Sen. Ted Cruz declared victory Tuesday night in the Wisconsin GOP primary as he was well on his way to a dominating win in the Badger State, which had 42 delegates up for grabs.
Buoyed by former 2016 presidential candidate and current Wisconsin Gov. Scott Walker’s endorsement, Cruz beat all expectations as he was leading party front-runner Donald Trump by 15 percent with most of the vote reported.
“What an incredible victory tonight, and thank you to your tremendous Governor Scott Walker,” Cruz said after Walker introduced him.
While Cruz’s chances of winning the nomination outright without a contested convention are slim, his win in Wisconsin harms Trump’s prospects of winning the nomination during the primary process. Trump will need roughly 55 percent of the remaining delegates to clinch the nomination.
Despite the tough road ahead, Trump holds a sizeable lead on Cruz. Trump will finish Tuesday with at least 220 more delegates than Cruz, with fewer than 900 delegates left.
Though the possibility of Cruz winning the nomination outright is slim, his win in Wisconsin keeps those slim hopes alive.
“I am more and more convinced that we will win the 1237 needed for the republican nomination, either before Cleveland or at the convention in Cleveland,” Cruz said. In order for Cruz to win the nomination, he needs more than 80 percent of the remaining delegates.
Trump's campaign still thinks Trump can reach 1,237 delegates.
"Mr. Trump is the only candidate who can secure the delegates needed to win the Republican nomination," his campaign said.
Meanwhile, Ohio Gov. John Kasich remains in the race despite not picking up a single delegate. Kasich received less than 15 percent of the vote.
Earlier this week, Trump called on Kasich to drop out of race, claiming the Ohio governor has taken away votes from Trump. Kasich is mathematically unable to obtain 1,237 delegates during the primary process.
Kasich is banking his hopes on a contested convention. Kasich said on CNN Tuesday evening that Cruz is not going to reach 1,237 delegates and that a contested convention is a near certainty.
The campaigns have two weeks to court voters in New York, where 95 delegates will be at stake on April 19.
Justin Boggs is a writer for the E.W. Scripps National Desk.Follow him on Twitter @jjboggs or on Facebook.