Racine County has always been a spectacle of sorts for elections because it has been so divided politically, but it tends to choose winners for national elections and that makes it a place to watch.
House speaker Paul Ryan, who faces re-election himself against Paul Nehlen, has often said that so goes Racine County, so goes the state.
Clinton led Trump by six percentage points, 46% to 40%, according to the last Marquette Law Poll.
Still, the Racine County GOP has had a strong Tea Party influence and that has not made this election easy to predict. There hasn’t been any love lost between some Tea Party members and Trump. Still, others have rallied behind him. And Obama narrowly won the county by 3 points in 2012. This is the reason why Trump has to win Racine County and is among several counties to watch across the nation, according to a story by NPR.
“For Trump to win, he needs to flip a place like Racine, which went for Obama narrowly. The Milwaukee suburb went for Obama by just 3 points in 2012, but went for George W. Bush in 2004 — when Wisconsin was the closest state of that election, though it went for Democrat John Kerry. It won’t be enough for Trump; he also needs to likely win by more than Romney did in Brown (Green Bay) and drive up turn out in Waukesha, one of the reddest and most populous counties in the state,” according to the story.
This rift will likely have an impact on the election, something Racine County Republicans have been keenly aware of over the last several months.
State House Speaker Robin Vos — even though he didn’t mention Trump by name — encouraged voters to vote straight party up and down the ticket by re-tweeting one of Ryan’s tweets.
“We cannot sit this one out. We must show up and vote for Republican leaders up and down the ticket,” Ryan tweeted.
For people like Bill Folk, former chairman for the Racine County GOP, Trump isn’t his choice for president. During the Republican National Convention, he left early and argued that Trump did not represent conservative values. On Facebook, Folk predicted that a third party would win Wisconsin and he encouraged others to vote 3rd party.
“My electoral prediction: 1st time since 1968 a 3rd party will win a state. 2 in fact UT and ID. #ElectionFinalThoughts @Evan_McMullin,” he wrote.
Racine County Republican Josh Schimek, a Trump supporter, posted a meme about voting for anyone but Trump would ensure a Clinton win.
The decision was not as clear for Caledonia resident Mark Balwinski, and it has stifled his enthusiasm to go vote.
“I don’t even feel like wasting my time voting,” he wrote on Facebook Tuesday morning.
But in places like Franksville and Racine the lines were already out the door.