A pattern is starting to emerge that holds both promise and peril for Republican presidential front-runner Donald Trump.

Trump does better in “open” primary contests where members of either party can vote, while Texas Sen. Ted Cruz tends to do better in “closed” contests limited only to registered Republicans.

The pattern could lend credence to Cruz’s claim that he’s the “consistent conservative” in the race, and continue to pose challenges for Trump as more closed contests – including the critical Florida primary – loom on the election calendar.

But if Trump indeed is being boosted by crossover voters, it suggests he’s a stronger general election candidate than Democrats give him credit for.

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