More national attention on race for Wisconsin governor


Candidates in the race for Wisconsin governor are expecting help from leaders outside the state.

President Obama will be in Wisconsin Monday, speaking at Milwaukee’s Laborfest for the first time since 2010. Democrat Mary Burke’s campaign said she’ll meet privately with the president.

Scott Furlong, a political science professor at UW-Green Bay, expects Burke and Obama will talk about Burke’s campaign and potential future campaign stops.

“Perhaps some discussions, again from a political perspective, how the president may be able to help her in the coming months,” said Furlong.

Burke’s campaign said it’s confident Obama will return to the state at another time for a campaign event.

Meanwhile, Gov. Walker has said New Jersey Gov. Chris Christie will campaign in Wisconsin within the next month. Walker also anticipates visits from other Republican governors, like Bobby Jindal of Louisiana, Susana Martinez of New Mexico and Mary Fallin of Oklahoma.

Furlong said bringing in extra leaders can sometimes make candidates more appealing to voters.

“It definitely is a way of mobilizing the base, mobilizing excitement in a campaign and that excitement can translate into people going to the polls later on,” he said.

The latest Marquette University Law School poll suggested voters could be energized more before the election on Nov. 4. When asked how enthusiastic they are about voting in November, 59 percent of Republicans, 60 percent of Democrats and 45 percent of independents said they were “very enthusiastic.”

Gov. Walker said complacency and fatigue among Republican voters is one of his biggest concerns, but an upcoming announcement could change that.

“In the next few weeks, we’re going to lay out a very clear plan about the future about how we’re going to make sure that more of the hardworking people of this state can keep more of their money in their paycheck,” said Walker.

Burke said she’ll keep traveling the state, emphasizing differences between herself and Governor Walker.

“It is going to be about people getting out to the polls and making sure that I’m able to get my message across,” said Burke.

And while visits from politicians outside Wisconsin can motivate each party’s base, Furlong said specific endorsements likely won’t sway the opinions of undecided voters.

The latest Marquette poll also showed the race between Walker and Burke remains a dead heat. It was the third poll since May showing the race as essentially tied.

blog comments powered by Disqus