Lifelong Wisconsinite Paul Casler, a rock-ribbed Republican who proudly cast his first Badger State primary vote for Ronald Reagan 36 years ago, hasn’t been this excited about politics in years.
As a passionate Donald Trump supporter, Casler believes the New York businessman has the ability to bring some “honesty” to Washington and an ability to “get things done.”
But as excited as he is, Casler said he has come to understand that the sharp tenor of the GOP race that has been dominated by Trump has been jarring to the sensibilities of family and friends who have become more accustomed to a more polite discourse among political rivals.
“For a lot of the people I know, it’s been quite shocking — especially for the older folks,” said Casler, 54, a state employee who lives in this southern Wisconsin community. “My mother — while she’s never been big into politics—but I think she finds some of what she’s hearing disturbing.”
Wisconsinites preference for a healthy dose of Midwest congeniality — what some politicians and analysts call “Wisconsin nice”— in their campaign season is being tested by the leading contenders, Trump and Texas Sen. Ted Cruz, who have been unyielding as they’ve traded insults.