- - Thursday, April 25, 2019

Donald Trump won. We didn’t need WikiLeaks. We had Wisconsin.” — Kellyanne Conway on ABC’s “This Week” last Sunday.

President Donald Trump carried Wisconsin in 2016 for three main reasons:

1) The forgotten men and women found a voice in Mr. Trump. Many of the people outside of large urban areas like Milwaukee and Madison have felt ignored by the politicians in Washington. In a politically correct world, these voters like someone who tells it like it is.

2) The vacancy on the U.S. Supreme Court was a big concern to many conservative voters. They were convinced when candidate Donald Trump released the list of potential jurists who had been vetted by the Federalist Society. A presidential term is four years but a spot on the Supreme Court can last a lifetime (Associate Justice Antonin Scalia was nominated by President Ronald Reagan the year I graduated from high school).

3) Midwest voters do not like to be taken for granted. Hillary Clinton lost the Wisconsin primary to Bernie Sanders in the spring of 2016 and never came back. She overlooked the voters and paid the price.

Looking ahead to 2020, President Trump can carry Wisconsin again. Here is how he can do it:

Make the benefits of the Trump administration real to the voters. According to the Wisconsin Department of Revenue, the typical taxpayer in the state (a family with two parents working and two kids at home) saves $2,508 thanks to the tax cut signed by the president. Every time Mr. Trump sets foot in Wisconsin or any other battleground state, he should bring two or three families up on the stage and have them explain how much they saved from his tax cuts. Tell their stories over and over again.

On Saturday, President Trump will make another visit to Wisconsin (Green Bay to be exact). His rallies are unique opportunities to get this message out to the masses. Typically, local television stations cover the event live and that gives him a chance to talk to the folks at home.

He needs to do this to counter the negative narrative we hear from the left and from many in the media (who often resemble those on the left). If limited to that narrow scope of the world, voters will think the tax cuts passed them by and only went to the wealthy and to corporations. The opposite is true. More than 80 percent of the taxpayers in America saw a reduction in their overall tax burden. We just need to point out the facts.

Then, remind voters how radical the politicians are who are running against the president. Their views are wildly out of touch in the Midwest.

For example, all of the senators running for president have signed onto the so-called Green New Deal. Getting rid of “farting cows” doesn’t seem to be a winning slogan in America’s Dairyland.

How about telling senior citizens, working families and small business owners that they have to retrofit their homes, farms and buildings? That surely doesn’t play well in the Midwest.

What do you think voters in the state that led the way on welfare reform will think about giving everyone a job — even if they don’t want to work? In Wisconsin, we value hard work.

Embracing failed socialist ideas is not the way to win over the good people of my state. The president needs to continue to remind voters of the failures of socialism — it promises prosperity but delivers poverty. For example, more than 9 out of 10 live in poverty in the once prosperous country of Venezuela after years of a socialist regime.

In contrast, President Trump is right to proclaim that in America: “We’re born free, we will live free, and we will die free. We will always be free.”

As he had stated, “We believe in the dignity of work and the sanctity of life. We believe that faith and family, not government and bureaucracy, are the center of the American way.”

These are the things that helped him win Wisconsin in 2016 and these are the things that will get the president re-elected in 2020. In contrast, his opponents plan to expand the welfare state, grow the federal bureaucracy, undermine the family, decry people of faith and even allow the taking of a life after a baby has been born.

A great deal is at stake in the 2020 election. We expect to see the president many, many times over the next 18 months. My message to him is clear: Remind voters of the good things happening during your time in office, show them what is at stake in the next election and spell out how far out of touch your opponents are on nearly every issue. If he does that, he can carry my home state and with it, the election.

As Wisconsin goes, so goes the nation.

• Scott Walker was the 45th governor of Wisconsin. You can contact him at swalker@washingtontimes.com or follow him @ScottWalker.

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