Wisconsin raises odds of contested GOP convention

Wisconsin raises odds of contested GOP convention
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Ted CruzRafael (Ted) Edward CruzOcasio-Cortez and Cruz's dialogue shows common ground isn't just for moderates Ted Cruz, AOC have it right on banning former members of Congress from becoming lobbyists Ted Cruz, AOC have it right on banning former members of Congress from becoming lobbyists MORE's crushing victory over Donald TrumpDonald John TrumpTrump defends Stephanopolous interview Trump defends Stephanopolous interview Buttigieg on offers of foreign intel: 'Just call the FBI' MORE in Wisconsin on Tuesday might leave the GOP presidential front-runner with as few as three delegates from the Badger State. 

With votes still being counted, The Associated Press projected Trump would take just three.  

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Most likely, he will win three or six delegates, with a slim chance he could win nine. The state awards a total of 42. 

Overall, the win makes it more likely that the GOP nominee will be selected at the Republican National Convention in Cleveland this summer and that Trump will be unable to clinch the nomination by winning 1,237 delegates before then.

Even with Tuesday night's win, Cruz is unlikely to secure the majority himself; he would need to win about 85 percent of the remaining delegates.

But what it does do is tighten Trump’s already narrow pathway, forcing him to now win about 60 percent of the outstanding delegates to end June with the nomination in hand.   

The delegate majority is an important threshold for Trump because many political analysts predict his chances of winning at the convention are slim.

They believe Trump will do best on that first ballot, where the vast majority of delegates are bound to specific candidates based on the election results in their states and congressional districts. 

But those delegates are only bound for so long, in most states, just through the first ballot at the national convention.

Some believe Trump will lose delegates as they become unbound, considering most Republican delegates are typically party loyalists who aren't thrilled with Trump's outsider campaign.  

Next week’s New York primary will go a long way toward determining whether appears able to wrap up the nomination before a convention. The 95 delegates in Trump’s home state are awarded mostly by congressional district, with 14 allocated to the statewide winner.  

The winner of each congressional district earns two delegates while the second-place finisher receives one. But if a candidate wins more than 50 percent of the vote within a congressional district, he’ll win all three.  

Trump currently leads by significant margins at the polls, but Cruz and John Kasich could pick off some delegates in a few districts. So Trump could be in for a huge night if he's able to top 50 percent in most districts. 

Another stumbling block for Trump is that he's considered the underdog in Montana, South Dakota and Nebraska, three of the five remaining winner-take-all states.

The outcome of the GOP race won’t likely become clear until the race’s last day, when voters in five states will award 303 delegates, including California and its pivotal 172. With each congressional district in that state awarding three delegates winner-take-all, all eyes will likely be on the individual 53 races to see whether Trump will be able to hit the threshold.