Republicans try to rally around Trump
Trump is expected to face-off against Democrat Hillary Clinton in Nov.
LA CROSSE, Wis. (WKBT) — Donald Trump and Sen. Bernie Sanders won their parties’ primary elections in Indiana Tuesday night.
After Trump’s victory, Sen. Ted Cruz announced he was suspending his campaign, and after originally saying he would not drop out, Gov. John Kaisch announced Wednesday afternoon he is also no longer campaigning, leaving Trump to be the presumptive Republican candidate in November.
It has taken a lot to get to this point, but there is finally only one candidate left on the Republican side.
This year’s campaign has been a pretty brutal one in many ways, but Republicans believe it’s now time to rally around the controversial businessman.
But after such a polarizing campaign, will Republicans unite and stand behind Trump? Political science professor Joe Heim said yes, but it will take some time.
“What it really means is that the Republican Party can now spend the next month or so unifying, getting people behind Donald Trump, planning the fall election and obviously going after the Democrats and particularly Hillary Clinton,” Heim said.
A Republican candidate for the Wisconsin Senate, Dan Kapanke, agrees.
“I think they will, I really do, because there’s so much at stake. We can’t afford to go down the same path we’re on right now with Hillary Clinton or with Bernie Sanders. I think it’s very, very important that we do rally around Donald Trump right now,” Kapanke said.
Kapanke said he is surprised Cruz dropped out Tuesday night, but admits it was the right thing to do with no clear path to victory for the Texas senator.
Instead of attacking fellow Republicans, Kapanke said now Trump can focus on finding a vice president to help him unite Republicans.
“I think as he starts rolling out vice presidential names, Cabinet names, I think the party’s going to rally, I think he’s going to come off very presidential. He’s obviously a very successful businessman and I think he’d be a very good president as well,” Kapanke said.
Heim said having only one Republican now will allow time for Republicans to “heal their wounds” from a “nasty primary” and let the dust settle before voters head to the polls in November.
“By and large, by the time the fall comes around, winning becomes more important to a party,” Heim said.
A new CNN poll out Wednesday morning shows Hillary Clinton will head into a general election matchup against Donald Trump with a 54 percent to 41 percent lead.