SPOTLIGHT

Scott Walker's Wisconsin Future

The former governor is taking a risk by signing on to Trump's reelection.

With President Donald Trump at his side Wisconsin Gov. Scott Walker speaks during a rally Wednesday, Oct. 24, 2018, in Mosinee, Wis.
AP Photo/Mike Roemer
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Kyle Trygstad
Jan. 10, 2019, 9:49 a.m.

In declaring that he will help lead President Trump’s reelection campaign in Wisconsin, former Gov. Scott Walker is making a risky bet that hitching onto Trump’s coattails will be beneficial to his own statewide ambitions two years later.

While Trump carried Wisconsin in 2016, he did so by less than a point while winning just 47 percent of the vote. He was also running against an opponent who never stepped foot in the state after being formally nominated.

Trump’s win there broke a Democratic presidential winning streak of seven, including 14- and 7-point wins by President Obama. Two years later, Walker was defeated for reelection by a point and Democratic Sen. Tammy Baldwin was reelected by double digits.

Walker’s stated interest in helping ensure the president is reelected will certainly be popular with Trump’s base and could help him retain a foundation of support for a 2022 Senate bid should Republican Ron Johnson retire. But given midterm dynamics and the state’s most recent election results—and with his own controversial lame-duck moves—Walker's political future may be better served if Trump loses and his fingerprints are nowhere near it.

-- Kyle Trygstad

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