Bruce Murphy
Back in the News

Why Trump Could Lose Wisconsin

Politico says Trump in trouble because WOW counties never fully embraced him.

By - Sep 19th, 2019 12:22 pm
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Donald Trump. Image from campaign website.

Donald Trump. Image from campaign website.

There’s always reason to doubt national coverage of Wisconsin, but yesterday’s story by Politico feels well reported and close to the ground. It’s written by the publication’s national correspondent Natasha Korecki, who is a Midwesterner, and previously worked as chief political writer at the Chicago Sun-Times. And she managed to connect to quite a number of Wisconsin folks in drawing her conclusions.

The headline is “Why it will be hard for Trump to win Wisconsin again”, with the arresting deck: “Milwaukee’s Republican suburbs have never really warmed up to the president. That could be a big problem.”

Republican candidates typically can’t win the state without a big turnout in the WOW zone of Waukesha, Washington, and Ozaukee counties, and that looks a tad iffy. “It isn’t that the Republican Party is withering away in the WOW counties; it was that they weren’t particularly thrilled with Trump and they showed it by not voting for him,” as Charles Franklin, director of the Marquette Law School poll, told Politico. “Trump still struggles to get more than 40 percent approval, even in the WOW counties. It really is an open question about whether Republicans have come back to him here.”

But Republican organizers told the publication that the prospect of a liberal Democrat opponent will bring these voters around.

“They don’t like the Twitter, they’re nervous about the tariffs but they’re scared witless about Elizabeth Warren, Bernie Sanders or Pete Buttigieg,” as GOP strategist Brian Fraley, himself a former Never Trumper, noted. “Nothing rallies a diverse group of people like a common opponent.”

Kathy Kiernan, chairman of the 5th Congressional District GOP, offered this take: “I hear less and less people complaining about the tweets. People want Trump yard signs now. Everybody is trying to get their hands on anything Trump and you’re sold out before your day is over…I believe that the president has truly won a lot of these people over.”

In truth, it’s probably possible for Trump to win Wisconsin without the most robust turnout from the WOW counties. A key reason he carried Wisconsin by a slim margin was the unprecedented rural vote — he got 63 percent of that vote — in 2016.

Brian Reisinger, a GOP strategist and longtime Walker adviser, predicted Trump would easily carry rural Wisconsin, the story reported.

“Farmers and others are supporting what the president is doing with getting tough with China,” he said. “They trust the president to stick it to China the way nobody has in the past.”

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9 thoughts on “Back in the News: Why Trump Could Lose Wisconsin”

  1. Swblackwood says:

    He should lose just because he’s an out and out criminal but leave it to the electorate to embrace him anyway. America has a long tradition of doing that.

  2. Jeffrey Martinka says:

    hmmm, I am not sure your story conforms to your headline, Bruce

    Story says Pres is weaker in WOW but WOW still fears Dems more so they support him anyway, and then that the Pres is strong outstate, even in the farm industry pummeled by tariffs….

    I like the headline better

  3. Bruce Murphy says:

    Jeff, there is a duality to the Politico story whose headline leads you to believe Trump in trouble but also presents the other side. We are in the land of speculation when it comes to a future election. So I guess you can go with whichever conclusion makes you happiest.

  4. jnor says:

    Not sure why so many quotes from Republicans–who are quite likely to support their candidate and paint the rosiest portrait. What does a Democratic, or an independent, consultant think about rural voters and their alleged support for “getting tough” with China? And are any of these asking about support in the event that this idiotic “getting tough” in the form of tariffs raises their expenses significantly?

  5. Paul Trotter says:

    Not to worry – propaganda 1130 and 620 talk radio will convince them to vote for Trump. It doesn’t matter how incompetent, immoral or insane Trump is – they will vote for him because Belling, O’Donnell and Weber tell them to, Yep – sheep led to slaughter.

  6. suechar says:

    Hello from Washington County. Our voters are very well trained.
    Trump will take W.C. by a large margin, with an 80% voter turnout at least, probably closer to 90%.
    Waukesha gets all the credit, but Washington County delivers the goods every time.

  7. Paul Trotter says:

    Hey Sue – that’s a sad comment on Washington County.

  8. suechar says:

    November 2018:
    Walker: 72%
    Sensenbrenner: 72%
    Vukmir: 67%
    Fitzgerald: 70%
    85.18% turnout.
    http://www.co.washington.wi.us/uploads/docs/electionsummaryreport11618.pdf

  9. suechar says:

    November 2016:
    Trump: 66%
    Ron Johnson: 72%
    Sensenbrenner: 75%
    89% turnout.
    So yes, I guess you could say Washington County isn’t overly enthusiastic about Trump. Maybe we’ll get a bunch of write-ins for that moderate Joe Walsh.
    http://www.co.washington.wi.us/uploads/docs/summary110816f.pdf

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