MILWAUKEE, WI – U.S. Senator Bernie Sanders (VT) was projected the winner of the Wisconsin Democratic Primary as soon as the polls closed – 9PM Eastern Time – over Hillary Clinton, who remains the party frontrunner even as she has lost six out of the last seven contests.
The Republican race mirrored the Democrats insofar as the candidate in second place overall, U.S. Senator Ted Cruz (TX), outlasted frontrunner Donald Trump, with Ohio Governor John Kasich finishing a distant third.
Not much mention has been made of the possibility of a contested convention on the Democratic side, even as Sanders continues to close in on Clinton’s once-seemingly insurmountable lead.
But the media almost incessantly discusses a wild outcome on the Republican side, based on that party’s establishment’s concerted effort to field a Trump alternative, particularly if Trump fails to accumulate the necessary 1237 delegates to win on the convention’s first ballot. In that case, there is talk of turning to a consensus candidate consisting of either an establishment favorite rejected by the voters in 2016 (Jeb Bush, Scott Walker), or in 2012 (Mitt Romney), or turning to House Speaker Paul Ryan (WI), who may very well be the only candidate who is young enough, well-known enough, mainstream enough to attract independent voters, conservative enough to prevent the staunch rightwingers from staying home on Election Day, and who, by not running for president does not have a proven failed track record with voters.
On the other hand, mention may be made of Ryan’s unremarkable campaign as Romney’s running mate in 2012, most notably in not being able to mount a strong debate performance against VP Joe Biden in the running mates’ debate.
The next primary contest is in New York on April 19, where native Donald Trump holds a tremendous lead. On the Democratic side, New York transplant Clinton holds a lead over native New Yorker Sanders, although that, like the national election, is narrowing.