Donald Trump probably won't win Wisconsin, given the dismal
performance of past Republican presidential candidates in
the state, the Assembly's top Republican said.
appeared at a rally in Waukesha, one of the state's most
conservative cities, on Wednesday evening. Assembly Speaker
Robin Vos on Thursday pointed out that a Republican
presidential candidate hasn't won Wisconsin since 1984, and
predicted that Trump probably won't break that streak.
the remarks during a debate with Democratic Minority Leader
Peter Barca at a downtown Madison club. He said the
Wisconsin GOP was initially concerned about Trump hurting
down-ticket Republican candidates, but that he now believes
Trump is helping them by energizing conservative voters. He
predicted that Republicans will retain their Assembly
majority with something close to the 63-36 advantage they
the election was today, we'd come back with all 63
seats," Vos said.
Wisconsin campaign director didn't immediately respond to an
email seeking comment.
supported Sen. Marco Rubio during the primary season and as
recently as last month, he branded Trump an embarrassment.
He said during the debate that he now supports the
billionaire candidate. Vos explained to reporters afterward
that he was angry with Trump because Trump didn't
automatically endorse House Speaker Paul Ryan, one of the
Wisconsin GOP's stars, in Ryan's primary race. Trump
eventually did issue the endorsement, which Vos said changed
his mind about Trump.
his part, said he expects a huge turnout for Hillary Clinton
and U.S. Senate candidate Russ Feingold. The latest
Marquette University Law School poll released on Sept. 21
showed Clinton and Trump about even and Feingold leading
incumbent Republican Sen. Ron Johnson. Still, Barca
predicted that a national Democratic wave that could carry
his party back to the majority in the Assembly.
don't know what record Republicans will run on," Barca
said. "We feel very positive about this
Barca spent much of the rest of the debate bickering over
legislative issues as if they were on the Assembly floor,
with Vos interrupting Barca several times to call him
critical and negative.
their job is to look outside and find a way to complain
about the sunshine," Vos said.
topic was the state's road-funding shortfall. Gov. Scott
Walker has proposed delaying major projects and relying on
borrowing rather than raising the gas tax or vehicle
registration fees, a move that Vos and Assembly Republicans
have called short-sighted.
he's open to any ways of reducing costs and raising revenue.
Barca called Walker's budget "disgraceful" and
ripped Republicans for rejecting Democrats' proposal to
automatically raise the gas tax last year.
record on this is abysmal and I don't have much confidence
... it's going to be any different," Barca said.