2016 Wisconsin Republican primary: Ted Cruz edges Donald Trump

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Ted Cruz Wins Wisconsin GOP Primary

Donald Trump says he can win the Republican nomination for president — but Ted Cruz isn't going down without a fight.

Cruz defeated Trump in Wisconsin's GOP primary Tuesday, according to an Associated Press race call at 9:32 p.m.

The victory wasn't unexpected, but it could still add fresh energy to Cruz's drive to topple Trump.

READ MORE: Millennial and Minority Voters in Wisconsin Face Huge Obstacles at the Polls

Going into the primary, Cruz led Trump by five to 10 points in a battery of polls going back to mid-March and compiled by RealClearPolitics.

Trump's tough week: The frontrunner had a bumpy stretch heading into the Wisconsin fight. He backpedaled on having said women should be punished for having abortions, and dealt with charges against his campaign manager, Corey Lewandowski, for allegedly manhandling a reporter.

The Texas senator, who's been trying to set himself out as the true conservative in the fight, also got the backing of Wisconsin Gov. Scott Walker, who abandoned his own campaign for the nomination in September — a scant two months after filing the paperwork to become the then-15th Republican running.

See Cruz's appearance on Jimmy Kimmel's show:

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Sen. Ted Cruz on Jimmy Kimmel Live!
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2016 Wisconsin Republican primary: Ted Cruz edges Donald Trump
JIMMY KIMMEL LIVE - 'Jimmy Kimmel Live' airs every weeknight at 11:35 p.m. EST and features a diverse lineup of guests that include celebrities, athletes, musical acts, comedians and human interest subjects, along with comedy bits and a house band. The guests for Wednesday, March 30 included Presidential candidate Ted Cruz, Mike Epps ('Meet the Blacks') and musical guest St. Lucia. (Photo by Randy Holmes/ABC via Getty Images) TED CRUZ, JIMMY KIMMEL
Senator Cruz talks about “Star Wars,” cereal, yoga, the band Men At Work and more. Deleted Scene from "Batman v Superman” Starring Jimmy Kimmel - https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=0Y8iRvQdSGA SUBSCRIBE to get the latest #KIMMEL: http://bit.ly/JKLSubscribe Watch the latest Halloween Candy Prank: http://bit.ly/KimmelHalloweenCandy Watch Mean Tweets: http://bit.ly/JKLMeanTweets8 Connect with Jimmy Kimmel Live Online: Visit the Jimmy Kimmel Live WEBSITE: http://bit.ly/JKLWebsite Like Jimmy Kimmel Live on FACEBOOK: http://bit.ly/JKLFacebook Follow Jimmy Kimmel Live on TWITTER: http://bit.ly/JKLTwitter Follow Jimmy Kimmel Live on INSTAGRAM: http://bit.ly/JKLInstagram About Jimmy Kimmel Live: Jimmy Kimmel serves as host and executive producer of Emmy-winning "Jimmy Kimmel Live," ABC's late-night talk show. "Jimmy Kimmel Live" is well known for its huge viral video successes with 2.5 billion views on YouTube alone. Some of Kimmel's most popular comedy bits include - Mean Tweets, Lie Witness News, Jimmy's Twerk Fail Prank, Unnecessary Censorship, YouTube Challenge, The Baby Bachelor, Movie: The Movie, Handsome Men's Club, Jimmy Kimmel Lie Detective and music videos like "I (Wanna) Channing All Over Your Tatum" and a Blurred Lines parody with Robin Thicke, Pharrell, Jimmy and his security guard Guillermo. Now in its thirteenth season, Kimmel's guests have included: Johnny Depp, Meryl Streep, Tom Cruise, Halle Berry, Harrison Ford, Jennifer Aniston, Will Ferrell, Katy Perry, Tom Hanks, Scarlett Johansson, Channing Tatum, George Clooney, Larry David, Charlize Theron, Mark Wahlberg, Kobe Bryant, Steve Carell, Hugh Jackman, Kristen Wiig, Jeff Bridges, Jennifer Garner, Ryan Gosling, Bryan Cranston, Jamie Foxx, Amy Poehler, Ben Affleck, Robert Downey Jr., Jake Gyllenhaal, Oprah, and unfortunately Matt Damon. Jimmy Kimmel Asks Senator Ted Cruz Random Questions https://youtu.be/OmI6JQz2M10
Senator Cruz talks about being in Hollywood for a fundraiser and recalls wanting to be an actor when he was in high school. Deleted Scene from "Batman v Superman” Starring Jimmy Kimmel - https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=0Y8iRvQdSGA SUBSCRIBE to get the latest #KIMMEL: http://bit.ly/JKLSubscribe Watch the latest Halloween Candy Prank: http://bit.ly/KimmelHalloweenCandy Watch Mean Tweets: http://bit.ly/JKLMeanTweets8 Connect with Jimmy Kimmel Live Online: Visit the Jimmy Kimmel Live WEBSITE: http://bit.ly/JKLWebsite Like Jimmy Kimmel Live on FACEBOOK: http://bit.ly/JKLFacebook Follow Jimmy Kimmel Live on TWITTER: http://bit.ly/JKLTwitter Follow Jimmy Kimmel Live on INSTAGRAM: http://bit.ly/JKLInstagram About Jimmy Kimmel Live: Jimmy Kimmel serves as host and executive producer of Emmy-winning "Jimmy Kimmel Live," ABC's late-night talk show. "Jimmy Kimmel Live" is well known for its huge viral video successes with 2.5 billion views on YouTube alone. Some of Kimmel's most popular comedy bits include - Mean Tweets, Lie Witness News, Jimmy's Twerk Fail Prank, Unnecessary Censorship, YouTube Challenge, The Baby Bachelor, Movie: The Movie, Handsome Men's Club, Jimmy Kimmel Lie Detective and music videos like "I (Wanna) Channing All Over Your Tatum" and a Blurred Lines parody with Robin Thicke, Pharrell, Jimmy and his security guard Guillermo. Now in its thirteenth season, Kimmel's guests have included: Johnny Depp, Meryl Streep, Tom Cruise, Halle Berry, Harrison Ford, Jennifer Aniston, Will Ferrell, Katy Perry, Tom Hanks, Scarlett Johansson, Channing Tatum, George Clooney, Larry David, Charlize Theron, Mark Wahlberg, Kobe Bryant, Steve Carell, Hugh Jackman, Kristen Wiig, Jeff Bridges, Jennifer Garner, Ryan Gosling, Bryan Cranston, Jamie Foxx, Amy Poehler, Ben Affleck, Robert Downey Jr., Jake Gyllenhaal, Oprah, and unfortunately Matt Damon. Senator Ted Cruz Wanted to Be an Actor https://youtu.be/sYk5XApHmlU
Senator Cruz talks about not being very popular with some of his congressional colleagues and shares his thoughts on Obamacare. Deleted Scene from "Batman v Superman” Starring Jimmy Kimmel - https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=0Y8iRvQdSGA SUBSCRIBE to get the latest #KIMMEL: http://bit.ly/JKLSubscribe Watch the latest Halloween Candy Prank: http://bit.ly/KimmelHalloweenCandy Watch Mean Tweets: http://bit.ly/JKLMeanTweets8 Connect with Jimmy Kimmel Live Online: Visit the Jimmy Kimmel Live WEBSITE: http://bit.ly/JKLWebsite Like Jimmy Kimmel Live on FACEBOOK: http://bit.ly/JKLFacebook Follow Jimmy Kimmel Live on TWITTER: http://bit.ly/JKLTwitter Follow Jimmy Kimmel Live on INSTAGRAM: http://bit.ly/JKLInstagram About Jimmy Kimmel Live: Jimmy Kimmel serves as host and executive producer of Emmy-winning "Jimmy Kimmel Live," ABC's late-night talk show. "Jimmy Kimmel Live" is well known for its huge viral video successes with 2.5 billion views on YouTube alone. Some of Kimmel's most popular comedy bits include - Mean Tweets, Lie Witness News, Jimmy's Twerk Fail Prank, Unnecessary Censorship, YouTube Challenge, The Baby Bachelor, Movie: The Movie, Handsome Men's Club, Jimmy Kimmel Lie Detective and music videos like "I (Wanna) Channing All Over Your Tatum" and a Blurred Lines parody with Robin Thicke, Pharrell, Jimmy and his security guard Guillermo. Now in its thirteenth season, Kimmel's guests have included: Johnny Depp, Meryl Streep, Tom Cruise, Halle Berry, Harrison Ford, Jennifer Aniston, Will Ferrell, Katy Perry, Tom Hanks, Scarlett Johansson, Channing Tatum, George Clooney, Larry David, Charlize Theron, Mark Wahlberg, Kobe Bryant, Steve Carell, Hugh Jackman, Kristen Wiig, Jeff Bridges, Jennifer Garner, Ryan Gosling, Bryan Cranston, Jamie Foxx, Amy Poehler, Ben Affleck, Robert Downey Jr., Jake Gyllenhaal, Oprah, and unfortunately Matt Damon. Senator Ted Cruz Discusses Not Being Liked By His Colleagues https://youtu.be/jlArbjdS9vA
Senator Cruz explains why he thinks we should be patrolling Muslim neighborhoods in the U.S. Deleted Scene from "Batman v Superman” Starring Jimmy Kimmel - https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=0Y8iRvQdSGA SUBSCRIBE to get the latest #KIMMEL: http://bit.ly/JKLSubscribe Watch the latest Halloween Candy Prank: http://bit.ly/KimmelHalloweenCandy Watch Mean Tweets: http://bit.ly/JKLMeanTweets8 Connect with Jimmy Kimmel Live Online: Visit the Jimmy Kimmel Live WEBSITE: http://bit.ly/JKLWebsite Like Jimmy Kimmel Live on FACEBOOK: http://bit.ly/JKLFacebook Follow Jimmy Kimmel Live on TWITTER: http://bit.ly/JKLTwitter Follow Jimmy Kimmel Live on INSTAGRAM: http://bit.ly/JKLInstagram About Jimmy Kimmel Live: Jimmy Kimmel serves as host and executive producer of Emmy-winning "Jimmy Kimmel Live," ABC's late-night talk show. "Jimmy Kimmel Live" is well known for its huge viral video successes with 2.5 billion views on YouTube alone. Some of Kimmel's most popular comedy bits include - Mean Tweets, Lie Witness News, Jimmy's Twerk Fail Prank, Unnecessary Censorship, YouTube Challenge, The Baby Bachelor, Movie: The Movie, Handsome Men's Club, Jimmy Kimmel Lie Detective and music videos like "I (Wanna) Channing All Over Your Tatum" and a Blurred Lines parody with Robin Thicke, Pharrell, Jimmy and his security guard Guillermo. Now in its thirteenth season, Kimmel's guests have included: Johnny Depp, Meryl Streep, Tom Cruise, Halle Berry, Harrison Ford, Jennifer Aniston, Will Ferrell, Katy Perry, Tom Hanks, Scarlett Johansson, Channing Tatum, George Clooney, Larry David, Charlize Theron, Mark Wahlberg, Kobe Bryant, Steve Carell, Hugh Jackman, Kristen Wiig, Jeff Bridges, Jennifer Garner, Ryan Gosling, Bryan Cranston, Jamie Foxx, Amy Poehler, Ben Affleck, Robert Downey Jr., Jake Gyllenhaal, Oprah, and unfortunately Matt Damon. Senator Ted Cruz on his Suggestion to "Patrol Muslim Neighborhoods" https://youtu.be/rkrpDvcGS-I
LOS ANGELES, CA - MARCH 30: Senator Ted Cruz is seen at 'Jimmy Kimmel Live!' on March 30, 2016 in Los Angeles, California. (Photo by JMA/Star Max/GC Images)
LOS ANGELES, CA - MARCH 30: Senator Ted Cruz is seen at 'Jimmy Kimmel Live!' on March 30, 2016 in Los Angeles, California. (Photo by JMA/Star Max/GC Images)
LOS ANGELES, CA - MARCH 30: Senator Ted Cruz is seen at 'Jimmy Kimmel Live!' on March 30, 2016 in Los Angeles, California. (Photo by JMA/Star Max/GC Images)
LOS ANGELES, CA - MARCH 30: Senator Ted Cruz is seen at 'Jimmy Kimmel Live!' on March 30, 2016 in Los Angeles, California. (Photo by JMA/Star Max/GC Images)
LOS ANGELES, CA - MARCH 30: Ted Cruz is seen at 'Jimmy Kimmel Live' on March 30, 2016 in Los Angeles, California. (Photo by gotpap/Bauer-Griffin/GC Images)
JIMMY KIMMEL LIVE - 'Jimmy Kimmel Live' airs every weeknight at 11:35 p.m. EST and features a diverse lineup of guests that include celebrities, athletes, musical acts, comedians and human interest subjects, along with comedy bits and a house band. The guests for Wednesday, March 30 included Presidential candidate Ted Cruz, Mike Epps ('Meet the Blacks') and musical guest St. Lucia. (Photo by Randy Holmes/ABC via Getty Images) TED CRUZ
JIMMY KIMMEL LIVE - 'Jimmy Kimmel Live' airs every weeknight at 11:35 p.m. EST and features a diverse lineup of guests that include celebrities, athletes, musical acts, comedians and human interest subjects, along with comedy bits and a house band. The guests for Wednesday, March 30 included Presidential candidate Ted Cruz, Mike Epps ('Meet the Blacks') and musical guest St. Lucia. (Photo by Randy Holmes/ABC via Getty Images) TED CRUZ
JIMMY KIMMEL LIVE - 'Jimmy Kimmel Live' airs every weeknight at 11:35 p.m. EST and features a diverse lineup of guests that include celebrities, athletes, musical acts, comedians and human interest subjects, along with comedy bits and a house band. The guests for Wednesday, March 30 included Presidential candidate Ted Cruz, Mike Epps ('Meet the Blacks') and musical guest St. Lucia. (Photo by Randy Holmes/ABC via Getty Images) JIMMY KIMMEL, TED CRUZ
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While Walker's presidential star didn't shine for long, his pull among conservative voters in his state gave Cruz a boost.

Exit polls showed Cruz picking up support among Wisconsin evangelical voters, Fox News reported: "Fifty-three percent said they were supporting Cruz, while 35 percent were going for Trump. Just 11 percent said they back Ohio Gov. John Kasich."

Independents were siding with Trump over Cruz 43% to 38%, however.

Overall, the electorate in Wisconsin — which has an open primary, meaning voters of any party can participate — also trended less conservative than other early voting states, CNN noted.

More bad news for Trump from the exit polls, per The Atlantic:

Only 40 percent of voters are excited by the idea of President Trump, and more than half the population thinks he's run the most unfair campaign, compared to 25 percent for Ted Cruz and 10 percent for John Kasich. Indeed, there appears to be deep unease about the New York billionaire: 40 percent of voters say they're "scared" of what Trump would do in office, and a similar proportion are in favor of a contested convention.

What's more, Trump's hardcore rhetoric on immigration may have worked in his favor among GOP voters elsewhere, but could have played differently in the Badger State, where fewer than one in 10 Republicans called the issue a top concern, exit polling showed.

The delegate duel: Wisconsin has a total of 42 delegates.

Coming into Tuesday's primary, according to a RealClearPoliticstally, Trump had 737 delegates to 481 for Cruz and 143 for underdog John Kasich.

Trump is trying to get to the 1,237 delegates he needs to win the contest outright, but Republicans are bracing for a contested convention at which the nominee could be chosen in a floor fight.

The next big contest is the April 19 New York primary.

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