GOP finds hope in Wisconsin's anti-Trump blueprint

Trump will probably emerge from April 26 with about 900 delegates, which means he cannot afford to be shut out in either Indiana on May 3 or Nebraska on May 10. And yet those are the two remaining states where the formula used to defeat Trump in Wisconsin will be most aggressively applied.

A Midwestern state with Republican voters clustered around Indianapolis and scattered across more rural areas, Indiana will be familiar terrain for Cruz and his team, who will target the state with a well-financed, exhaustively organized effort similar to those they mounted in Iowa and Wisconsin. Nebraska, another deep-red stronghold in the Midwest, will receive similar attention from both Cruz’s campaign and the #NeverTrump movement. And in both states, anti-Trump efforts are likely to receive a boost from prominent conservative office-holders — starting with Mike Pence in Indiana and Ben Sasse in Nebraska — who have made known their discomfort with Trump and who will undoubtedly enlist their networks to organize against him.

The stakes are enormous: Indiana awards 57 delegates, 30 to the statewide winner, the other 27, three apiece, to the winner of each of its nine congressional districts. Nebraska awards all 36 of its delegates to the statewide winner. Depriving Trump of all or nearly all of the combined 93 delegates from Indiana and Nebraska could strike a decisive blow to his effort to reach 1,237.

Voting with Nebraska on May 10 is West Virginia, which holds another unpredictable “loophole” primary where all of the state’s 31 delegates — 22 statewide, and nine from three congressional districts — are elected directly on the ballot. Given that Cruz has outmaneuvered him in such grassroots affairs, including in Colorado and North Dakota this past weekend, Trump seems unlikely to collect many delegates in that contest.