Wisconsin has long been an important battleground state in the modern election cycles for president. Its 10 electoral votes prove critical in most pathways to victory, but an important twist is happening this primary season with the infighting in the Republican primary.
Fox Business conducted a poll from March 28-30 in Wisconsin among likely Democratic and Republican voters. In just a few short weeks, Cruz has turned his campaign around in Wisconsin -- behind by 11 points in February, he's now up by 10 points. Other polling seems to confirm this trend.
While many of the primary season polls focus on only one side or the other -- and do not poll any data for the national election -- Fox's poll does all three. And while it isn't too surprising that they are finding Hillary Clinton leading all Republican candidates, it's the breakdown of the math that is interesting.
Of those polled in the GOP for the national match-up between Clinton and Trump, 9 percent intended to vote for Clinton, 7 percent for someone else, and 11 percent wouldn't vote.
But to have 27 percent of your base claim that they won't support the supposed nominee... that is disastrous in any political playbook.
Gary Johnson, the libertarian favorite, polling into the double-digits against Clinton and Trump, may be soaking up some of this GOP support, but why are so many likely voters refusing to vote at all?
Clinton had a 15 percent defection rate.
The so-called 'Walker Democrats' have proven to be real through many exit polls. This is a base of Democratic support for the governor that doesn't always extend to other campaigns. However, even this phenomenon is being challenged, as Walker is almost certainly facing a bitter contest in 2018.
So what happens if Wisconsin turns blue? Immediately, 57 percent of the winning combinations for the Republicans evaporate, and a difficult game of chess ensues.
If Wisconsin turns blue, Republicans would have to win at least 4 of the 5 big prizes in the 8 remaining battleground states (Florida, Pennsylvania, Virginia, N. Carolina and Ohio), otherwise they cannot win.
Cruz has pulled off a minor miracle by catching up to Trump in one month with a twenty-point swing in his polling, but has the tactics used irreparably damaged the party to the point of a fractured general election?
The Republicans, to win, are going to have to find one enormous rallying-cry. Something bigger than Benghazi, bigger than emails, or more useful than rehashing 20 years of bad blood. They need to find something that will unite the party -- and right now, that something isn't apparent.
If they want to have a shot at winning in 2016, they need a solid focal point that unites the party behind whoever wins, Trump, Cruz, or brokered-candidate--because we are currently watching their party disintegrate because of the current infighting.