Wisconsin Rep. Paul Ryan, who has very conspicuously withheld any endorsement of GOP presidential nominee Donald Trump, is absolutely crushing his Trump-supporting 2016 primary challenger.The House Speaker leads the wan challenger, water filtration company executive Paul Nehlen, by 73 points among likely Republican primary voters in the first congressional district of Wisconsin, according a new poll conducted by The Washington Free Beacon.
The lopsided poll shows Ryan clobbering Nehlen, 80-7.
Assuming Ryan maintains some part of his healthy 73-point lead and defeats Nehlen, Ryan is likely to win the general election as well. He holds an 18-point lead over a generic Democrat (with 11 percent of voters undecided), the Free Beacon poll shows.
Almost 80 percent of the Republican voters in Ryan’s district view Ryan favorably, according to the poll.
A large majority of Republican voters in Ryan’s district — 72 percent — say they are decidedly behind Trump. Just 4 percent vow to support Clinton. However, almost one quarter of the GOP voters say they have not yet picked a presidential candidate to support.
At the same time, the entire population of voters in Wisconsin’s 1st District — a notable presidential swing district — views Trump unfavorably by a wide margin — 26 points. Of course, local voters also view Democratic presidential front-runner Hillary Clinton unfavorably (by the same 26-point margin), according to the poll.
The Free Beacon poll was conducted over a two-day period last week by Vox Populi Polling.
The poll showing Ryan enjoying his massive lead in the congressional primary comes about three months after Trump told a gaggle of reporters that Ryan would pay a heavy price if he failed to cooperate with Trump.
“I’m not equivocating,” Trump said back on March 1. “Paul Ryan, I’m sure I’m going to get along great with him and if I don’t, he’s going to have to pay a big price — okay?” (RELATED: Trump: Paul Ryan Better Get Along With Me Or ‘Pay A Big Price’)
Earlier this month, former Alaska Gov. Sarah Palin — a dedicated Trump supporter — told CNN’s Jake Tapper she would do “whatever I can” to help Nehlen, Ryan’s 73-points-down challenger.
“This man is a hard working guy, so in touch with the people,” Palin said of Nehlen.
“Paul Ryan and his ilk, their problem is they have become so disconnected from the people whom they are elected to represent, as evidenced by Paul Ryan’s refusal to support the GOP frontrunner that we just said, ‘He’s our man.'” (RELATED: Palin: ‘I Will Do Whatever I Can’ To Beat Paul Ryan Over Lack Of Trump Endorsement)
A few days later, Palin posted an epic Facebook rant about a meeting between Trump and Ryan’s meeting, going so far as to accuse the Republican Party of aiding President Barack Obama in “transforming America.”
“Trump has a pow-wow with unsupportive GOP House leader Paul Ryan today,” Palin wrote. “Anticipate Ryan, after following crucifiers of our conservative frontrunner and all of his early supporters, to now position himself as the leader of those politico wussies to the cool kids’ table. Typical politics. Makes me ill. DJT can’t capitulate.” (RELATED: Sarah Palin Goes On Rant About Trump-Ryan Meeting, Accuses GOP Of Helping ‘Transform America’)
Palin then suggested that Trump would emerge victorious from the meeting and implied that Ryan would be untruthful about whatever the two discussed.
“Today, Trump can not cede any victorious ground to the losers who got us into the mess we’re in,” she fulminated. “And he won’t. He’ll own the meeting like a boss.”
Wisconsin is an open-primary state (and has been since 1905). While voters in the Aug. 9 GOP primary may vote in only one party’s primary, declaring for a party is not necessary to vote in a primary election.