Paul Ryan is hardly a favorite of conservatives. His positions on many issues have identified him as firmly within the RINO camp – Republican in Name Only. Yet he remains the Speaker of the House, and from that position wields considerable power.
The question is how vulnerable is he to a challenge from a Democrat in his biannual campaign for reelection? The results of past elections would say that he’s not particularly vulnerable at all. However, there is a long-shot chance that this could change next year.
A union iron worker with strong liberal positions has created a video announcing his candidacy which has gone viral. Even to the point of where he’s already collected $100,000 for his campaign. A paltry, insignificant sum for a congressional election, but still an indicator that this man who has never held office before has struck a nerve. Could he do the unthinkable and unseat Ryan?
“Randy Bryce — a Democratic organizer and union iron worker who’s never held elected office — gained national attention with a viral video that debuted last month announcing his congressional bid. The video, which pitches Bryce as a ‘working man’ and focuses on health care, racked up nearly a half-million views in the less than two weeks it’s been online and drew attention from left leaning activists and national media.
“‘Let’s trade places, Paul Ryan,’ Bryce said in the ad. ‘You can come work the iron, and I’ll go to DC.’
“Bryce considers the video a success, recently telling CNN it attracted more than $100,000 in donations within 24 hours.”
No doubt the man has a message and it has generated support for his candidacy. But what is he really up against? And how will the DNC react to his campaign first to win the Democratic nomination?
Here’s Bryce’s campaign video:
“Even with the attention the video has attracted, Bryce’s odds of unseating the Wisconsin Republican at this point appear extremely low. While polling for congressional districts is historically scarce and unreliable, Ryan has never lost a race. In fact, he’s never won with less than by double-digit margins. He bested his opponent by nearly 35 points in 2016. Ryan has also been a prolific fundraiser, raising millions not only for himself but to preserve his party’s control of the House.
“When asked to respond to Bryce’s announcement video, Ryan campaign spokesman Zack Roday said, ‘Bryce is a liberal agitator in Wisconsin. He is not a political novice; he is a three time failed candidate who has been repeatedly rejected by southern Wisconsin voters for his far left positions.'”
Naturally we would not expect the Ryan campaign to declare Bryce to be a serious contender, one they greatly fear could lead to an electoral upset. Nevertheless, Bryce could still make a difference as he raises issues that resonate with many of the voters. He has a bit of support from those who are experienced in running campaigns, and claims he has learned from earlier failures.
“‘I tried doing it twice after work and you know it was tough,’ he said, describing working a full-time job and running for office. ‘But this time, I have just an amazing team behind me.’
“Bill Hyers, a Democratic strategist who’s managed campaigns for New York Sen. Kirsten Gillibrand and New York City Mayor Bill de Blasio, has signed on to help Bryce with the race.
“The district is reliably Republican, but Bryce will first have to win the Democratic primary if he even wants to face off with Ryan next fall. Democrat David Yankovich has also announced his bid for Ryan’s seat.”
His chances of taking Paul Ryan’s seat are remote at best. Yet the election is a year away, and that’s an eternity in politics.