But the Wisconsin governor has a plan to close the gap: attacking his fellow Republicans, just not Trump or the 15 others running for president. Instead, Walker is taking aim at Mitch McConnell and the beleaguered congressional Republican leadership in an effort to tap into the same anti-establishment, anti-Washington and anti-politician anger that has fueled the rise of Trump in Iowa and nationwide.
Small jars of dried corn kernels measuring the support of the various presidential candidates at the Iowa state fair tell the tale, not just of Trump’s rise and Walker’s wane but of the growing frustration among Republicans with professional politicians. While the 2016 GOP field represents one of the deepest and most experienced in memory, the top three GOP vote-getters at the state fair — Trump, Ben Carson and Carly Fiorina — have a combined zero years of elected experience between them.
Walker, the erstwhile Iowa frontrunner, wasn’t even on the corn-kernel leaderboard.
“I think it’s a protest,” Walker said after a campaign stop Monday of recent polling and the corn-kernel vote. “I think what’s happened is people have so had it with Washington they’re sending a message and they’re picking, at least right now in the polls, they’re picking people who’ve never held office before to send that kind of message.”