Party leaders confident in ability to win over undecided, protest voters

Primary results reveal lack of enthusiasm for Trump and Biden
Posted at 9:12 AM, Apr 05, 2024

MADISON — Despite winning in Wisconsin’s presidential primary on Tuesday, President Joe Biden and former President Donald Trump face hurdles in the battleground state ahead of November.
Biden secured just under 90% of the Democratic vote, and Trump fell short of 80% in the Republican primary. For Republicans, most of the other votes went to candidates who had dropped out of the race weeks ago. Among Democrats, more than 48,000 voters chose “uninstructed delegation” as a way to signal their disapproval of Biden's handling of the war in Gaza and other policy decisions.

The chairs of Wisconsin’s Democratic and Republican parties say they’re confident voters will fall in line behind their candidates before the general election.

"The thing with the uninstructed vote is that these are Democrats who know that Trump is not the answer,” said Ben Wikler, chair of the Democratic Party of Wisconsin. “They went and cast ballots, so that makes them more likely to vote in November because they are actively engaged in the process, and they were sending a message.”

Wikler also said he’s hopeful Democrats can win over some of the more than 76,000 Wisconsin voters who backed Nikki Haley, who dropped out of the race last month.

Republican Party of Wisconsin Chair Brian Schimming said he didn’t see the primary results as a strong indication of what will happen in November, but he did point to high Republican turnout as a positive sign for the party. Roughly 8,000 more voters cast ballots in the GOP primary than in the Democratic primary.

“They have a problem, and that’s why Joe Biden has to fight to win Wisconsin again, and he’s not in good shape to do that right now,” Schimming said. “Statistically, I feel good about the party coalescing around Donald Trump.” 

Trump last visited the state on Tuesday, when he held a rally in Green Bay. Biden is set to visit Madison on Monday.