Few Republicans in the country have voted for Trump harder and faster than those in Wisconsin. In the 2016 presidential primary, Scott Walker, then-governor of the state – whose own campaign ended after 71 days with a warning of Mr Trump’s nomination – organized the party’s entire political and local media apparatus behind Senator Ted Cruz of Texas at a rate of one last ditch effort to stop Mr. Trump.
Mr. Cruz won the state, the last one he would wear, before ending his campaign a month later. Most, but not all, Wisconsin Republicans got on board quickly with Mr Trump. Rep. Paul D. Ryan, then Speaker of the House of Representatives, was reluctant to support Mr. Trump. Charlie Sykes, the most influential Conservative talk radio host in the state at the time, never did and quit his job to become a Never Trump commentator.
Now, as in Georgia and Arizona, Trump’s false claims that he won the Wisconsin presidential contest threaten to divide Republicans. At the party conference on Saturday, Mr Trump delivered a recorded message reiterating the lie that he had won the state – despite not mentioning any of the legislative leaders he had attacked in his statement the night before.
“We actually had great results in Wisconsin,” said Trump. “As you know, we won in 2016, and as you also know, we won in 2020, but that is not yet rated.”
Shae Sortwell, a Conservative MP for the state who was one of 15 lawmakers in the Republican state of Wisconsin, who signed a January 5 letter to Vice President Mike Pence asking him not to confirm the next day’s presidential election results, argued, that it was “proven” that some Wisconsin electoral officials were breaking state laws.
“I hope they find out the truth about whether there has been collusion between democratic activists to break the electoral law,” he said of Mr. Vos’ investigators. “That’s what I want to find.”
Mr Vos has pushed legislation to make postal voting more difficult and to ban the mass gathering of early votes, which the town clerk conducted in Madison, the liberal state capital, last fall. But he has so far resisted calls to summon large numbers of votes for 2020 and take an Arizona-style exam without ruling them out.