Even Republicans Are Giving Up on Senator Johnson

You know things are bad when your own party starts to turn against you. After months of gaffes, out of touch policies, and mounting concern over his suspicious $10 million payout, Republicans don’t have high hopes for Senator Ron Johnson. Even a super PAC specifically started to bankroll Johnson’s campaign, Reform America Fund, announced yesterday it would shift its resources. When it was created in 2015, the PAC pledged, “Every single penny Reform America Fund raises will be spent in Wisconsin to re-elect conservative Ron Johnson…Every. Single. Penny.” You can’t make this stuff up.


Reform America Fund’s decision is part of a growing trend as more Republicans give up on Senator Johnson. Most Republicans are now publicly saying what they’ve privately admitted for months: Senator Johnson’s out of touch policies and his record in Washington will doom him come November.  Even one of the most prominent Republican pollsters, Gene Ulm, has come out and publicly said, Senator Johnson has almost no chance.


Here’s a look at the Republicans now saying Senator Johnson is likely to lose:


  • Gene Ulm, Republican pollster and partner at Public Opinion Strategies:
  • GOP pollster Gene Ulm acknowledged that Johnson doesn’t have an easy path to re-election. The last Republican to win a U.S. Senate election in Wisconsin in a presidential year was former Sen. Robert Kasten in 1980.  ‘A Republican running in a presidential year in Wisconsin has the toughest road to hoe, regardless of who you are,’ Ulm said.” [La Crosse Tribune, 5/15/15]



  • James Wigderson, Conservative columnist for Right Wisconsin: “But Johnson’s possible defeat is rooted in the 2010 campaign. It was a wave election in a nonpresidential year. Feingold was never that unpopular to make himself a vulnerable incumbent. But there was no separate Johnson identity in that race, and his results mirrored those of Gov. Scott Walker’s successful campaign. Six years later, and there is still no separate identity for Johnson.”



  • Jim Sensenbrenner, Republican Congressman: ‘The biggest problem is there are a number of Republicans that don’t want to vote because they don’t like Trump. If they don’t vote, that hurts down-ballot Republicans such as Senator Johnson,’ Sensenbrenner said.’”


  • Charlie Sykes, Conservative Radio Host: “Sykes remains confident that Trump will lose badly in November, and he is equally fearful that Trump will drag longtime Republicans, like Senator Ron Johnson of Wisconsin, down with him.”


  • Town Hall: “At the moment, defending incumbents in Illinois (Mark Kirk) and Wisconsin (Ron Johnson) are looking like relatively difficult tasks, although neither race is yet out of reach.  But for argument’s sake, let’s say both of those seats are gone.”


  • Republicans on Capitol Hill: “Sens. Mark Kirk (R-Ill.) and Ron Johnson (R-Wis.) trail their Democratic opponents, and most Republicans privately admit those seats are likely to flip.”


“Senator Johnson’s campaign is sinking, and Republicans like Charlie Sykes, Congressman Sensenbrenner and even his own super PAC are heading for the lifeboats,” said Lauren Passalacqua, DSCC National Press Secretary. “Johnson’s out-of-touch policies and his string of gaffes are finally coming home to roost. The only people keeping Senator Johnson afloat are the ultra-right and special interest groups who will do anything in their desperate attempt to keep Johnson in Washington.”

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