US networks including Fox News and NBC called the race for the two underdogs within half an hour of polls closing in the Midwestern state that borders Canada yesterday.

With seven percent of precincts reporting, Cruz, a conservative senator from Texas, was ahead with 49 percent of the vote compared to 35 percent for billionaire Trump.

Ohio Governor John Kasich was a distant third at 14 percent.

The New York real estate mogul predicted a surprise win yesterday in Wisconsin, but now faces a narrower path to victory and the 1,237 delegates needed to sew up the Republican nomination.

Yesterday also cements Cruz's status as the leading anti-Trump candidate, with Kasich far back in the nomination battle.

On the Democratic side, Vermont Senator Sanders led with 57 percent versus 43 percent for Clinton.

But the former secretary of state can look forward with some confidence to the upcoming races. Trump also leads handily in his home state of New York and in Pennsylvania.

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