The Wisconsin GOP Senate Primary Is (Still) A Mess

Jan 04, 2018

For Immediate Release
January 4, 2018
Contact: Brad Bainum, bradb@wisdems.org

The Wisconsin GOP Senate Primary is (Still) a Mess

MADISON — In a sure sign of how messy Wisconsin Republicans’ 2018 Senate primary has become, the Republican Party of Wisconsin yesterday issued a plea for U.S. Senate candidates to promise to support the party’s eventual nominee. 

Soon after, we saw Republicans’ cause for concern: almost immediately after signing the pledge, right-wing state Sen. Leah Vukmir and out-of-state billionaire puppet Kevin Nicholson went right back to attacking one another.

Within hours of pledging unity, Vukmir called on Nicholson to disavow his out-of-state boss Steve Bannon over Bannon’s attacks on the Trump family; which, in turn, caused Nicholson’s campaign to fire back and accuse Vukmir of being… jealous. 

Wisconsin Republicans openly fear a repeat of 2012’s disastrous primary, so they’re scrambling to bring a pretense of unity to their increasingly divisive 2018 iteration. But it’s all a waste of time: every Republican stabilizing effort to-date has hilariously backfired and only served to highlight Vukmir and Nicholson’s escalating hostility and mutual disdain.

Can things get any more petty than yesterday’s fight? Only time will tell. (But, yes.)

Here’s a look at how Wisconsin Republicans’ unity pledge is going so far:

Wisconsin State Journal: Wisconsin GOP senate candidates spar hours after signing ‘unity pledge’

AP: Vukmir Calls on Senate Opponent Nicholson to Disavow Bannon

Milwaukee Journal Sentinel: Leah Vukmir campaign calls on Kevin Nicholson to ‘disavow’ Steve Bannon endorsement

Politico: Bannon endorsement a sudden handicap for GOP candidates

BuzzFeed News: Steve Bannon’s Endorsement Was A Cherished Prize. Now, For Some Republicans, It’s a Liability.

The Hill: Trump feud puts pressure on Bannon candidates

HuffPost: Trump Feud Is Putting Steve Bannon’s Favored Primary Candidates In A Bind

U.S. News: The Awkward Aftermath of the Trump-Bannon Divorce

Real Clear Politics: Trump-Bannon Feud Spills Into GOP Primary Races

And here’s a look at how Wisconsin Republicans’ unity pledge disaster played out in papers and on front pages around Wisconsin this morning:

The Wisconsin State Journal:

The Milwaukee Journal Sentinel:

The Beaver Dam Daily Citizen: 

The Portage Daily Register: