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Johnson: It’s Too Soon To Worry About Who Will Be GOP Presidential Nominee

Senator Downplays Trump's Popularity, Welcomes Debate

Wisconsin U.S. Sen. Ron Johnson
Gage Skidmore (CC-BY-NC-ND)

U.S. Sen. Ron Johnson, R-Wis., is brushing off concerns among some conservatives that Republican presidential hopeful Donald Trump could be at the top of the GOP ticket next year.

In at least one new poll, Trump is the leading GOP presidential contender. That’s despite a series of controversial statements, including at last Thursday’s GOP debate.

A party’s presidential candidate can affect the results for those down the ticket. But Johnson, who will likely facing Democrat Russ Feingold next year in a re-election bid, said it’s too early to focus on one person in the presidential race.

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“I’m actually welcoming the debate,” he said. “I think the more people in it expressing those ideas, they’re going to have to run a positive campaign. They’re going to have to show the American people really what we need to do to get this economy moving forward. So no, I’m not worried about exactly who’s going to be the eventual nominee.”

Johnson campaigned at the Wisconsin State Fair and in Waukesha on Sunday with former U.S. Sen. Scott Brown, R-Mass., who lost the Senate race last year in New Hampshire.

Editor’s note: An earlier version of this story included a quote transcription error. It has been updated.