Paul Ryan’s retirement was rumored long before the Speaker made the announcement he would leave Washington last week.
He says he wanted to announce early in the year that he will step down, because he thought it would be disingenuous to run for reelection to protect his seat. But as long as there have been rumors he was done with Washington, there have been rumblings he was going to face a tough reelection in November.
Ryan’s district was gerrymandered eight years ago to make it comfortably Republican for him, but that comfort has slowly eroded as Wisconsin Democrats have mobilized over discontent with Governor Scott Walker, the Republican legislature, and President Donald Trump.
“It’s a really interesting district,” says Noah Ovshinsky, news director with Wisconsin Public Radio.
“Paul Ryan… has been incredibly popular,” says Ovshinsky. ”It wasn’t unusual to see lawn signs where people were supporting… a Democratic president and Paul Ryan.”
To hear more from Ovshinsky about how Wisconsin politics are shifting, and to hear a discussion about the future of the GOP in Michigan with Republican state Senator Phil Pavlov, click on the audio player above.