Why does Wisconsin matter?
posted at 7:00 pm on April 2, 2012 by Steve Eggleston
This morning, Republican National Committee chair (and Wisconsin native) Reince Priebus penned a memo on why the fight over Wisconsin, and very specifically Governor Scott Walker, matters (emphasis in the original):
Tomorrow, Wisconsin Republicans will go to the polls to cast their first ballots to end Barack Obama’s presidency. Obama might have felt safe in Wisconsin after an impressive 400,000 vote victory in 2008, but a closer look shows Wisconsin’s 10 Electoral Votes in 2012 very much in play.
First of all, Obama’s margin of victory in 2008 was the exception rather than the rule in recent presidential elections. President George W. Bush came within a hair of winning Wisconsin each time he tried–narrowly losing by just over 5,000 votes in 2000 and just over 11,000 votes in 2004. In 2008, many Wisconsin voters, like voters across the country, bought the “hope and change” message that Candidate Obama was selling. But President Obama’s results haven’t provided the kind of change that voters were looking for, and Wisconsinites took notice….
Now we’re doing it (the “it” being setting up for another successful turnback of the Democrats’ attempt to regain power) again–helping Governor Walker prevail in Big Labor’s latest attempt to recall someone. So far in 2012 our volunteers have made over a million calls to Wisconsin voters. They’re collecting voter ID information and helping voters see this special interest interference for what it is. We’re opening new victory centers across the state each month; we’re making more investments into our data; and we’ve set the wheels in motion on a sophisticated and aggressive turnout program that will leave no stone unturned.
By June, when Governor Walker is victorious again, we’ll have a confident and battle-tested ground organization with four straight victories under our belts. That organization will be ready to pounce on the president and other Democrats on the ballot with him in November. What will the Democrats have? They’ll have the remnants of a dispirited, losing 2010 operation–and special interests who poured tens of millions of dollars outside cash into the state with nothing to show for it.
Indeed, 4 of the 6 straight Democrat Presidential victories were by fewer than 4 percentage points, and the last time the Democrat Presidential candidate won by more than that, the following election cycle produced the closest race in Wisconsin’s history.
I have seen estimates that the May 8/June 5 cycle of recalls against Gov. Walker, Lt. Gov. Rebecca Kleefisch, and state Senators Scott Fitzgerald, Pam Galloway (since retired, with Rep. Jerry Petroski running on the Republican side instead), Terry Moulton and Van Wanggaard will see total spending of up to $100 million, with a majority of that being spent by the Democrats and their union allies. They are spending like there’s no tomorrow because, if they go 0-6, there really isn’t one for them.