We blogged the Wall Street Journal piece about the opening for Romney in Wisconsin but honestly the Journal’s write-up was quite crappy (what do you expect with anything Neil King touches — he’s a major Democrat hack). It was a very pro-Obama slant on every poll and every other state except Wisconsin despite the fact it is a big deal that Team Obama has to compete in a state he won by 14-points four years ago. Lynn Sweet in the Chicago Sun-Times does a much more commendable job on the subject:
President Barack Obama hits Milwaukee next Saturday for a grass-roots rally — in a state where he was not supposed to be spending any campaign time — or money. Things have changed. Wisconsin is now a battleground. Obama’s 14-point Wisconsin win in 2008 doesn’t guarantee a 2012 victory.
Obama needs to squeeze every vote out of the Democratic city and county of Milwaukee — in order to wipe out gains from new Mitt Romney-friendly Badger turf. Romney’s selection last month of a son of Janesville to be his vice presidential pick — U.S. Rep. Paul Ryan — pushed Wisconsin to the short list of states determining who wins the White House in November. The Romney and Obama campaigns have this in common: They don’t pay much attention to national polls, except to discern certain trends or themes or show them to wavering mega-donors. The polls that matter are the battleground state surveys.
The campaigns are sending Obama, Romney, Ryan, Vice President Joe Biden and their spouses only to the battlegrounds, except for fund-raising detours — such as first lady Michelle Obama’s Sept. 27 fund-raiser in Chicago.
Ad Wars and Super Pacs
Last week marked Wisconsin’s move into full battleground status with candidate visits and television buys. NBC reported that the Obama campaign purchased $668,000 in TV time, compared with $370,000 bought by the Romney team. That amount is dwarfed by SuperPACs and other groups buying Wisconsin television time. Overall, Romney forces have — so far — outspent Obama backers by about double. Craig Gilbert of the Milwaukee Journal Sentinel reported that the pro-Obama SuperPAC Priorities USA, the group Mayor Rahm Emanuel is fund-raising for, bought more than $3 million in time for ads that have not yet run. Romney groups have vastly outspent Obama’s allies in Wisconsin so far, Gilbert reports, with American for Prosperity at $3.3 million; Restore our Future at $2.8 million; Concerned Women for America at $1.1 million, and $370,000 from Republican National Committee, whose chairman, Reince Priebus, is from Wisconsin.
To complement the ad wars, Ryan stumped in Green Bay and Oak Creek while Vice President Joe Biden hit Eau Claire, all in advance of Obama’s Sept. 17 visit to headline a fund-raiser. It will be his first trip to Wisconsin since February.