Is GOP Speaker of the House Paul Ryan on his way out of office? Such may be the case with a new report from The Wall Street Journal about a labor activist and former Bernie Sanders campaign surrogate who is building a bid to become the Democratic nominee to face Ryan in the 2018 midterm election.
The individual in question is named Randy Bryce and seems poised to appeal to the fringe, populist leaning voters who put President Trump in office out of a desperation that Bryce is apparently already in touch with, seeing as he supported Bernie Sanders.
Bryce has, apparently, enlisted the help of a number of high profile Democratic operatives who have helped run a number of high profile successful Democratic upset campaigns, including those of New York City Mayor Bill De Blasio and of New York Senator Kirsten Gillibrand. (It’s a man named Bill Hyers who worked on both of those campaigns.)
Additionally, Bryce’s campaign stands to rake in large amounts of cash on account of its near automatic high profile. The WSJ says that in Bryce’s campaign, Rep. Ryan stands to face the first challenge of this sort since he was first elected to Congress in 1998. (Yes, he’s been in Congress for that long.)
Bryce has laid out a strategy for his attack on Ryan, telling the WSJ that he will seek to tie him to the failed policies of President Donald Trump.
Bryce said: “They’re handcuffed together. People are having buyer’s remorse and they’re seeing what’s going on. Trump made a lot of promises that I can see why working people would support, but now they’re waking up.”
Indeed; Ryan has been open about his support for President Trump’s policies for some time. He has shifted from unease with the prospect of a President Trump on account of the latter’s bombastic nature to an eagerness to use the opportunity granted him by Trump’s presidency to manipulate the system into making some of his policy dreams, like repealing Obamacare, a reality.
According to The Huffington Post, well under a third of voters nationally approve of the job that Paul Ryan is doing, but the only opinions that really matter here are, of course, those of the people in his district. Ryan has only received less than 60% of the vote since taking office, but should the expected Democratic wave become a reality in 2018, he could be on his way out even still.
Bryce’s aforementioned staff member Bill Hyers commented of the situation: “It’s a winnable district and Paul Ryan has gotten away with being a nice local person that they like. This is the first time where he’s really going to have the face the voters with the fact that he’s gone Washington.”
A poll released by Public Policy Polling, which The Wall Street Journal notes is a Democratic leaning firm, has only 46% of the voters in Rep. Ryan’s district saying that they’d vote to re-elect him, while some 48% of the people in his district think that it’s “time for someone new.”
It’s worth noting that there’s already at least one challenger to Bryce’s bid to become the Democratic nominee. Last week, David Yankovich, an Ohio political commentator, launched his bid to unseat Ryan.
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