News / USA

    Working-Class Anger Fuels Trump’s Popularity in Wisconsin

    Working Class Anger Fuels Trump’s Popularity in Paul Ryan’s Wisconsin Hometowni
    X
    March 30, 2016 5:09 AM
    The campaign to collect more delegates on the road to the Republican nomination for U.S. president winds its way through the state of Wisconsin, home of Speaker of the House Paul Ryan. As VOA’s Kane Farabaugh reports, Republican presidential front-runner Donald Trump’s appeal to working class voters is easy to see in the industrial town of Janesville, which is also Paul Ryan’s hometown.

    The campaign to collect more delegates on the road to the Republican nomination for U.S. president winds its way through the state of Wisconsin, home of Speaker of the House Paul Ryan. Republican presidential front-runner Donald Trump’s appeal to working-class voters is easy to see in the industrial town of Janesville, which is also Ryan’s hometown.

    Standing in line among thousands hoping to see Donald Trump at the Janesville Conference Center was a last-minute decision for accountant William Collett. 

    The presidential candidate he’ll vote for in the Wisconsin primary April 5 also will be a late decision.

    “Well, as of this morning I’ll be voting for Trump,” said Collett.

    One of the biggest reasons is Trump’s views on curbing foreign trade agreements.

    “Look at the NAFTA program that was voted in by politicians," Collett said of the North American Free Trade Agreement, signed into law in 1993. "And they darn well knew that jobs were going to jump the borders.”

    This is a primary concern for many in Janesville, home to a massive General Motors assembly plant that has been idle for almost a decade. 

    The plant's closure put thousands out of well-paying jobs and changed the lives of many in this working-class town of roughly 64,000, which reflects a large part of the Republican electorate.

    “Many of them were once Democrats. Their fathers worked on the line in industrial America. They had a nice house in the suburbs. They make the kind of money the upper working class used to make in the '50s and '60s. They look back on that life and they wonder where it went,” said John Sharpless, a history professor at the University of Wisconsin in Madison.

    Sharpless is a former Republican candidate for Congress who narrowly lost his election in 2000. He said Republican Party leadership has misjudged working-class voters for several election cycles.

    “I think they are a hurting group, and they’re an angry group, and they feel rejected by the Democrats, and then they felt they were rejected by the Republicans, and Trump has tapped into that anger,” explained Sharpless.

    Republican presidential candidate Donald Trump smiles as he speaks at a campaign stop Tuesday, March 29, 2016.
    Republican presidential candidate Donald Trump smiles as he speaks at a campaign stop Tuesday, March 29, 2016.

    Charlie Luiting, 21, said he’s most impressed by Trump’s credentials.

    "He’s kind of the epitome of an American businessman. I kind of like that," said Luiting.

    But there’s another name on Luiting’s radar: Ryan, who went to school with Luiting's mother. If Republicans are split among candidates and go to a brokered convention in July, there's speculation the House speaker could emerge as the party's nominee.  

    "If Paul was in the race, I would vote for Paul just because of my personal connection with him. I trust him. He’s honest. Straightforward," Luiting said.

    Sharpless said Ryan could be a strong contender as the Repblican nominee: "If he somehow magically became the candidate, I think he’d be a very serious rival for Hillary Clinton.”

    Ryan, who served as running mate to the GOP's 2012 nominee, Mitt Romney, has said he believes the nominee should be someone currently in the race.


    Kane Farabaugh

    Kane Farabaugh is the Midwest Correspondent for Voice of America, where since 2008 he has established Voice of America's presence in the heartland of America.

    You May Like

    US, Somalia Launch New Chapter in Relations

    US sends first ambassador to Somalia in 25 years; diplomatic presence and forces pulled out in 1993, after 18 US soldiers were killed when militiamen shot down military helicopter

    Brexit Vote Ripples Across South Asia

    Experts say exit is likely to have far-reaching economic, political and social implications for a region with deep historic ties to Britain

    Russian Military Tests Readiness With Snap Inspections

    Some observers see surprise drill as tit-for-tat response to NATO’s recent multinational military exercises in Baltic region

    This forum has been closed.
    Comment Sorting
    Comments
         
    by: Banh Huynh from: USA
    March 30, 2016 6:49 AM
    Keep going Mr.TRUMP. I love you being alone among GOP.I'll support you on your way.God bless you.
    In Response

    by: meanbill from: USA
    March 30, 2016 8:38 AM
    Remember that the Democrats and Unions in Wisconsin, used these same tactics that they are using now in their failed attempt to recall of the republican governor Scott Walker? .. No republican candidate for president, the house, the senate or governor, will ever get any of these diehard democrat rabble rousers vote? .. no matter what the news media pundits say? .. Trump has tapped into that silent majority now, and if they all vote, he'll be the next president?

    Featured Videos

    Your JavaScript is turned off or you have an old version of Adobe's Flash Player. Get the latest Flash player.
    Testing Bamboo as Building Materiali
    X
    June 27, 2016 9:06 PM
    For thousands of years various species of bamboo - one of the world's most versatile plants - have been used for diverse purposes ranging from food and medicine to textiles and construction. But its use on a large scale is hampered because it's not manufactured to specific standards but grown in the ground. A University of Pittsburgh professor is on track to changing that. VOA’s George Putic reports.
    Video

    Video Testing Bamboo as Building Material

    For thousands of years various species of bamboo - one of the world's most versatile plants - have been used for diverse purposes ranging from food and medicine to textiles and construction. But its use on a large scale is hampered because it's not manufactured to specific standards but grown in the ground. A University of Pittsburgh professor is on track to changing that. VOA’s George Putic reports.
    Video

    Video Orphanage in Iraqi City Houses Kids Who Lost their Parents to Attacks by IS

    An orphanage in Iraqi Kurdistan has become home to scores of Yazidi children who lost their parents after Islamic State militants took over Sinjar in Iraq’s Nineveh Province in 2014. Iraqi Kurdish forces backed by the U.S. airstrikes have since recaptured Sinjar but the need for the care provided by the orphanage continues. VOA’s Kawa Omar filed this report narrated by Rob Raffaele.
    Video

    Video Re-Opening Old Wounds in a Bullet-Riddled Cultural Landmark

    A cultural landmark before Lebanon’s civil war transformed it into a nest of snipers, Beirut’s ‘Yellow House’ is once again set to play a crucial role in the city.  Built in a neo-Ottoman style in the 1920s, in September it is set to be re-opened as a ‘memory museum’ - its bullet-riddled walls and bunkered positions overlooking the city’s notorious ‘Green Line’ maintained for posterity. John Owens reports from Beirut.
    Video

    Video Brexit Resounds in US Presidential Contest

    Britain’s decision to leave the European Union is resounding in America’s presidential race. As VOA’s Michael Bowman reports, Republican presumptive nominee Donald Trump sees Britain’s move as an affirmation of his campaign’s core messages, while Democrat Hillary Clinton sees the episode as further evidence that Trump is unfit to be president.
    Video

    Video New York Pride March A Celebration of Life, Mourning of Loss

    At this year’s march in New York marking the end of pride week, a record-breaking crowd of LGBT activists and allies marched down Manhattan's Fifth Avenue, in what will be long remembered as a powerful display of solidarity and remembrance for the 49 victims killed two weeks ago in an Orlando gay nightclub.
    Video

    Video NASA Juno Spacecraft, Nearing Jupiter, to Shed Light on Gas Giant

    After a five-year journey, the spacecraft Juno is nearing its destination, the giant planet Jupiter, where it will enter orbit and start sending data back July 4th. As Mike O'Sullivan reports from Pasadena, California, the craft will pierce the veil of Jupiter's dense cloud cover to reveal its mysteries.
    Video

    Video Orlando Shooting Changes Debate on Gun Control

    It’s been nearly two weeks since the largest mass shooting ever in the United States. Despite public calls for tighter gun control laws, Congress is at an impasse. Democratic lawmakers resorted to a 1960s civil rights tactic to portray their frustration. VOA’s Carolyn Presutti explains how the Orlando, Florida shooting is changing the debate.
    Video

    Video Tunisian Fishing Town Searches for Jobs, Local Development Solutions

    As the European Union tries to come to grips with its migrant crisis, some newcomers are leaving voluntarily. But those returning to their home countries face an uncertain future.  Five years after Tunisia's revolution, the tiny North African country is struggling with unrest, soaring unemployment and plummeting growth. From the southern Tunisian fishing town of Zarzis, Lisa Bryant takes a look for VOA at a search for local solutions.
    Video

    Video 'American Troops' in Russia Despite Tensions

    Historic battle re-enactment is a niche hobby with a fair number of adherents in Russia where past military victories are played-up by the Kremlin as a show of national strength. But, one group of World War II re-enactors in Moscow has the rare distinction of choosing to play western ally troops. VOA's Daniel Schearf explains.
    Video

    Video Muslim American Mayor Calls for Tolerance

    Syrian-born Mohamed Khairullah describes himself as "an American mayor who happens to be Muslim." As the three-term mayor of Prospect Park, New Jersey, he believes his town of 6,000 is an example of how ethnicity and religious beliefs should not determine a community's leadership. Ramon Taylor has this report from Prospect Park.
    Video

    Video Internal Rifts Over Syria Policy Could Be Headache for Next US President

    With the Obama administration showing little outward enthusiasm for adopting a more robust Syria policy, there is a strong likelihood that the internal discontent expressed by State Department employees will roll over to the next administration. VOA State Department correspondent Pam Dockins reports.
    Video

    Video Senegal to Park Colorful ‘Cars Rapides’ Permanently

    Brightly painted cars rapide are a hallmark of Dakar, offering residents a cheap way to get around the capital city since 1976. But the privately owned minibuses are scheduled to be parked for good in late 2018, as Ricci Shryock reports for VOA.

    Special Report

    Adrift The Invisible African Diaspora