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Presidential candidate Donald Trump will be in Racine Saturday at Memorial Hall, 72 7th St., for a town hall meeting.

According to a Marquette University Law School poll, Trump lags behind Texas Senator Ted Cruz and Ohio Governor John Kasich for the Republican primary. The poll indicated that Cruz is leading with 40 percent, Trump at 30 percent and the primary election will be held Tuesday.

But it remains to be seen how many Racine County GOP or Fiscal Watchdog (Racine Tea Party) members will be participating.

Lisa Bell, chair for the Racine County GOP, said she was unaware that Trump was coming to town. Her role is to stay neutral until after the primary, but she said a poll of their membership showed that 60 percent of their members were backing Cruz, 24 percent were backing Kasich, and 16 percent were supporting Trump. The informal poll represented 160 people in the Racine County GOP membership.

“It’s not a real good sampling, but this the core of our membership and now there’s a strong push to back Cruz,” Bell said. “But as the chairman, I need to be Switzerland.”

Bell wonders how much of an effect talk radio show hosts not backing Trump has had an impact on southeast Wisconsin voters.

“A lot of that can also be attributed to our folks being battle hardened in the 2010 and 2011 campaigns with Walker,” Bell said. “We’re a little more critical thinkers here.”

Still, the outcome of the election is largely determine by voter turnout and not polls, Bell said.

Nancy Milholland, vice chairman for the Racine County GOP and co-leader of the Fiscal Watchdogs (Racine Tea Party), said a separate poll was done in March asking Fiscal Watchdog members who they would vote for and who they would not vote for. Of the 521 people surveyed, 60. percent said they were voting for Cruz, 17 planned to vote for Rubio, 15 were throwing their support behind Trump, 7 percent were behind Kasich. But when asked who they would not vote for 64 percent said they wouldn’t vote for Trump, 18 percent said Rubio wasn’t their candidate, 15 percent weren’t voting Rubio and 3 percent said they wouldn’t support Cruz.

However, since that survey was taken, Rubio withdrew from the race.

“We’re just not pro-Trump here in southeast Wisconsin,” Milholland said. “…Trump has unknowingly stepped into a unique conservative movement when he walked into Wisconsin. This is not a red state, it’s more purple and blue, but there’s a movement here and we can spot a fake conservative in a heartbeat.”

The doors will open at 10 a.m. with the event kicking off at noon Saturday at Memorial Hall. Those wishing to attend will need to register at DonaldJTrump.com.

We’ve reached out to Trump’s and Cruz’s campaign managers and will be updating this story soon.


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Denise Lockwood has an extensive background in traditional and non-traditional media. She has written for Patch.com, the Milwaukee Business Journal, Milwaukee Magazine and the Kenosha News.