At this time last year, Assembly Speaker Robin Vos was worried about the prospect of Donald Trump being the Republican presidential nominee. “We actually thought…he might have had a drag on our ticket. I think of many of us worried about that,” Vos told a Wispolitics.com event in Madison Thursday.
However, the Rochester Republican said much has changed since then, and he believes the opposite has proven to be the case. “We see that all across the state, in every region, Donald Trump is actually a benefit to our candidates when they have competitive races.”
Despite seeing those fears recede though, the speaker still has doubts about whether Trump has a chance to become the first Republican presidential candidate to win Wisconsin since 1984. “The assumption is that we will not carry the state, I think most political observers believe that,” Vos said.
During the same event, Assembly Democratic Leader Peter Barca (D-Kenosha) offered a different take on the impact Trump is having on Wisconsin races. “Our polling shows that the top of the ticket, for Hillary versus Trump, is certainly a positive environment for us – in the seat’s that are most competitive, Hillary is winning.”
Vos supported Florida Senator Marco Rubio during the primary season, before endorsing Texas Senator Ted Cruz ahead of Wisconsin’s presidential primary. As recently as this summer, Vos remained a critic of Trump and said he was “embarrassed” to have him leading the GOP ticket – especially after the nominee initially declined to support U.S. House Speaker Paul Ryan’s re-election bid.
Vos said Thursday that he was frustrated that Ryan did not have the automatic endorsement of the Republican nominee. However, he added that Trump “came around,” and now he thinks there’s a clear contrast between him and Clinton.