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Trump Takes Arizona, Cruz Crushes In Utah, Wisconsin Up Next
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March 23, 2016, 05:38 AM
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Both Republican candidates did what they were expected to do Tuesday night so the underlying dynamics of the race are essentially unchanged. Trump easily won Arizona, capturing all 58 of the delegates in the state's winner take all primary. He thus expanded his lead in the larger delegate race. With almost 47% of the vote, Trump actually outperformed the polls. The Cruz campaign's promises of a close race and even some #HotTakes from various outlets that Cruz would pull an upset seems have been based on no facts whatsoever.

But the #CruzCrew can also be happy, as Cruz won about 70% of the vote in Utah, which means he easily captured all of the state's 40 delegates. Trump was hoping to hold Cruz under 50% and he didn't even come close.

This morning brings the news that Jeb Bush has endorsed Ted Cruz (which seems like a kiss of death). Cruz and Trump are also feuding over each other's wives, as a Cruz supporting PAC is trying to make an issue over Melania Trump's modeling career and Trump is threatening to "spill the beans" on Heidi Cruz. (Perhaps he is referring to this?)

The next state is Wisconsin, on April 5. Cruz has already begun aggressively campaigning and I'd guess Scott Walker will endorse him soon. The larger talk radio hosts are slamming Trump and Cruz is expected to win the more urban areas [Wisconsin Primary to test Ted Cruz, Bernie Sandersby Reid Epstein, Wall Street Journal, March 22, 2016]

Wisconsin seems custom made for Cruz to win, as all anti-Trump forces are consolidating around him, Trump's negatives are high in the state and the single primary allows Cruz to use the intensive ground game strategy which is his trademark. On the other hand, if Trump can squeeze out a victory here, it's hard to see how anyone can stop him.