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Wisconsin primary: Front-runners face speed bumps

Wisconsin primary: Front-runners face speed bumps

Washington: US presidential font-runners Donald Trump and Hillary Clinton are set to face a tough challenge in Wisconsin, where key Republican and Democratic primaries today could unsettle both races.

Wisconsin is a key state in the 2016 race for the White House as Trump looks to hold off Ted Cruz and avoid a contested convention in July. For Clinton, the big need is stem any tide of Bernie Sanders' support that keeps her from turning her attention to the general election.

In his last minute efforts to woo voters, Trump, 69, addressed a series of rallies in Wisconsin hoping to bridge the gap with Cruz, 45, who is expected to win this crucial state, according to latest polls. But Trump is confident about his victory.

"I can be presidential, but if I was presidential I would only have — about 20 percent of you would be here because it would be boring as hell, I will say," he said.

"We started off with 17 people and now got two left. I call them the leftovers, right? I now have two left and we’re way up on both of them," he said.

A Trump loss in Wisconsin, experts and US media said, would very well reset the Republican presidential race.

While it would not throw him out of the race, but would make things difficult for him on the path to winning the party's presidential nomination by gaining 1,237 delegates.

A loss would highly increase the chances of a contested convention in Cleveland in July, which Trump wants to avoid as the party establishment are likely to outmaneuver if he does not reach the half way mark.

"A loss for Trump in particular could reset a Republican contest that has been dominated by his outsider candidacy and outsize media presence," The Washington Post reported.

Clinton, 68, is in a similarly tight race with Senator Sanders. Winning Wisconsin would give Sanders a fresh dose of momentum — and perhaps new credibility for his claim that he can catch Clinton in the delegate count and win the Democratic nomination.

According to RealClearPolitics, which tracks major opinion polls, Cruz was leading with 39 per cent of the expected Republican voters in Wisconsin, while Trump had the support of 34. 9 per cent.

"Trailing in Wisconsin polls, GOP (Republican) front-runner faces an increasingly difficult delegate fight," The Wall Street Journal said, adding that a loss in Wisconsin’s primary would make Trump's path to clinching the Republican presidential nomination before the party’s July convention increasingly narrow.

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