Donald Trump’s loss in Wisconsin’s primary wasn’t fatal to his campaign any more than his failure to win Iowa was; he still leads in the delegate count and could rally in future primaries, including New York, Pennsylvania and California (where he is leading in the polls).
Even so, his embarrassing second-place finish slows his momentum. And the fact that it followed a series of more-than-usually-wacky Trump utterances — on abortion, NATO and nuclear proliferation — will make it easier to argue that his appeal is finally beginning to ebb. If he loses or underperforms in future contests, it will be harder for him to argue that he was robbed if the party nominates someone else.
It’s also possible that as Trump wanes, other potential nominees will wax, including Ohio Gov. John Kasich (although polls is his native state of Pennsylvania aren’t looking good) or House Speaker Paul Ryan, the preferred nominee of many Republicans who speculate hopefully about a multi-ballot convention that would anoint a consensus choice.
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