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Thursday, January 16, 2020

ANALYSIS/OPINION:

President Donald Trump was in Wisconsin again this week. It is a state that he must win to ensure his reelection in 2020. He should win. But only if his supporters get out and tell the story of his positive impact on people all across that state — and around the country.

New jobs numbers last week showed that unemployment in America is the lowest level in 50 years at 3.5 percent. Traditionally low unemployment is a path to victory and high unemployment is a trail to defeat. Former President Barack Obama defied that logic with his reelection in 2012. Swing voters in battleground states personally liked him, even if they didn’t like his policies. And his campaign was quite effective at making his opponent unlikable to a majority of that same group of voters.


In 2020, Mr. Trump’s policies are working and people like the strong economy. Unfortunately, some of the all-important swing voters in battleground states do not like many of his comments and tweets.

To win in Wisconsin (and in turn America), the president and his team will have to do two things quite well:

• Explain to voters how the president’s policies are actually working for the country and making their lives and the lives of their families better now and in the future.

• Define his opposition as having ideas that would make their lives and the lives of their families worse in the future.

These are simple concepts but will require a comprehensive plan to implement in Wisconsin — as well as in key states like Michigan, Pennsylvania, Iowa, Ohio, North Carolina, Florida and Arizona.

For those who complain about the tone of the president, in his comments and tweets, I remind them that Washington, D.C., is full of politicians who say all the right things but don’t accomplish squat for the American people. On the other hand, the president may not talk or tweet the way many of us do in the country, but he is getting the job done.

Massive tax cuts for the middle class and other hard-working taxpayers. Regulatory reform is encouraging job growth and greater entrepreneurship. As mentioned, 50-year lows in unemployment as well as dramatic wage growth. Solid judicial nominations that uphold the Constitution. Sound foreign policy victories such as removing two leaders of some of the great terrorist threats in the world.

Any number of these policy victories would be a path to reelection for almost anyone else. At the same time, the media continues to condemn and misinterpret the actions of Mr. Trump and his administration.

To win will require thousands of grassroots volunteers to reach out to family and friends, neighbors and co-workers plus people we worship with each week to get the truth out about the president — as well as his opponents.

Thankfully, Mr. Trump does a better job of defining his opposition than anyone in modern history. He will need to be at his best in 2020.

Democrats will gather for their national convention just a block away from where Mr. Trump just held his rally in Milwaukee. I would not be surprised if he returned to Wisconsin during that same time to hold a rally and dominate the media coverage.

And why not? As much as many elements of the national media seem to vehemently hate the president, they can’t stop talking about him.

When the DNC converges in downtown Milwaukee, I can easily see Mr. Trump holding a massive rally nearby. What a great opportunity to remind voters in Wisconsin, as well as the rest of the country, of how radical the beliefs of his opponents are going into the fall campaign.

Voters already started to back away from the government-run health care plan being pushed by many of the candidates. They want some reasonable reforms in health care but they don’t want to completely lose their own plans.

And they certainly don’t want to see the major tax creases that will come from a massive expansion of the federal government. The more voters hear about the price tag, the worse for the Democrats.

Throw in aggressive plans by Mr. Trump to drain the swamp through term limits and repealing the exemption on Obamacare for members of Congress and their families and you can see that the president has a path to success in 2020. Contrast that with former Vice President Joe Biden who is a creature of the swamp or U.S. Sens. Elizabeth Warren and Bernie Sanders who work in it.

The more Mr. Trump and his supporters get out the facts about his positive record combined with the truth about the Democrats plans for America, the more likely a solid Republican win will be in 2020. As in 2016, voters in Wisconsin will help lead the way.

• Scott Walker was the 45th governor of Wisconsin. You can contact him at swalker@washingtontimes.com or follow him @ScottWalker.


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