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Ted Cruz Handily Wins Wisconsin Primary

Ted Cruz won the Wisconsin primary Tuesday, a decisive victory bolstering the Texas senator's case that he can overtake Republican presidential frontrunner Donald Trump.

Presidential hopeful and U.S. Sen. Ted Cruz on the campaign trail in Wisconsin on April 4, 2016, the day day before the state's primary.

Editor's note: This story has been updated.

MILWAUKEE — Ted Cruz won the Wisconsin primary Tuesday, a decisive victory bolstering the Texas senator's case that he can overtake Republican presidential frontrunner Donald Trump.

With nearly all the vote in, Cruz was drawing just under half the vote, beating Trump by 13 points. Cruz was receiving 48 percent, Trump 35 percent and Ohio. Gov. John Kasich 14 percent.

Cruz was on track to collect 36 of 42 delegates available in Wisconsin, winning six of its eight congressional districts. The remaining six delegates were expected to go to Trump.

Addressing supporters in Milwaukee, Cruz hailed the victory as a "turning point" in the race for the White House, looking beyond Trump as he set his sights on the general election.

"Hillary, get ready," Cruz said, imagining turning Wisconsin red in November. "Here we come."

Cruz also claimed a fresh burst of momentum that began before the Wisconsin outcome was known, announcing his campaign had raised more than $2 million Tuesday alone. He expressed confidence his victory in the Badger State, combined with recent wins elsewhere, would soon close his delegate deficit with Trump by as much as 100.

Whether the Badger State amounts to a turning point in the race remains to be seen. Cruz's win, however, narrows Trump's path to securing 1,237 delegates before the GOP convention in July, moving the party's field closer to a floor fight for which both campaigns have been preparing. 

Trump's campaign reacted angrily to Cruz's win, issuing a statement that contended the billionaire "withstood the onslaught of the establishment yet again," citing Cruz's support from Wisconsin Gov. Scott Walker, talk radio hosts and the "entire party apparatus."

"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," the billionaire's campaign said.

Cruz's campaign was unfazed by the statement and its allegations, including that Cruz has been illegally working with super PACs that support him. "Donald's gonna Donald," Cruz adviser Jason Miller told reporters.

Cruz and his supporters had eyed Wisconsin as the state where they could halt Trump's momentum, a potential turning point in the race. Cruz was expected to win, and some polls had him leading Trump by as many as 10 points in recent weeks.

"Quite frankly, Trump has hit a brick wall," Miller said, arguing the result in Wisconsin showed the hard limit to the billionaire's support in many places across the country.

Cruz spent much of the last two weeks barnstorming the state, getting a head start on Trump and pressing an economic message tailored for the state's blue-collar voters. Cruz had the support of Walker, a former rival, and a number of influential radio hosts determined to stop Trump. 

After Wisconsin, the next major primary is April 19 in New York, where Cruz's campaign has promised to compete vigorously despite Trump's heavy home-field advantage. Cruz is scheduled to make a two-day swing through New York starting with a tour of a charter school Wednesday afternoon in the Bronx.

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Politics 2016 elections Ted Cruz