Sanders backer prepares to challenge Paul Ryan in 2018
© Victoria Sarno Jordan

A former campaign surrogate for Sen. Bernie SandersBernie SandersPelosi says House members would not vote on spending bill topline higher than Senate's Groups push lawmakers to use defense bill to end support for Saudis in Yemen civil war Congress must address the looming debt crisis MORE (I-Vt.) is preparing to mount a bid to challenge House Speaker Paul RyanPaul Davis RyanPaul Ryan researched narcissistic personality disorder after Trump win: book Paul Ryan says it's 'really clear' Biden won election: 'It was not rigged. It was not stolen' Democrats fret over Trump-district retirements ahead of midterms MORE (R-Wis.) for his southeast Wisconsin House seat, the Wall Street Journal reported Friday.

Local labor activist Randy Bryce is looking to tie Ryan, who has been in Congress since 1998, with an unpopular President Trump in hopes of riding what Democrats say could be a wave of victories for their party in the 2018 midterm elections.

"They’re handcuffed together,” Bryce told The Wall Street Journal. "People are having buyer’s remorse and they’re seeing what’s going on. Trump made a lot of promises that I can see why working people would support, but now they’re waking up."

ADVERTISEMENT

For a Democrat to oust Ryan would certainly be a challenging task, however.

The Wisconsin Republican has only once received less than 60 percent of the vote in his district, and his post as the third-highest-ranking Republican in the country is attractive to constituents.

Trump also won Ryan's district handily in 2016, taking it by 10 percentage points over Democratic nominee Hillary ClintonHillary Diane Rodham ClintonGOP political operatives indicted over illegal campaign contribution from Russian national in 2016 Clinton lawyer's indictment reveals 'bag of tricks' Attorney charged in Durham investigation pleads not guilty MORE.

Ryan is sure to have a ton of money at his disposal, and while Democrats have raised dollars and been competitive in two special election contests this year in districts won by Trump, they have yet to get a victory.

Their next chance will be on June 20 in Georgia, where Health and Human Services Secretary Tom Price's district is in play. 

According to the Wall Street Journal, Bryce has recruited the help of Bill Hyers, who managed successful campaigns for Sen. Kirsten GillibrandKirsten GillibrandHochul tells Facebook to 'clean up the act' on abortion misinformation after Texas law Democratic senators request probe into Amazon's treatment of pregnant employees The FBI comes up empty-handed in its search for a Jan. 6 plot MORE (D-N.Y.) and New York City Mayor Bill de Blasio (D).

A survey conducted last month by the Democratic polling firm Public Policy Polling found that only 46 percent of voters in Ryan's district say they would cast their ballot to reelect Ryan.  

In his first four months in office, Trump's job approval ratings have consistently hovered between 35 and 45 percent, and the president has suffered a continuous onslaught of controversies, particularly surrounding federal investigations into possible collusion between his campaign and Russia.

Ryan has firmly aligned himself with Trump's agenda and helped the president win a victory in the House on legislation repealing and replacing ObamaCare.