The new launching pad for Republican leaders: Wisconsin

The GOP’s new trio of big cheeses from Wisconsin, currently serving as the idea factory for the party, view themselves as the corrective to eight decades of excess liberalism — that is to say, excess liberal spending. To them it’s not ironic that their vision would take root in the Land of La Follette — it’s logical. It’s also appropriate that, for the most part, they are more interested in fiscal conservatism than the culture wars.

“Look at the age group of those guys,” says Ron Bonjean, a GOP political consultant. “They are all in their early forties, and the issues that galvanized them are property taxes, pension reform, and, of course, the budget.”

“While social issues are still important to the party, the sorry state of the country’s finances have led this generation of the party’s leadership to focus their talents on turning this disaster around,” added Bonjean, who is a member of the board of visitors for the University of Wisconsin’s political science department. “They are very reflective of where Wisconsin is, and they are leading the rest of the nation.”