Sunday, August 25th, 2019

Oh no! Scott Walker’s gone negative!


Scott Walker mailed a postcard! Scott Walker mailed a postcard! The world is going to end!

There is, of course, nothing wrong with reminding the audience that your opponent has a record, too, as a politician. As I wrote previously about Mark Neumann’s attacks on Walker,

I’m a believer in rough-and-tumble primary election campaigns. I not only find primary elections where everyone is nice to each other dull but they’re also unproductive. How is the voter to know for whom to vote if neither candidate draws a contrast? So, by all means, lets have a few raised voices during the primaries, sharp discussions on the issues and even the character of the candidates involved.

Unfortunately, the former congressman’s attacks went beyond the pale, making false accusations and misrepresentations. Neumann even tried exploiting the tragedy at O’Donnell Park to attack Walker even when the evidence was already emerging that the accident was not the results of any cuts by Walker.

For Neumann to protest now that he’s running a positive campaign (even as he attacks Walker for being a “career politician”) is just absurd. It must have thrilled Neumann that Mike Gousha asked Neumann this morning if he was willing to say something strong about Walker. What can only be called willful amnesia about the dirty campaign with the name-calling (like when he called Walker a “RINO”) is really evidence of the low character we have seen of Neumann, not to mention poor research by Gousha.

So Walker finally responds with a couple of sharp attacks on Neumann and it’s evidence of… what? That Neumann is somehow closing the gap? That he has some chance to win?

Or is former Democratic consultant Bill Christofferson correct when he suggests Walker’s trying to hit the 60% landslide mark?

I suspect Christofferson is closer to correct. Nothing in the race has changed. Walker still has the support of the party regulars and the tea party activists. There is no constituency for a Neumann campaign. Let me repeat that. There is no constituency for a Neumann campaign. Gertrude Stein would say of the Neumann campaign, “There is no there there.”

In order to reach that magic 50%+1, a candidate has to have some feasible coalition from somewhere. There are no factions within the broad conservative coalition that can be cobbled together to save Neumann.

As for any fantasy that some Democrats will somehow cross over and vote for Neumann in the primary, just dismiss it from your mind. If anything, Walker is going to have more appeal for Democrats than Neumann.

Unless Neumann has something left to throw at Walker, this race is over. Time to focus on Tom Barrett.

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