Friday, December 9th, 2016

More analysis of the state GOP AG race

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Owen at Boots & Sabers tackles the geography of the state attorney general race.

The Bucher strategy is to focus most of his energy in southeast Wisconsin, which is Bucher’s base where he is the most known. SE Wisconsin generally accounts for 40% or more of the GOP primary vote. Bucher hopes to capture a strong majority of those votes. For the rest of the state, Bucher is counting on the thought that Van Hollen does not have a concentrated base of support anywhere to break even. So if Bucher wins in SE Wisconsin and breaks even everywhere else, he wins the primary.

The Van Hollen strategy is a full court press on the whole state. Since he doesn’t have a concentrated base of support anywhere, he has to gain name ID and supporters everywhere. He is counting on the fact that Bucher is only mounting a cursory campaign outside of SE Wisconsin. He is also pushing hard in SE Wisconsin to cut into Bucher’s base. If Van Hollen can cut down Bucher’s projected lead in SE Wisconsin while winning the rest of the state by a few points, he wins the primary.

I’m not sure those are quite the strategies, but the theory does work with the geography. There are three pools of voters to draw upon in a state GOP primary: Southeastern Wisconsin, the Fox Valley and the rest of the state (in order of importance). Look for the Fox Valley to take on additional importance as a battleground towards the end of the race.

Will turnout be high or low in Southeastern Wisconsin?

But… there are three interesting races in SE Wisconsin that might boost a bit of primary turnout. In the 98th Assembly District, the race between Rich Zipperer, a conservative establishment candidate, and Bob Collison, an ex-Libertarian fiscal conservative, might get hot. In the 97th Assembly District, Chris Lufter, the grass roots organizer and fiscal warrior, and Bill Kramer, the establishment conservative who is racking up endorsements left and right, are locking horns. And to a lesser extent, John Wirth and Jim Ott are fighting over the GOP nomination for the 23rd Assembly District. Between the three of them, it may boost the GOP primary turnout a bit more that it would otherwise be.

My thought is that the assembly races rarely drive up turnout, and that those races will actually be dependent on the bigger race for turnout.

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