Wisconsin voters explain their presidential primary picks

AP News
Posted: Apr 05, 2016 5:33 PM
Wisconsin voters explain their presidential primary picks

MILWAUKEE (AP) — Wisconsin voters are expected to turn out Tuesday in large numbers for the presidential primary and statewide races. Here's what voters are saying at the polls:


Paul Lorentz lined up a half-hour before polls opened in the Madison suburb of Sun Prairie to vote for Ohio Gov. John Kasich. Lorentz, a 42-year-old project manager, said he typically votes Democratic but went Republican in the state's open primary to try to sway that side to someone he considers to be a good candidate.

"My hope is always to have two acceptable candidates running for president," Lorentz said.

Lorentz, who is gay and the father of two adopted children, said Kasich seems like he takes the job more seriously than Republican front-runner Donald Trump or Sen. Ted Cruz.


Joanne Wahl, a 51-year-old claims adjuster in Sun Prairie, said she had wanted to vote for Trump since first hearing of him in 1990. She said she was ecstatic when he launched his run, although she preferred Ben Carson until he dropped out.

"He'll get the job done," Wahl said of Trump. "He's always been that way with his business."

Wahl, a mother of two, described herself as a non-churchgoing Christian. She said she usually votes Republican but won't label herself one.

"I'm hoping to get rid of the two-party system," she said.


Carrie-Ann Todd, 39, of Sun Prairie, says she voted for Democrat Bernie Sanders because of his efforts to address the high cost of college.

Todd, a project manager, says she spent $40,000 on a college degree she's one year short of obtaining and now owes $85,000 with interest.

"I'm paying more on my student loans than I am on my cars," Todd said.

Todd said her income is the only one in her family of three, and her 12-year-old son has high medical costs from a rare hereditary disease. She hopes Sanders will provide some relief.

"I don't know if he'll get any support if he gets into the White House, but it's worth a shot," Todd said.


Jason Kausalik, a University of Wisconsin-Milwaukee graduate student in finance, voted for Cruz, whom he called a "conservative who has a chance to win" in November.

"Also, it's a vote against Trump," Kausalik, 27, said in downtown Milwaukee.

He voted for Barack Obama in 2008 because "I thought he would be this massive transitory figure." He said as he got older he realized he was neither an Obama supporter nor a Democrat.


Cheryl Harvey, 65, of Milwaukee, says experience and consistency are the reasons she backed Democratic front-runner Hillary Clinton.

Harvey doesn't consider herself a Democrat and says she always considers Republican candidates, but called this year "a circus."

"I'm surprised the masses have come out so strongly for Trump," she said.


Ann Wiltbank said she would have voted for Kasich if she thought he could win. Instead, she settled on Cruz because "he's not Donald Trump."

Wiltbank, a 62-year-old retired school librarian from the Madison suburb of Verona, said she thought Cruz might be the best shot for an impartial U.S. Supreme Court appointment following Justice Antonin Scalia's death.

"I think courts are being too political, and I have a little bit more trust in someone who's actually argued before the court that they could be more impartial," Wiltbank said.


Bridal consultant Nicole Lawless said she voted for Clinton because it's time for the country to have a female president.

"I don't really trust any politician, but I think she's assertive and knows what she's doing," said Lawless, a 50-year-old mother of three from Verona.

Lawless said Sanders has good ideas, but she believes Clinton can borrow from those and will be more effective at implementing them in office.

"Is she going to get everything done? No, but nobody can," Lawless said.


Hannah Gilbert, a 26-year-old University of Wisconsin-Milwaukee student and consistent Democratic supporter, voted for Sanders.

She says Clinton has a credibility problem. "I've seen old film where she contradicted herself multiple times," Gilbert said.


Kevin Her, 43, of Milwaukee, voted for Clinton because he thought her experience in foreign policy would help the U.S. maintain its international standing.

"We're a world leader," said Her, who said he always votes Democratic. "That's our role, to help the world be peaceful."


Demetrius Rimmer voted for Sanders "to help better myself."

Rimmer, a 24-year-old factory worker in Milwaukee who is black, said outside his polling place on the city's north side that "it's messed up at this time. We don't want to be in a recession again."

Rimmer said he never supports Republicans because "they're rich already, they don't need us."


Godar reported from Sun Prairie. Follow Godar on Twitter at https://twitter.com/bgodar and Moore at https://twitter.com/writingmoore .