Wisconsin Is So Confusing to Republicans Right Now

It’s not just Paul Ryan. It’s the primary. It’s our voters.

U.S Rep. Paul Ryan (R-Janesville) is both stoking the fires, The New York Times analyzes, of an open Republican convention while affirming seriously, seriously, you guys, don’t make me a dark horse. This extends Wisconsin’s record of seriously confusing the prospects for an RNC showdown, the likes of which haven’t been seen since 1976 (the wild ride that nominated a not-so-wild ticket of Gerald Ford and Bob Dole). We started, of course, by siding with Sanders and, more importantly, Cruz in the April primary, thus muddying the waters — but Wisconsinites also felt strongly that our current system of nominating major party candidates through a fractured, pseudo-democratic succession of primaries and caucuses should go on.

“Votes should be votes!” people thought.

According to exit polls, only 43 percent of Wisco Republicans said delegates should just make up their own minds about who’s the best candidate (this could happen with the second and subsequent ballots at the convention). Fifty-five percent said the nomination should go to the candidate with “the most votes,” the choice favored by Trump supporters.

The polls showed them to be an unusual mix of people, not that conservative, not that worried about backing a large defense establishment, and oddly ambivalent about the state of the party.

In a Sunday post, Politico Magazine cited our fine state in wondering if an open convention would unleash a Republican revolt. Well, maybe.



Matt has written for Milwaukee Magazine since 2006, when he was a lowly intern. Since then, he’s held the posts of assistant news editor and, most recently, senior editor. He’s lived in South Carolina, Tennessee, Connecticut, Iowa, and Indiana but mostly in Wisconsin. He wants to do more fishing but has a hard time finding worms. For the magazine, Matt has written about city government, schools, religion, coffee roasters and Congress.