“God bless the great state of Wisconsin,” Cruz declared in a victory speech in Milwaukee on Tuesday night. ” He also noted that his campaign raised over $2 million on Tuesday alone.
In his remarks, Cruz called tonight’s primary a defining moment in the race.
“Tonight is a turning point. It is rallying cry,” Cruz said. “It is a call from the hard working men and women of Wisconsin to the people of America. We have a choice. A real choice.”
The Trump campaign released a statement Tuesday night following Cruz's projected win and victory speech. In the statement, the Trump campaign accused Cruz of coordinating with his Super PAC and of being "a Trojan horse," working in cahoots with the Republican establishment wing to "steal the nomination" from Trump.
"Donald J. Trump withstood the onslaught of the establishment yet again," the statement read. "Lyin’ Ted Cruz had the Governor of Wisconsin, many conservative talk radio show hosts, and the entire party apparatus behind him...Ted Cruz is worse than a puppet -- he is a Trojan horse, being used by the party bosses attempting to steal the nomination from Mr. Trump."
"Look, Donald Trump has a real problem when he gets his tail kicked and that’s exactly what happened tonight," Cruz's senior adviser, Jason Miller told reporters Tuesday night in response to Trump campaign's statement.
Some 42 delegates are up for grabs in the Wisconsin Republican primary. Cruz, as the winner of the statewide vote, picks up 18 of the 42 delegates. The remaining 24 delegates will be split among the winners of each congressional district.
The projected win for the Texas senator in the Badger State pushes the GOP closer to a contested convention in July.
Preliminary exit poll data show that six in 10 GOP primary voters overall are “excited” or “optimistic” about a Cruz presidency. More than four in 10 Wisconsin voters believe Cruz has the best chance to beat Hillary Clinton, should she be the Democratic nominee, in a general election.
ABC News' Analysis Desk and Jessica Hopper contributed to this report.