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CEDAR GROVE — In Wednesday’s editorial, “The real problem for Wisconsin Republicans is Trump,” the State Journal editorial board argued that Trump is bad for the GOP.

But Trump managed to do something Republicans were unable to do for over 30 years: win Wisconsin in a presidential election. With growth in the manufacturing sector, Trump’s economy is benefiting Wisconsin and the nation, and his politics are helping the Republican Party grow. Trump is great for Wisconsin and the GOP.

The editorial board gets it wrong on Trump and his benefits to the state and party. Trump’s policies are particularly great for Wisconsin. The editorial dismisses Trump’s “strong economy,” but it is important to examine how the economy is benefiting Wisconsinites. For too long, Wisconsin has been ignored as flyover country from Washington elites.

Regulatory reform and tax cuts have the national economy booming. In the third quarter of last year, wages were up 3.1% (the highest jump in a decade). Since Trump became president, more than 5 million new jobs have been added, with 263,000 jobs added in April alone. The official unemployment rate is now 3.6%, which is the lowest in nearly half a century.

Wisconsin has long had a strong manufacturing sector, and President Barack Obama famously predicted the manufacturing jobs weren’t coming back. But Trump has been especially great for manufacturing, as manufacturers added six times more jobs in Trump’s first 2 years than under Obama’s last two. Wisconsin wages grew 4.39% from 2016 to 2017 for median household income.

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Trump is also growing the Republican Party. The State Journal editorial board claims Trump is “hardly conservative” and purport to give the Republican Party some advice: to distance themselves from President Trump. The president’s conservative accomplishments are impressive though: appointing two conservative Supreme Court justices, passing tax reform, cutting Planned Parenthood funding, slashing $16.4 billion of regulations, and finally starting to renegotiate bad trade deals.

The list goes on and on. Trump’s approval rating among his political party was higher on his 500th day in office than any post-war president (except George W. Bush after the Sept. 11 attacks). So his Republican Party popularity is through the roof.

Trump is in a much better position that he was in 2016, and that is good news for the Republican Party of Wisconsin. In 2016, Trump beat Hillary Clinton while having a 35% favorable rating by the final Marquette Law School Poll of 2016. The best comparison to that favorability rating is the job approval number, and in the same poll he is at 46% approval.

Importantly, Trump is trending up significantly in key areas since 2016: He’s up 19% in the Milwaukee market (excluding the city), up 5% in Milwaukee, up 6% in the Green Bay and Appleton market, up 12% in the Madison market, and up 10% in the rest of the state. And 91% of Wisconsin Republicans approve of the job he is doing as president. With Trump’s increased popularity, he can help the party reach new voters in rural Wisconsin, as he did in 2016. The New York Times recently did a piece on Trump’s re-election prospects in Wisconsin, and they couldn’t even find a Democrat who thought Trump would lose Wisconsin in 2020.

President Trump’s brand of fighting against the Washington, D.C., bureaucrats and putting America first is strong in Wisconsin. Trump is popular with the Republican Party and can help them gain new voters. With a strong economy and more manufacturing jobs, Trump is delivering for Wisconsin. The Democrats’ moves toward socialism will only help Trump make the case that he is great for Wisconsin.

Capital W: Plug in to Wisconsin politics

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Batzel, of Cedar Grove, is the Wisconsin-based national executive director of American Majority Action, Inc., a conservative advocacy group: www.americanmajority.org.

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