U.S. Republican presidential candidate Ted Cruz has pulled into a statistical dead heat with front-runner Donald Trump, a new Reuters/Ipsos national poll showed on Tuesday, as the Texas senator appeared poised to pick up a key victory in Wisconsin's primary.
Cruz received 35.2 percent of support to Trump's 39.5 percent, the poll of 568 Republicans taken April 1-5 found. The numbers put the two within the poll's 4.8 percentage-point credibility interval, a measure of accuracy. Cruz and Trump were also briefly in a dead heat on March 28.
The U.S. senator from Texas was running ahead of Trump in Wisconsin according to opinion polls as voters in the state went to the polls on Tuesday. Cruz hopes a win in Wisconsin would show he can unite disparate factions of the party and break Trump's momentum.
Trump has led almost continually in national Reuters/Ipsos polling since last July. Ohio Governor John Kasich, the only other Republican still in the race for the party's nomination, placed third in Tuesday's Reuters/Ipsos poll, with 18.7 percent.
Facing possible defeat in Wisconsin on Tuesday, Trump proposed blocking money transfers to Mexico by undocumented immigrants as a way to pressure Mexico to pay for a border wall, a key component of his controversial immigration plan, which has won votes in other states.
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POWER RANKINGS: Who's most likely to be president as of 4/5
Cruz pulls into nationwide dead heat with Trump: Reuters/Ipsos poll
5. John Kasich
Kasich picked up momentum last month with a win in his home state's primary.
But he has no chance to accumulate enough delegates to clinch the nomination before the convention, so he's banking that he can win a floor fight. Kasich's rivals are growing increasingly frustrated with his presence in the race — Trump said he would "automatically win" if Kasich dropped out of the race.
Those who talk up Kasich say he is a successful governor of a swing state with a record to point to and clear bipartisan appeal. He also has abundant experience from nearly two decades in Congress, including foreign-policy areas and his time as chair of the US House budget committee.
But that same bipartisan brand has hurt Kasich with the GOP base. He is to the left of most GOP candidates on immigration reform, and he expanded the federal Medicaid program under the Affordable Care Act — two issues that could doom him with hard-line conservatives.
National polling average among Republican voters: 20.6% (3rd)
Average in Wisconsin, New York, Pennsylvania polls: 20.3% (3rd)
Last month: 5
(Photo credit should read BRENDAN SMIALOWSKI/AFP/Getty Images)
4. Bernie Sanders
Sanders had perhaps the best single day of his campaign late last month, romping to landslide victories in Alaska, Hawaii, and Washington. He has won five of the past six Democratic contests.
Still, he faces challenging odds — he needs to win about 57% of the remaining pledged delegates to overtake Clinton in the delegate count.
Moving forward, the map doesn't look especially favorable: About 65% of the remaining delegates come from large states like California, New York, Pennsylvania, New Jersey, and Maryland.
National polling average among Democratic voters: 42.8% (2nd) Average in Wisconsin, New York, Pennsylvania polls: 39.3% (2nd)
Last month: 4
3. Ted Cruz
Cruz looks positioned to take down Trump in Wisconsin. After that, the map gets more challenging.
Late April is dominated by Northeast and mid-Atlantic contests more favorable to Trump — including delegate-rich New York, where polls have showed Trump above 50% in the state.
Cruz inspires a flood of enthusiasm among the GOP base, and he may be the best-positioned candidate from within the political sphere to back up the notion that he's not a typical politician, that he is the outsider the base wants despite his day job in Washington.
And his eye-popping fund-raising numbers mean he could be in the race for the long haul — perhaps all the way to the convention.
National polling average among Republican voters: 32.8% (2nd) Average in Wisconsin, New York, Pennsylvania polls: 27.1% (2nd)
Last month: 3
2. Donald Trump
Trump has lit the political world on fire since his entry into the race last summer, and he has showed surprising staying power. We're now on month No. 11 of "The Trump Show."
He has won a majority of contests so far, a feat unthinkable when he entered the race in June. And he appears poised to at least go into the convention with the most delegates of any Republican candidate.
There's a clear appetite among Republican primary voters for someone like Trump, who entered the race to controversy surrounding his position on illegal immigration. Business Insider discovered more of that when we followed him on the trail for a week last year.
National polling average among Republican voters: 40.4% (1st) Average in Wisconsin, New York, Pennsylvania polls: 41.9% (1st)
Last month: 2
1. Hillary Clinton
The delegate math is on Clinton's side going forward, even as she faces a potential loss in Wisconsin and a fight with Sanders in her adopted home state of New York.
The long-presumed Democratic nominee, Clinton has been a shakier-than-expected candidate. But she has a clear look at the nomination, and she would enter the general election with a slight advantage over Trump or Cruz.
National polling average among Democratic voters: 50.2% (1st) Average in Wisconsin, New York, Pennsylvania polls: 51.3% (1st)
Last month: 1
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Trump's campaign said in a memo that if elected, he would use a U.S. anti-terrorism law to cut off remittances from people living in the United States illegally. The memo elaborated on an idea Trump floated in August, when he suggested seizing all remittances tied to "illegal wages."
Asked about Trump's remittances plan, Democratic President Barack Obama called it unworkable. "The notion that we're going to track every Western Union bit of money that's being sent to Mexico, good luck with that," Obama said at a White House press briefing.
Cruz has told reporters that only he and Trump can earn the 1,237 delegates from the primary contests necessary to win the nomination outright or to survive a contested convention.
Cruz's support in Reuters/Ipsos polling rose as Trump's wavered, particularly among women, after recent missteps.
Trump said in a March 30 interview that if abortion was illegal, women who end pregnancies could face punishment. He later reversed himself to say doctors who provide abortions should be held responsible.
More than 70 percent of likely women voters said they had an "unfavorable" opinion of Trump, according to a rolling poll average for the five-day period ended April 5.
In the Democratic race, U.S. Senator Bernie Sanders of Vermont has a slender lead in opinion polls in Wisconsin over front-runner Hillary Clinton, but she maintained her lead nationally in a Reuters/Ipsos poll also released on Tuesday.