Wisconsin, after all, was a state in which the Republican establishment had a strong foothold. The chairman of the Republican National Committee hailed from there, as did House Speaker Paul D. Ryan. And, sure enough, the sober Republican voters of Wisconsin handed Trump a setback, in resounding fashion. Cruz won the state by 13 points. It was the last contest that Trump would lose, going on to romp through the Northeast.
One thing we’ve noticed, though, is that Ryan — and the Republican establishment that he represents — has consistently been viewed less positively than Trump himself, even before Trump secured the nomination. On a national level, more than half of Republicans told NBC and SurveyMonkey in May that they trusted Trump to lead the Republican Party more than they did Ryan. That wasn’t true in Wisconsin, it’s safe to assume, given that Ryan’s net favorability (those viewing him positively minus those viewing him negatively) among Republicans in his home state in early August was plus-72 to Trump’s plus-31.
But, as the Milwaukee Journal-Sentinel pointed out Tuesday, that has changed. Since the state’s primary, Wisconsin Republicans have grown more and more fond of the man who would become the leader of their party, and this month, for the first time, Trump’s approval ratings match Ryan’s. On net, Trump is viewed more positively.
Nationally, the gulf is even wider at this point, according to a new CBS News poll.
On net, Trump has a plus-72 rating from Republicans. Ryan is at plus-32.
Again, Trump has been more popular with Republicans than Ryan has for a long time. But now that sentiment has spread even to Ryan’s home turf, that bastion of the Republican establishment, that Alamo of the traditional GOP.
The Trump takeover is complete.