According to one political analyst, if the Republican Party wants to win the state of Wisconsin in next year’s presidential race, it would be better off nominating somebody other than real estate mogul Donald Trump or U.S. Sen. Ted Cruz of Texas.
David Schultz, co-author of the book "Presidential Swing States: Why Only Ten Matter," said that in battleground states like Wisconsin, candidates perform best when their political views closely match those of the average voter. When the Republicans or Democrats nominate a candidate who is far more conservative or far more liberal than a swing state’s typical voter, Schultz said voting patterns can change -- even in Wisconsin where Republicans control the governorship and both houses of the state Legislature.
"(Hilary Clinton) is probably closer to the average voter in Wisconsin in terms of, call it ‘median politics’ … than the frontrunners of Donald Trump and Ted Cruz," he said. "Having said that, the Republicans may be prepared to nominate a candidate far more conservative than the average voter in Wisconsin, therefore handing the race to somebody like Hillary Clinton," the presumptive Democratic nominee.
But if the race comes down to Clinton and former Florida Gov. Jeb Bush, Schultz said the race might be much more competitive to the point where Republicans could actually win Wisconsin.
The most recent Marquette University Law School poll, released Nov. 19, showed retired neurosurgeon Ben Carson leading all Republican candidates with 22 percent support. Trump and U.S. Sen. Marco Rubio of Florida were tied for second with 19 percent. Cruz was third with 9 percent.
In potential head-to-head matchups, Carson and Rubio each lead Clinton 45-44 percent. However, Clinton beats Trump 48-38 percent.
Schultz, a professor of political science at Hamline University in Minnesota, also said that Clinton has solidified her standing in the other nine swing states -- Colorado, Florida, Iowa, Ohio, Nevada, New Hampshire, New Mexico, North Carolina and Virginia -- in about the past six weeks. Before then, she was having a difficult time because Schultz said she wasn’t polling well with independent voters.
"Had the Republicans … nominated somebody such as a (New Jersey Gov.) Chris Christie or somebody and the election were held in those critical swing states, Clinton would have been in danger of losing," he said.
In his book, Schultz makes the case that based on recent election trends, the 2016 presidential race is essentially over in forty states and the District of Columbia, leaving the outcome to be decided by just ten states that are capable of being won by either of the major candidates.