Today’s Wisconsin primary is first since NRLC votes to support Sen. Ted Cruz

By Dave Andrusko

Sen. Ted Cruz

Sen. Ted Cruz

Three months ago–even a month ago–who would have thought that today’s primary results in Wisconsin could play a major role in determining who is the presidential nominee for both the Republican and Democratic parties? I’m guessing pretty much no one.

This, of course, illustrates a political truism. No matter how much the parties’ tinker with their nomination process, no matter what a “sure thing” one or another may candidate may appear to be, the voters have their own minds, each political season its own curious and unexpected dynamics.

As I write this, Wisconsin voters have been to the polls for hours. (Voting closes at 9 p.m. EDT.) Will the results bear out the latest polls which have Texas Sen. Ted Cruz from 5-10 points ahead of Donald Trump and Democratic Socialist Senator Bernie Sanders leading Hillary Clinton by as few as 2 points and as many as 8 points?

Donald Trump

Donald Trump

Adding to the mystery is that Wisconsin’s is an open primary, meaning any registered voter– Republican or Democrat – can vote in either party’s primary (but not both).

And then there is the early voting–conducted before today–in the context of how large the turnout will be. Here’s the lead from a Fox News 6 story this morning, talking just about one city:

MILWAUKEE — The numbers are in…8,000 people voted during Milwaukee’s early voting period — a much larger number than anticipated — which many believe could lead to record-breaking turnout on Election Day — Tuesday, April 5th.

The 8,000 people who cast their ballots over the last two weeks in Milwaukee is an increase of 600% from the presidential primaries in 2008 and 2012.

“We knew it was going to go up, we just didn’t think it would go up from 1,200 to 8,000,” said Neil Albrecht, Milwaukee election commissioner.

Over the weekend the National Right to Life Board of Directors voted to support Texas Sen. Ted Cruz in the upcoming Republican presidential primaries, which begins with today’s Wisconsin primary.

Bernie Sanders and Hillary Clinton

Bernie Sanders and Hillary Clinton

In the week preceding the Board’s vote, Donald Trump first said on Wednesday that were abortion illegal he would “punish” women who had aborted. He said later the same day he wouldn’t punish these women.

Then, on Friday in a clip from an interview with “Face the Nation” moderator John Dickerson that will air this Sunday, Trump said, “The laws are set now on abortion and that’s the way they’re going to remain until they’re changed,” adding, “At this moment, the laws are set and I think we have to leave it that way.”

Then, on Friday, after the clip aired, the Trump campaign issued another statement:

“Mr. Trump gave an accurate account of the law as it is today and made clear it must stay that way now — until he is president,” it read. “Then he will change the law through his judicial appointments and allow the states to protect the unborn. There is nothing new or different here.”

National Right to Life believes Sen. Cruz is the only candidate for president who has always been pro-life, who has a 100% pro-life voting record with National Right to Life, who can win the Republican nomination, and who can defeat pro-abortion Hillary Clinton in November