On Tuesday, Sen. Ted Cruz, R-Texas, won the Wisconsin primary with over 48 percent of the vote. Donald Trump came in second with just over 35 percent of the vote while Ohio Governor John Kasich garnered a little more than 14 percent. News of Cruz’s victory, however, didn’t sit well with Trump or his supporters.
“Donald J. Trump withstood the onslaught of the establishment yet again,” read a statement put out by the Trump campaign. “Lyin’ Ted Cruz had the Governor of Wisconsin, many conservative talk radio show hosts, and the entire party apparatus behind him.”
“Not only was he propelled by the anti-Trump Super PAC’s spending countless millions of dollars on false advertising against Mr. Trump, but he was coordinating with his own Super PAC’s (which is illegal) who totally control him,” the statement added. “Ted Cruz is worse than a puppet— he is a Trojan horse, being used by the party bosses attempting to steal the nomination away from Mr. Trump. We have total confidence that Mr. Trump will go on to win in New York, where he holds a substantial lead in all the polls, and beyond.”
Neither Trump nor his campaign provided any evidence of wrongdoing to support the claim that Cruz acted illegally in the election. Trump’s supporters also accused Cruz of voter fraud in a series of tweets.
“Results in Wisconsin are predicated on election fraud in Milwaukee & Madison,” one person said on Twitter. “Recount and match voter registrations, there is no way Ted Cruz Won (sic) Wisconsin,” another person added, blaming Fox News and the RNC, despite the many hours of coverage the network has given Trump.
“I own land and my family is from Wisconsin and I don’t believe for one minute that Cruz really is winning by 20+ points,” said a third critic. Many expressed blind, seething hate for Cruz and blamed the GOP for the election outcome, claiming the Republican Party somehow programmed machines to switch votes for Cruz. Again, no evidence was presented to support the claims.
Allegations of voter fraud in contested races are nothing new. Pollster Frank Luntz said that Trump supporters also accused Cruz of fraud in several states, including Iowa, Texas, Colorado and Oklahoma.
The GOP primary campaign has taken a decidedly nasty turn in recent weeks. The war of words over the candidates’ wives was topped by reports that Fox News anchor Megyn Kelly and former Breitbart.com reporter Michelle Fields were targeted by death threats from individuals believed to be Trump supporters. Capping that off, former Trump adviser Roger Stone issued a call for other supporters to harass and intimidate GOP delegates at the Party convention.
“If Trump does not run the table on the rest of the primaries and the caucuses, we’re looking at a very, very narrow path in which the kingmakers go all out to cheat, to steal, and to snatch this nomination from the candidate who is overwhelmingly selected by the voters, which is why I have urged Trump supporters: come to Cleveland,” he told Stefan Molyneux. “March on Cleveland. Join us in the Forest City. We’re going to have protests, demonstrations. We will disclose the hotels and the room numbers of those delegates who are directly involved in the steal.”
“If you’re from Pennsylvania, we’ll tell you who the culprits are. We urge you to visit their hotel and find them,” he added. You have a right to discuss this if you voted in the Pennsylvania primary, for example, and your votes are being disallowed.”