Senator Ted Cruz (R-TX) holds a wide lead over real estate mogul Donald Trump in the Republican presidential primaries in Wisconsin to be held next Tuesday, according to a Fox News poll released on Thursday.
Cruz is expected to get the support of 42% of GOP voters in the state, outpacing Trump (32%) by a full ten percentage points. Ohio Governor John Kasich follows with 19% of the support.
The gap is wider among voters who say they will "definitely" take part in the Wisconsin caucus, with Cruz getting 46%, Trump 33% and Kasich 16%.
Surprisingly Trump has more support among women than Cruz (46% versus 27%), while Cruz outpaces Trump among men (40% against 35%). The real advantage for Cruz comes among those who describe themselves as "very" conservative, as they give him a 61% to 25% lead against Trump.
The Fox poll also asked Wisconsin GOP primary voters about the general election. Only 55% of them said they would be happy with their choices if it was Trump against Hillary Clinton for the Democrats, while 42% said they would "seriously consider" a third party candidate or else not vote at all in such a scenario.
The finding comes amid speculation that the GOP leadership is eyeing an independent third party run given its opposition to Trump.
The poll was conducted through telephone interviews among 1,602 Wisconsin voters. Results for the 742 likely Republican primary voters had an error margin of 3.5 percentage points.