What Wisconsin Means for the Democratic and Republican Front-Runners

PHOTO: Hillary Clinton, left, and Donald Trump campaign for president.AP Photo
Hillary Clinton, left, and Donald Trump campaign for president.

Republican front-runner Donald Trump knows how to plan election night events, but he isn't holding one tonight.

Neither is Democratic front-runner Hillary Clinton.

Both of the respective front-runners are expected not to win tonight's primary in Wisconsin, but are both hoping that it doesn't impact their path to the nomination.

"It's funny that in the course of this, the dominant front-runners are not dominant going into the blue cheese state," ABC News political analyst Matt Dowd said on "Good Morning America" today.

Comparing Candidates Numbers

The latest poll, released by Marquette University on March 30, had Texas Sen. Ted Cruz leading Trump by 10 points, and Gov. John Kasich by 19 points.

The margin is smaller for the Democrats, with the same poll showing Sen. Bernie Sanders only beating Clinton by 4 points.

Clinton spent the fewest number of days in the state and made the fewest stops since declaring her candidacy -- only spending five days in the Badger state where she made nine stops.

Sanders spent nine days total in the state and jammed 17 events in during that time.

By comparison, Gov. John Kasich spent six days in the state, Trump spent seven days and Cruz spent 10 days.

Why Trump May Be Lagging

A series of controversial incidents last week that could impact turnout with female voters and an organized anti-Trump movement could be two of the biggest factors stopping Trump from raising his poll numbers.

In the course of one week, Trump prompted criticism after retweeting an unflattering photo of Heidi Cruz next to a photo of his wife Melania, made roundly-condemned statements about the prospect of punishing women if they got banned abortions and defended his campaign manager after he was charged with simple battery of a female reporter.

Coupled with those incidents, there were organized anti-Trump efforts in the states, including radio interviews with notable local political commentator and self-proclaimed member of the "Never Trump" movement Charlie Sykes.

Cruz believes that Trump's rhetoric and tone did not fall on fond ears among Wisconsin residents.

"I think one of the dynamics were seen more and more is, is Donald Trump’s angry, screaming, cursing, yelling attacks. People are tuning it out," Cruz told ABC News on Monday. "I mean, they’ve discovered that’s the only thing he knows how to do."

According to ABC News’ estimates, Trump has a total of 737 delegates and Cruz has 475 total delegates (including superdelegates), meaning that they would need 500 and 762 delegates respectively to secure the nomination. For Trump, that would mean that he needs to win 57 percent of the coming contests, while Cruz would need to win 87 percent.

PHOTO: Bernie Sanders eats breakfast at Blues restaurant in Milwaukee, Wis., April 5, 2016. Mark Kauzlarich/Reuters
Bernie Sanders eats breakfast at Blue's restaurant in Milwaukee, Wis., April 5, 2016.

What a Loss Means for Clinton

Clinton was last in Wisconsin on Saturday before turning her attention to her adopted home state of New York, where the next big primary is held in two weeks.

That stands in contrast to Sanders, who is likely banking on using Wisconsin to build momentum.

"On the Democratic side, it's important because if Bernie Sanders wins, he's won six out of the last seven," Dowd told ABC.

Going into tonight, Clinton has won a total of 20 contests and Sanders has won 15.

There are 86 pledged delegates and 10 superdelegates up for grabs by the Democrats, and no matter who wins, it won't make-or-break the nomination for them from a mathematical standpoint. ABC News estimates that Clinton has a total of 1,712 delegates and Sanders has a total of 1,011 delegates, but 27 percent of Clintons delegates are super delegates while only 3 percent of Sanders are super delegates, who could still change their mind at any point until the convention in July.

"I don't think Hillary loses the nomination because of a loss in Wisconsin but it complicates her life greatly," Dowd said, noting that it "forces her to rely on super delegates."