MINNEAPOLIS (WCCO) — President Donald Trump threw his support behind Republican candidates in Mosinee, Wisconsin Wednesday evening.
Trump campaigned for the re-election of his former rival, Gov. Scott Walker.
Two respected polls vary: One shows Walker ahead by one point, while the other gives Democratic challenger Tom Evers a 10-point lead.
At Hudson City Hall, the stream of early voters is steady. Signs on nearby roads state the obvious: This is a Republican stronghold. Signs supporting Walker dwarf signs for Evers, who is the superintendent of Wisconsin State Schools.
But early voters we spoke with say they want new leadership.
“Every ad that I see is a negative ad,” said Wisconsin voter Derek O’Keefe. “I am sick of it so I am voting for change.”
WCCO asked O’Keefe if that means he is voting for Evers.
“Yeah, I guess so,” O’Keefe said.
This is the fourth time in eight years that Walker has been on the state ballot. He was elected in 2010, survived a recall in 2012 and was reelected in 2016.
Walker’s anti-union policies lead to massive protests in 2011, and spending cuts have lead critics to wage an online campaign against potholes they label “Scottholes.”
Some voters say they are experiencing “Walker fatigue.”
“What we have to work on is the roads, and the gas tax that Tony Evers is talking about is what we need,” said Wisconsin voter Shay Mullally.
Walker is also dealing with the continued fallout of his failed 2016 presidential run. On the left, critics say his reelection bid is merely a launching pad for another White House run. But on the right, Trump loyalists cannot forget his 2016 attacks on then-candidate Trump.
“Right now, Donald Trump is the magic for these Republicans,” said Professor Larry Jacobs of the University of Minnesota’s Humphrey School of Public Affairs.
And Gov. Walker is hoping that Trump magic can deliver a third term, something that will not happen without the support of western Wisconsin voters.
“Scott Walker needs to build up majorities there because he is going to lose in more urban areas of Madison, and particularly Milwaukee,” Jacobs said.
The election is now just 12 days away.