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Cruz geared for victory over Trump in key Wisconsin primary

Ted Cruz and Bernie Sanders are hoping for key wins in tonight's Wisconsin contest. Meanwhile, Donald Trump is struggling to find support in what could be a major blow to his chances for the presidency.

Polls leading up to Tuesday's Republican primary in Wisconsin pointed to Texas Senator Cruz as the decisive winner, in what could be a crucial victory in an increasingly close race between him and front-runner Trump.

Cruz has characterized himself as the only realistic alternative to Trump, the brash New York billionaire who has angered and inspired voters to varying degrees. Tuesday's results could prove him right, as a victory in the winner-takes-all state of Wisconsin means Cruz would rake in all 42 delegates.

Trump, who currently holds the most delegates, is aiming to get the 1,237 delegates needed to secure his place as the Republican Party's presidential nominee. Should he fall short of that number, the likelihood of a contested convention in June picking a different nominee for president grows more plausible.

Wisconsin Milwaukee Donald Trump Vorwahlen

Trump remains in the lead even as Cruz appears to be closing in

Trump weighs in on his wall

Cruz, for his part, has been talking up his popularity in Wisconsin. "The entire country is looking to Wisconsin," Cruz said on Monday. "What we are seeing in Wisconsin is the unity of the Republican Party manifested."

In the lead-up to the primary, Trump released a report on Tuesday explaining how he'd force Mexico to pay for the much-touted wall he has threatened to build along the US-Mexican border.

In the report, the New Yorker says he'd cut off funds to Mexico, thus forcing the government to finance the barricade. His remarks follow statements from both current Mexican President Enrique Pena Nieto and former President Vincente Fox denying that their country would ever pay for a wall.

Wisconsin Milwaukee Bernie Sanders Vorwahlen

Sanders remains a potent force in this presidential election, but has a long way to go before he can catch Clinton

Sanders hopes to gain ground

Democrats, meanwhile, are also gearing up for an important night in Wisconsin, as dark-horse candidate Bernie Sanders hopes to shore up more support in the fight against Hillary Clinton.

Even if he were to win on Monday night, however, Sanders would still find himself lagging behind Clinton, who currently exceeds him in delegates by more than 700 (including superdelegates). Nonetheless, a victory for the Vermont senator would be yet another sign that he remains a significant opponent.

Sanders would still need to win 67 percent of the remaining delegates and superdelegates in order to beat Clinton, according to the Associated Press.

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