Tag Archives: Green Bay

The Battle for Wisconsin

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.

The Battlefield

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 Players

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.

Ground Assault

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.

The Battle for Wisconsin

Craig Gilbert, the authority on Wisconsin politics, provides a statewide voting breakdown of the Wisconsin recall results and identifies the areas likely to decide the 2012 Presidential race for the Badger State:

In geographic terms, the big story of the state’s June 5 election was Walker’s striking performance outside the Milwaukee and Madison media markets. In demographic terms, it was Walker’s rural landslide. Is what happened “out-state” a warning sign for Democrats — and President Obama — in November?

No matter how huge their margins in Milwaukee and Dane counties, Democrats can’t win statewide if their geographic base is as narrow as it was June 5, when Tom Barrett won only 12 of 72 counties and only six outside the state’s southern tier. Much of the swing vote in Wisconsin can be found outside the Madison and Milwaukee TV markets, which contain the state’s most partisan Democratic counties (Milwaukee, Dane) and most partisan Republican counties (Waukesha, Washington, Ozaukee).

  • Wausau TV market contains 11 counties in north central Wisconsin. Democratic Gov. Jim Doyle won the Wausau market by 11 points in 2006. Democrat Barack Obama won it by 12 in 2008. Then Republican Walker won it by 12 points in 2010 and by 18 points in 2012.
  • Green Bay market. Obama carried it by seven points in 2008 and Walker carried it by 23 in 2012.
  • La Crosse-Eau Claire market. Obama carried it by 19 points in 2008 and Walker carried it by nine points in 2012.

Many of the same out-state counties Obama carried by single or double digits in 2008, Walker ran away with in 2012. (To take just one example, Obama won Kewaunee County by 11 points in ’08; Walker won it by 29 on June 5).

The fact that Walker won them by such unusual margins is clearly an encouraging sign for Republicans in November. By the same token, Walker’s performance in some areas of outstate Wisconsin was so exceptional it may be hard for other Republicans to duplicate.

The changing geographic split in Wisconsin:

Wisconsin has long had an East-West partisan divide, with Republicans stronger in the East (excluding Milwaukee) and Democrats stronger in the West. But this race featured a North-South divide as well, thanks in part to what happened with rural voters.

Continue reading

Obama Lost the Mood, the Muscle, and the Message this Month…and it’s Only June 10

To control the weekend news cycle the President called a Friday White House press conference so his pearls of wisdom would be the dominant story over the weekend.  It was … for all the wrong reasons and Obama has yet to recover from his own unforced errors.

As ABC News’ Rick Klein smartly writes:

First went the mood. Next, the muscle failed. Finally, to close out a horrific week for President Obama’s reelection bid, went the message…The beginning of June 2012 may be remembered as a time period that shook the pillars of the Obama reelection effort. If nothing else, it’s shown the 2012 landscape to be so different from 2008 as to make assumptions based on four years ago seem worthless.

In an attempt to avoid a similar disaster, the President is playing small ball on Monday by doing interviews from the White House with 8 local TV stations in key Battleground markets.

There are few surprises regarding states the President chose: Virginia, Florida, South Carolina (media reach is North Carolina), Iowa, Wisconsin, Colorado, Nevada and California (key fundraising market).

And the 8 TV stations are all in blue media markets central to any Democrat’s chances in statewide elections:

Battleground Media Markets

Roanoke, VA Green Bay, WI
Jacksonville, FL Colorado Springs, CO
Greenville, SC Reno, NV
Sioux City, IA Fresno, CA

What stands out in that list is the Green Bay, Wisconsin TV appearance in a post-Walker world.  There could be more than a few sore union members unhappy the President didn’t stand with them in their time of need as he promised. He better hope they don’t tweet their vote in November the way he tweeted his support or he will have to start thinking about what to do in a post-Obama Presidency.