Tommy didn't win Tuesday's GOP primary by much. The old man had to fight off a handsome newcomer — Eric Hovde — and a lot of negative advertising was thrown around. But he's nevertheless way out in front of Baldwin already. This was utterly predictable, as is his ultimate victory over Baldwin in November.
The excitement in Wisconsin will have to be of the presidential political kind. Obama will have to show up here, and I wonder how much he will bother to help the predictable loser Baldwin. Remember, Obama did not stop by Wisconsin to try to help the Democratic challenger to Governor Scott Walker in the recall election last June. I think he didn't want his lack of magic to show and knew Tom Barrett was going to lose. But now Obama faces his last election — or so he says.* The polls showing Baldwin's dreary prospects are and will be much worse than what the public saw about Barrett. (But I believe Obama was looking at internal polls that show Barrett doing far worse than what the public saw before the recall election.)
Now, Obama needs to come to Wisconsin. These 10 electoral votes matter... a lot. They could determine the outcome of the presidential election. He must come to Wisconsin. Will he stand by Baldwin and promote her lost cause? It's a risk! It's not just the problem of getting loser on him, which we know from the recall he has an aversion to. It's that Baldwin is a lefty liberal, whose career has been based in Madison, and Obama needs to win voters from those parts of the state he's avoided in the past. He likes to show up for adoration in Madison and Milwaukee, but he won't win Wisconsin that way, and showing up in Madison/Milwaukee pushing Tammy Baldwin is not the way to talk to the rest of Wisconsin.
The rest of Wisconsin — including many Democrats — are going to vote for Tommy Thompson. Obama must talk to these people. Think about it:
Tommy has coattails!
Mitt Romney might win the presidency riding on Tommy's coattails.
It's all about Wisconsin, baby.
* I'd like to see him show his commitment to American politics by running for Governor or the Senate after he leaves the presidency. (But in/from which state? Is he going to go live in Illinois when he's done being President? I doubt it.)