Wisconsin Primary: 5 Story Lines to Watch in the Badger State

It's a close race for Democrats and Cruz seems poised to win the GOP primary.

ByABC News
April 5, 2016, 10:35 AM

— -- Wisconsin is a crucial primary state and the respective front-runners in the Democratic and Republican races are looking at a potential loss.

Here are the story lines to watch today as voters in the Badger State head to the polls:

1. Could Cruz Crash Trump’s Party?

Donald Trump just wrapped a tough week, botching an answer on abortion and having his campaign manager charged with battery. And now it seems he may be dealt a loss in Wisconsin by Sen. Ted Cruz.

A Marquette University poll released March 30 shows the Texas senator with a 10-point lead on Trump.

A recent endorsement from Wisconsin Gov. Scott Walker also gave Cruz a boost before the primary. But Wisconsin’s Republican primary is an open primary, a category of voters with whom Trump has done well in previous contests.

2. Close Race for the Democrats

Vermont Sen. Bernie Sanders garnered 49 percent of support from Wisconsin Democrats while Clinton has 45 percent, according to a Marquette University poll released March 30.

Sanders recognizes the potential momentum he could get from a win in Wisconsin.

"If we win here, we are going to have a bounce going into New York state where I think we can win,” he said, speaking at a local union hall in Janesville, Wisconsin, Monday. "If we win in New York state, between you and me -- I don’t want to get Hillary Clinton any more nervous than she already is. She is already under a lot of pressure. So don’t tell her this but we win here, we win in New York State, we are on our way to the White House.”

3. New Voter ID Requirement at Play

Wisconsin voters are required to bring a government-issued photo ID with them to the voting booths.

Since being signed into law in 2011, the voter-ID requirement has been a bone of contention.

While some argue the law prevents voter fraud, others see it as a way to block voters of a certain demographic.

Over 300,000 registered voters, mostly minorities or people below the poverty line, could be prevented from casting ballots, according to PBS.

4. Cutting Out Kasich

In recent days, Trump and Cruz have stepped up their attacks against Gov. John Kasich, and have been calling for him to drop out.

The Ohio governor is ignoring the pressure from his fellow GOP candidates and, instead, looking ahead to contests in New York and Pennsylvania where he believes he'll be more successful than in today’s primary.

"We’re very excited about heading to New York," the Ohio governor said on “This Week” Sunday. "We're virtually tied with Donald Trump in Pennsylvania. We're starting to get to more home turf for me."

5. Republicans Duke It Out for Delegates

The Wisconsin primary is a winner-take-most contest for Republican delegates and there are 42 delegates for the taking.

A portion of the delegates are awarded to the winner of the statewide vote, so, if that is Cruz, he adds 18 of the 42 delegates to his count. The remaining 24 delegates are split among the winners of each congressional district. In order to take home a large portion of delegates, the GOP candidate needs to win a majority of the state’s eight congressional districts.

How these delegates are allocated to the Republican candidates could set the path to a contested GOP convention.