Republican Sen. Ted Cruz of Texas and Democrat Sen. Bernie Sanders of Vermont are projected to win their parties' Wisconsin primaries on Tuesday, according to NBC News, but all of the candidates appeared to be settling in for a drawn out nomination process.
Most polls had indicated that Cruz was likely to top national front-runner Donald Trump, and recent surveys had favored Sanders ahead of former Secretary of State Hillary Clinton. Although Wisconsin only offers a handful of delegates — 42 total for Republicans and 86 tied directly to the Democratic primary — Tuesday's contests will serve a pivotal role in candidates' momentum ahead of the important New York primaries later this month.
In addition to bolstering the Cruz and Sanders campaigns, the Wisconsin results could also hurt the Trump and Clinton narratives — demonstrating conclusively that the current front-runners aren't on an easy path to the nomination.
"As a result of tonight ... I am more and more convinced that our campaign is going to earn the 1,237 delegates needed to win the nomination," Cruz said during his Tuesday victory speech. "Either before Cleveland, or at the (GOP national) convention in Cleveland, together we will win a majority of the delegates, and together we will beat Hillary Clinton in November."
For his part, Sanders fought back against the notion that Clinton is on track to be the Democratic standard-bearer in the general election.
"Momentum is starting this campaign 11 months ago, and the media determining we were a 'fringe' candidacy. Momentum is starting a campaign 60 to 70 points behind Secretary Clinton. Momentum is that within the last couple of weeks, there have been national polls which have had us one point up or one point down," Sanders said in a Tuesday night address.