MADISON, Wis. — Ron Johnson has doubled down on his self-serving and out-of-touch positions – and Wisconsinites are rejecting him for it. Recent polling found that 51% of Wisconsin voters do not think that Johnson shares their values.
From Johnson’s threats to cut Social Security and Medicare, cheering on the Supreme Court’s decision to take away Wisconsintes’ reproductive freedom, changing the 2017 tax bill in a way that enriched himself and his biggest donors, and vowing to raise health care costs if the GOP takes back the Senate, Wisconsinites know that Johnson does not represent their values.
- Far from shying from his contrarian reputation, Wisconsin Republican Sen. Ron Jonson is leaning into controversy as he runs for his third term.
- Johnson has called for the end of guaranteed money for Medicare and Social Security, two popular programs that American politicians usually steer clear from. He’s trafficked in conspiracy theories about the 2020 election and dabbled in pseudoscience around the coronavirus.
- It’s also shaping up as the kind of razor-close finish that’s become common in Wisconsin, where Donald Trump carried the state by fewer than 23,000 votes in 2016 and then lost to Biden by about the same margin two years ago.
- “Ron Johnson isn’t doing anything to try and move his favorables up,” said Alex Lasry, a Milwaukee Bucks executive who was Barnes’ first main rival to leave the race and throw support to Barnes. “I think Ron Johnson’s campaign knows the voters don’t like him. What Johnson’s trying to do is drag everyone into the mud.”
- [Johnson] has repeatedly called for removing guaranteed funding for Medicare and Social Security, saying it’s the only way to keep them viable.
- Johnson also dismissed concerns about climate change, said that he would have been more fearful during the Jan. 6, 2021, riots if the U.S. Capitol invaders had been Black Lives Matter protesters, and advocated for unproven and untested alternative treatments for COVID-19, saying mouthwash could be one way to fight the virus.
- That includes abortion — perhaps the one area where Johnson is showing caution given polls showing a strong majority back it being legal. Johnson recently said that questions about Wisconsin’s abortion ban should be decided by a statewide vote, but when Democratic Gov. Tony Evers proposed a way to do that, Johnson balked.