Maybe you think we're a frumpy pathetic rustbelt backwater and we'd be happy that you showed up at all and acted like you cared.
But it's not that way at all. The WSJ's Kimberly A. Strassel does a great job of summing up Wisconsin GOP politics for outsiders:
Wisconsin has been in continuous political warfare for six years. Over that time, Republicans lived through Gov. Scott Walker’s epic battle for his Act 10 public-sector bargaining reform; judicial races; a Senate recall effort; a gubernatorial recall effort; a political assault in a vicious John Doe probe; another election cycle; campaign-finance reform; an overhaul of the state’s ethics body; a right-to-work law; and prevailing-wage reform. To name a few.Cruz (and his people) seem to do much better at grasping complexity and dealing with it. I have no reason to believe either Trump or Cruz cares much about Wisconsin other than as just one more state to appease and gratify, but the 2 men are revealing quite a lot about their mental capacity and competence. To govern, you have to maintain your stamina and attention to all sorts of elaborate problems that are not intrinsically emotionally rewarding, like caring about Wisconsin.
The state is also proudly home to the speaker of the House, Paul Ryan, and a governor (Scott Walker) who ran for his party's presidential nomination. The result is a conservative electorate that is highly informed, highly energized and highly involved. The fights so far have given voters an acute appreciation of the conservative principles at stake, and a pride in defeating union and liberal priorities. They have radar sensitive to “fake” Republicans, and many aren’t keen on what they are hearing from Mr. Trump.
Wisconsin’s recent political battles also resulted in a dramatic shift in the state’s communications culture.... Four “talkers” in particular— Charlie Sykes, Vicki McKenna, Jerry Bader and Mark Belling—exercise enormous influence, and cover nearly every inch of the state media market....
Mr. Trump stumbled onto three of the four biggest shows on Monday, seemingly unaware that all the hosts are part of the “Never Trump” movement. Mr. Sykes likened Mr. Trump to a “12-year-old bully” and insisted he was no conservative. Ms. McKenna was similarly rough, though Mr. Trump did himself no favors by hanging up on her.
He’s also won no votes by lambasting both Mr. Walker and Paul Ryan. Mr. Trump might have been looking at Mr. Walker’s statewide approval numbers (in the 40s) and figured that hitting Mr. Walker’s tax cuts was smart politics. But the governor’s approval with Republicans is significantly higher—likely in the 70% to 80% range.
Mr. Ryan also is widely liked and admired among Republicans in the state, in particular because he still actively engages in state battles. He regularly goes on talk radio; he has openly supported Walker reforms; he helps out state legislative candidates. Mr. Cruz, by contrast to Mr. Trump, clearly was well briefed on the broader environment. His praise of Messrs. Walker and Ryan earns him strong applause at events, and he’s grasped the power of the state radio....