By Trip Gabriel – – – – –
A new poll of likely Wisconsin voters on puts Donald J. Trump 10 percentage points behind Senator Ted Cruz, suggesting trouble for the Manhattan businessman less than a week before the state’s primary on Tuesday.
The poll by Marquette University Law School suggests a shakeup of the race since late February, when Mr. Trump had a 10-point lead over a broader field of candidates. The poll was also by Marquette.
Since then, Senator Marco Rubio, Ben Carson and Jeb Bush all dropped out. Mr. Trump’s support remained the same, at 30 percent, but Mr. Cruz’s more than doubled, to 40 percent, and Gov. John Kasich, the third remaining Republican in the race, climbed from 8 percent to 21.
In the Democratic race, Senator Bernie Sanders had an edge over Hillary Clinton, 49 percent to 45 percent, a widening of a one-point lead by Mr. Sanders in February, but within the poll’s margin of error.
Mr. Trump has recently faced a barrage of criticism by Wisconsin’s Republican establishment and on the state’s conservative talk radio. Voters holding an unfavorable opinion of him climbed to 70 percent, the poll showed. The poll was conducted before the arrest of Mr. Trump’s campaign manager in Florida on a charge of simple battery for grabbing a female reporter.
In a key race that will figure in Republicans’ ability to hold onto their Senate majority in November, the incumbent Republican, Ron Johnson, lagged his Democratic challenger, Russ Feingold, 47 percent to 44 percent.
Wisconsin is a battleground state in presidential elections. When the poll asked people about hypothetical matchups in November, Mrs. Clinton led Mr. Trump by 10 percentage points, while she and Mr. Cruz were in a dead heat, and Mr. Kasich led her by 9 points.
Mr. Sanders as the Democratic nominee did better, defeating all three Republicans.
The polls was conducted March 24 to 28 among 1,405 registered voters statewide, using live interviews on cell phones and landlines. The margin of error among likely voters in the presidential primary for both parties was 6 percent.