September 9, 2012

The Romney/Ryan decision to fight hard in Wisconsin.

A Republican presidential candidate hasn't won here since Reagan beat Mondale (in 1984), but Republicans have won the governorship twice in the last 2 years — there was a recall election — and they won the last Senate race and are on track to pick up the other Senate seat. And so we are about to get all the TV ads and so forth that recognize our status as a true battleground state.

Mary Spicuzza has some good detail here:
"There’s something going on in Wisconsin. The grass-roots army that we have built in Wisconsin, they’re crushing it out there," said Rick Wiley, political director of the Republican National Committee and former executive director of the state GOP. "It’s a state that has truly turned a corner. It’s ripe."

The work Gov. Scott Walker and his supporters did during the recall could benefit the GOP ground game — political shorthand for the volunteers who help turn out voters and promote a candidacy — during the next two months.
It was a terribly foolish decision for the Walker haters to go for the recall, but I doubt if these people dare to look straight at the reality that they may be the reason why the GOP is able to get over the top in the presidential election.
"Walker showed that the GOP can come with a ground game, it’s going to help Romney," said Joe Heim, UW-La Crosse political science professor. "It has added to the enthusiasm among Republican voters."
And it has tired out the Democrats. But Spicuzza found an Obama spokesman — Ben LaBolt —  to say "The truth is the recall has had a motivating effect on our side as well." Okay, let's see how that "motivating effect" works against a "grass-roots army" that is "crushing it out there."
[T]he Obama campaign is planning frequent visits in the coming two months. Obama has made several stops in Wisconsin in recent years, during his campaign and after taking office: in Green Bay, Madison, Racine, Milwaukee and Manitowoc. His last visit was in February in Milwaukee....

[Charles Franklin, director of the Marquette Law School Poll] said the Green Bay and Fox Valley areas will be key. Obama did well there in 2008, but Bush won there in 2000 and 2004. He said Wausau and the area north of it, and the southwest corner of the state, also will be important.

"A Democrat cannot win the state by winning Madison and Milwaukee, and losing Milwaukee suburbs and Green Bay, Wausau, Eau Claire and Chippewa Falls," Franklin said. "When Wisconsin Democrats have won statewide, they’ve won those areas."
Again, the Republicans have that grass-roots army they built during the recall and they’re crushing it out there. And let's remember that Obama failed to stop by the state to help out the Democrats in that recall. He might have stirred his Wisconsin people up last spring, when they really needed him and he could have made a big impact, but, instead, he conspicuously disappointed them — seemingly taunting them by doing fundraisers just across the border. He only tweeted his support for the Democrat. Presumably, he kept his distance because he knew Tom Barrett would lose, and he didn't want to look ineffectual.

And speaking of taunting us, Obama keeps taking shots at the Green Bay Packers — e.g., “I generally don’t interact with Packers — except when I’m in Wisconsin.”


edutcher said...

Ah, yes, Zero's well-known Foot-In-Mouth disease. Always a help on the campaign trail.

Excellent piece, Madame, and, along with this one debunking the idea the Romster is pulling out of PA and MI, it should make the trolls even more worried.

MadisonMan said...

It was a terribly foolish decision for the Walker haters to go for the recall

That was mostly driven by the bubble-wrapped Dane County Democrats, who have foisted all these successful women candidates for state-wide office: Linda Clifford, Kathleen Falk, Joanne Kloppenburg and now Tammy Baldwin.

At some point perhaps these "Progressive" People will learn, am I'm thinking that state Republicans hope they do not.

Beldar said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Matthew Sablan said...

If Romney takes Wisconsin, Scott Walker will run for president when Romney is finished, whether Romney wins it or not.

Thank you everyone who pushed the recall!

Beldar said...

Now that Wisconsin is a battleground state, maybe Obama and John Kerry ought to take in a game at Lambert Field.

cubanbob said...

As long as the republicans can out raise the democrats this year they should fight a fifty state campaign, even in areas they won't win just to force the democrats to fight on all fronts and dissipate their funds. Besides even if they know they can't win they might gather up enough votes so the total vote for RR would be greater than it would have been otherwise thus negating the usual democrat sore loser-man arguments and possibly help some down ticket candidates. If you are going to bet the ranch, then bet the ranch.

PatCA said...

Romney seems to have gone all "compassionate conservative" today on Meet the Press.

Is this going to work in battleground states? It sure won't excite the (fiscal conservative) base.

garage mahal said...

Thank you everyone who pushed the recall!

You're welcome. It stopped a bunch of legislation in its tracks.

Romney is running his first ad in Wisconsin promising 240,000 jobs. Where does that sound familiar?

Patrick said...

I do think that the Pres. may have lost WI in two ways: First, he just plain failed to lead, or even show up when it mattered or could have mattered. Next, his utter failure to lend any support (I think his "standing by" tweet was more of an insult) to the Democrats really pissed off the base, much of which will sit on its hands rather than work for him. Garage Mahal is exhibit A. He's not happy with the President, and has stated he won't vote for him. (I would think that may change if WI is close).

Not a done deal by any means. I do think Romney can compete, but it's going to require a lot. Romney can lead the effort, Ryan will help. Sending Biden won't help the Pres.

Matthew Sablan said...

Garage: You stopped a lot of legislation in its tracks, blew millions of dollars and good will, on what? A temporary minor win and embarrassing loss after loss? The recall was a gigantic failure, exactly like true believers were told from the start. Without it, Wisconsin wouldn't even be in danger of going red.

Matthew Sablan said...

Also: When national Republicans halt legislation, they are obstructionist and the Party of No! When Wisconsin Democrats stop legislation, it is a major win worthy of celebration.

It is this sort of cognitive dissonance that amuses me.

Tom Spaulding said...

You're welcome. It stopped a bunch of legislation in its tracks.

Always good to hear from King Pyrrhus. Whassup yer Highness?

Indictment Update?

Jason said...

The Walker recall campaign destroyed the Democratic brand in Wisconsin. The recall election wasn't even close. And Ryan has plenty of friends in WI and a ground team of his own.

The Walker race was a 7 point victory. Not even close.

Wisconsin is absolutely in play. Advantage: GOP.

garage mahal said...

The recall was a gigantic failure, exactly like true believers were told from the start.

We would have a disastrous strip mine, right to work probably, and who knows what else without the recalls. If we can make it through walker's term with the environment mostly intact I consider that a huge win. The mine was a much bigger deal than bargaining rights anyway.

Read an interesting school class size story solid red Brookfield of all places. Read the comments.

How those tools working out for ya Brookfield?

Matthew Sablan said...

Those grapes sure must've been sour, right Garage?

Matthew Sablan said...

Also, it is good to know that you consider obstructionism to stop legislation that you dislike is an acceptable tactic. Surely, you'll go out and explain to people that being the Party of No is a perfectly legitimate thing and that the Republicans are simply doing what is right to thwart legislation they disagree with.


Broomhandle said...

I get it Garage. The Donks are successful because they've dramatically lowered their expectations. Four More or Less Years!

bgates said...

The army of grass roots is crushing it in a ripe state that has turned the corner. Those metaphors haven't been mixed, they've been pureed.

Peter Hoh said...

How much more money can local television stations make if they can convince the national campaigns that their state is a potential swing state?

Tom Spaulding said...

The mine was a much bigger deal than bargaining rights anyway.

Yes, who can forget your constant harping on "The Mine"?

Comment after comment, focusing on the "much bigger deal", even as we plebes toiled away at the budget/union issue.

Please re-post your comments on the mine, it was stirring stuff, Norma Rae.

And hurry up with that Indictment Update.

Phil said...

"The mine was a much bigger deal than bargaining rights anyway."

Yeah, you really focused on that while it was going on. Oh, wait, you didn't.

garage mahal said...

Yeah, you really focused on that while it was going on. Oh, wait, you didn't.

Actually, I did when it was being proposed.

Kit said...

Garage, thanks for the link on Elmbrook - it's the district I grew up in. I don't have too much empathy - they knew what they were voting for. It's a shame - it's had a prety good academic rep. I wonder where that'll go...

Zach said...

It's interesting how many states that went big for Obama in 2008 are now tossups. Considering the "tossup" states in the NYT summary, look at Obama's share of the vote in 2008:

Ohio 51
Florida 51
National Vote 53
Virginia 53
Iowa 54
Colorado 54
New Hampshire 54
Nevada 55
Wisconsin 56

Looking at that table, wouldn't you expect Obama to lose the popular vote? If every state leads or trails the national average by the same amount as in 2008, than making Wisconsin a tossup has Obama losing the popular vote by six points! (Wisconsin is a bad example, because it's got a native running on the ticket. But similar logic applies for Nevado or Colorado.)

Zach said...

I also never understood the "don't want to look like a loser" argument. The recall people were always longshot underdogs, weren't they? So campaigning in the state is pure offense. You rally the troops around the cause, and even if you lose, you inject a note of urgency into the reelection campaign. Plus, you build a volunteer network and get a free shot at fine-tuning your message for 2012.

Unknown said...

The mine was the bigger deal......comedy gold!!!!

How come I hear the strains of "Solidarity Forever" when thinking of the recall?

Unknown said...

Too bad an enumerate journalist wrote the article garbage linked to. If they kept open the school that was closed how many students would have been in it? It sounds like maybe four dozen. What was the ratio in the lower grades that were prioritzed? What are the trends in number of kids in the lower grades?

Unknown said...

Bte right to work was garbage semi-sexual fantasy. Kind of miss the old girl huh garbage? Thanks for reminding us what a sharp political prognosticator you are.

Unknown said...

-------Plus, you build a volunteer network and get a free shot at fine-tuning your message for 2012.

It won't matter that Walker is Hitler, working for the Koch brother and under the John Does investigation in November.