Wisconsin primary could make or break Cruz's and Trump's campaigns

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Wisconsin Primary Could Make or Break Cruz's and Trump's Campaigns

Wisconsin is the prize the two leading Republican presidential candidates can't afford to lose. And pre-polling days beforeTuesday's contest has found Ted Cruz may have an edge.

A CBS poll has found 43 percent of Wisconsin voters side with Cruz, while Donald Trump sits at 37 percent.

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"Wisconsin's really tailor-made for someone like Cruz. His strength all along has been he does very well with the very conservative. And that's what most Republicans in Wisconsin say that they are," CBS' director of elections said.

Nationwide, Cruz trails Trump by 277 delegates. But Republican rules in Wisconsin give Cruz a good opportunity to win all, or most, of the state's 42 delegates.

It's an opportunity he needs to capitalize on, considering Trump leads in the upcoming New York and Pennsylvania primaries by roughly 20 percent in each. The two states are worth 166 delegates combined.

RELATED: 9 facts you should know about Ted Cruz

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9 Facts you should know about Ted Cruz
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Wisconsin primary could make or break Cruz's and Trump's campaigns

1) His legal name is Rafael Edward Cruz.

(Photo: PAUL J. RICHARDS/AFP/Getty Images)

3) He won his Senate seat in 2010 without ever having been elected to public office before. Prior to that he had been appointed to the office of the Solicitor General in Texas.  ​

(Photo by Mark Wilson/Getty Images)

4) He had a minor brush with the law in 1987 when he received a ticket for underage possession of alcohol as a senior in high school. ​

(Photo by: Lloyd Bishop/NBC/NBCU Photo Bank via Getty Images)

5) He has two Ivy League degrees: an undergraduate degree from Princeton, and a law degree from Harvard.

(Photo by Chip Somodevilla/Getty Images)

8) His father (left) fled Cuba for the United States, worked in the oil industry and eventually became a pastor. He has made headlines for somewhat inflammatory statements, including telling an audience that President Obama should be sent "back to Kenya."

(Ron T. Ennis/Fort Worth Star-Telegram/MCT via Getty Images)

9) He doesn't believe in climate change, an issue many Democrats have lampooned him for, in part because he leads the Senate's Space, Science, and Competitiveness Committee which oversees NASA.​ During a recent appearance on "Late Night with Seth Meyers" Cruz said "Debates on this should follow science and should follow data. Many of the alarmists on global warming, they’ve got a problem because the science doesn’t back them up."

(Photo by Scott Olson/Getty Images)

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If Cruz does win all or most of Wisconsin, though, statistical news site FiveThirtyEight predicts it could be enough to keep Trump from winning the majority of delegates he needs to take the Republican nomination outright.

And following a scandal-filled week for Trump, Politico reports more than 100 delegates are ready to break away from Trump if the Republican convention goes to a second ballot –– and a second round of voting is likely if the convention is contested.

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