monday in Wisconsin. "So don’t tell her this, but we win here, we win in New York State, we are on our way to the White House."