Tuesday, September 14, 2010

Walker Mismanaged County and Campaign

Obviously if Mark Neumann actually wins the Republican primary tonight it will be the biggest upset that I can remember in Wisconsin. However, it will still be a remarkable implosion even if Neumann merely makes it close. Walker has been campaigning endlessly for years. He had the most money, he has the party bosses behind him and at one point he even was reported to have something like a 30-40 point lead on Neumann. Even if this turns into a single or low double digit win, Walker is still a loser.

I don't have access to any internal polling but just based on Neumann and Walker's actions recently, it seems pretty clear that they both think that it has become a very tight race. I think that the Recess Supervisor has perhaps outlined this best when he observed the following:

Two months ago: Mark Neumann talks about Scott Walker, Scott Walker talks about Tom Barrett.
Now: Mark Neumann talks about Tom Barrett, Scott Walker talks about Mark Neumann.

Two months ago: Mark Neumann's roughing up Scott Walker, Scott Walker wants everyone to play nice.
Now: Scott Walker can't go negative enough, Mark Neumann wants to know who will sign his clean campaign pledge.

So one of two things has happened in the last two months. Maybe we've moved into a parallel universe where the guy who's behind acts like he's ahead, and the guy who's ahead acts like he's behind.

Or maybe Neumann is polling ahead, and both sides have numbers that show it.

Even if Walker squeaks by Neumann tonight, he has got an entire list of problems to figure out before November. 1. The large amount of cash that he unexpectedly must have spent in the last weeks of the primary. 2. His phony (and very expensive) recycled campaign gimmick didn't take like he thought it would. 3. How to stop making dumb and unforced errors? 4. Large portions of the public bail on him as soon as they get past his rhetoric and get a real taste of his actual record.

If you ask me, regardless of the actual results tonight, Scott Walker has mismanaged his campaign almost as badly as he has mismanaged Milwaukee County. When you think about it, he has actually used the same failed models for both: 1. Gimmicks rather than real solutions 2. Favoring the short-term politically expedient regardless of the long-term costs 3. Shamelessly saying and doing anything to advance his own political career.

So we have now witnessed the results of Walker grossly mismanaging both a county and a second statewide campaign. Hopefully the public will see these various examples and keep him from doing the same thing to the entire State of Wisconsin.

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