We're two weeks away from the Wisconsin primary, which is shaping up to be pretty close to a must-win for Ted Cruz. Even though Wisconsin is proportional, he really needs to continue the narrative that he can beat Trump, and with two weeks between contests, and with another two weeks between Wisconsin and the NY-area primaries, a loss to Trump - even a relatively close one - might allow the news cycle to fester against him in a negative way.
That's why this new Monmouth poll is huge news for Cruz, if true:
BOSTON, MA – As establishment Republicans look for ways to slow Donald Trump’s relentless march toward the party’s presidential nomination, Wisconsin’s winner-take-all GOP primary contest on April 5 offers some intriguing possibilities. In a statewide Emerson College poll released today, Texas Senator Ted Cruz is not only leading Trump 36% to 35% in the upcoming primary, but Cruz is only trailing Hillary Clinton by one point in a hypothetical general election matchup, 46% to 45%. In contrast, Trump is trailing both Clinton and her Democratic rival, Bernie Sanders, by the same 9-point margin of 47% to 38% in a potential general election match-up.
This is the first time this race has been polled since before Super Tuesday, so it is the only accurate picture of the race we have at all.
Rest assured that pretty much everyone and their dog is going to be justifiably leaning on Kasich to get out before Wisconsin, but even if they don't succeed, losing to Cruz (and Trump) in Wisconsin should help to further starve Kasich of the oxygen (and fundraising dollars) to continue his delusional quest to get his dopey face on television more.
The anti-Trump forces hope this poll is an accurate one.
UPDATE: As it was correctly noted in the comments, Wisconsin is not proportional statewide, it is WTA by distric.