Her Campus Logo Her Campus Logo
Culture > News

The Wisconsin Primary Was a Major Game Changer

For political junkies everywhere, like me, Wisconsin’s primary on Tuesday night came as a huge game-changer to this interesting and exciting election season. Donald Trump became less inevitable. People who “Feel the Bern” are starting to win more and more states. Exciting stuff, people! If you missed the nail biting, surprising, uber-political action, we have a recap right here for you.

Ted Cruz Had a Great Night

“Tonight is a turning point,” Cruz said to supporters in Milwaukee, according to The New York Times. “It is a call from the hard-working men and women of Wisconsin to the people of America: We have a choice, a real choice.”

It was a turning point, indeed, after Cruz racked in 48 percent of the votes and 36 of the 42 available delegates in Wisconsin. The Washington Post reported that Cruz still needs a little more than 95 percent of the rest of the delegates to snatch the nomination before the convention.

Getting the 1,237 delegates to clinch this title is probably not Cruz’s main goal, though. Instead, Ted needs to win enough states to make sure that Trump can’t win the clear majority of delegates either. Keeping Donald out of the winner’s circle puts Ted Cruz at the valuable position of being the GOP’s main alternative to a Trump nomination.

Bernie Slowed Down Hillary’s Momentum

74-year-old Bernie Sanders keeps on winning—maybe not by a huge margin, but winning nonetheless. According to CNN, he has won six of the last seven Democratic contests. In Wisconsin, he received 47 delegates to Hillary’s 36, with nearly 57 percent of the votes.

Although Bernie has trailed Hillary for most of the race, he can still win the nomination. He needs about 57 percent of the rest of the available delegates to win. However, similar to Ted Cruz, slowing down his competition’s momentum is essential. The more Bernie wins, the less power Hillary will have in future primaries.

Even if he doesn’t win the nomination, most didn’t expect enough people to “Feel the Bern” for Sanders to win even one state. With 15 under his belt, Bernie will have a larger political voice and more influence than ever before—even without the nomination.

Donald Trump Stayed Weirdly Quiet After His Loss

Trump did pretty badly after coming out of an especially awful week for his campaign. Even CNN called last week his “roughest patch yet on the campaign trail,” after a series of missteps on topics including abortion and national security. First, his campaign manager, Corey Lewandowski, was charged with battery against a female reporter—Trump defended Lewandowski. Then, he quit on his vow to support the eventual Republican nominee.

As if these weren’t enough, Donald suggested last Wednesday that women who had an abortion if the procedure became illegal should be punished. He’s changed that statement several times since, struggling with the negative backlash.

Trump didn’t learn when to be quiet until Tuesday night’s loss. The normally loud and outspoken candidate went through the night without a speech, simply letting the results speak for themselves—he was not and is not a favorite of Wisconsin voters.

Contested Convention for the GOP?

Trump may not be the nominee. There is a higher probability that the GOP will have a contested convention this summer. As in, if no single Republican candidate can secure the majority of delegates, then the GOP national convention gathers in Cleveland after the primaries. There, representatives from select states vote over and over again until a candidate receives the majority of delegates.

However, things can get interesting because a “Rules” panel can change the rules and qualifications necessary of candidates to receive a nomination just days before the convention. Years ago, politicians sought to avoid these “brokered” conventions at all costs to dodge potential splits within the party. 2016 is different—Donald Trump could be the President of the United States…a thought that one in three Wisconsinites said “scared” them. 

Maybe as a woman who values not having a sexist president (women who get abortions should be “punished”?? Really????), or as a political nerd who wants to the see the GOP fight it out at the convention in Cleveland, I am holding out ALL hope for the election to come down to a brokered convention.

New York, which holds its primaries April 19 as the next major state voting, is bound to be in the center-stage of political theater for the next two weeks. If you just can’t wait any longer for more politics in your life, the New York Democratic Debate will be held in Brooklyn on April 14, and aired on CNN that night. Or, you know, you could just be like me and watch House of Cards for your political fix until then. Happy voting!

Her Campus Placeholder Avatar
Bridget Higgins

U Mass Amherst

Bridget is a senior Journalism major focusing on political journalism at UMass Amherst. She interned for the HC editorial team, writes columns for the Massachusetts Daily Collegian, and occasionally gets a freelance article or two on sailing published by Ocean Navigator Magazine. When she isn't greeting random puppies on the street, she loves to cook for her friends, perpetuate her coffee addiction, and spend too much time crafting Tweets. She is also an avid fan of chocolate anything and unnecessary pillows. If you want to know more about Bridget, follow her on Instagram - @bridget_higgins - or Twitter - @bridgehiggins