Paul Ryan's congressional district has been a battleground
While Paul Ryan has been reliably reelected since he joined the House in 1998, Democrats had been optimistic that their prime candidate this year could unseat him. Ironworker and Army vet Randy Bryce (often referred to by his twitter moniker @Ironstache) is viewed as a good match for this industrial district. He's well-funded and well-organized, too; he raised $2.1 million this last quarter, outraising Ryan for the 3-month period and putting his total haul at about $4.75 million. Schoolteacher Cathy Myers is also running in the Democratic primary.
The DCCC recently put the race in their red-to-blue program, which directs resources to the country’s most competitive takeover opportunities for the party.
The district has been a competitive battleground.
- In 2008, Obama won it, 51 percent to 48 percent.
- In 2012, with Ryan on the ticket, Mitt Romney only won this district by five points, 52 percent to Obama’s 47 percent.
- In 2016, the margin for Trump was 10 points; 52 percent to Clinton’s 42 percent.
Republicans do have some time to find a Ryan replacement. The filing deadline in Wisconsin is June 1.
And they’ll have to find an alternative. Currently, the other significant Republican candidate who has filed to run in Ryan’s district is Paul Nehlen, who Ryan trounced in the 2016 primary. Nehlen, who’s been identified as a white nationalist, has been suspended from Twitter and disavowed by the Wisconsin Republican Party for anti-Semitic and racist rhetoric. You can read more about him here.