Over the past weekend the Wisconsin State Journal reported on Tommy Thompson essentially going quiet since the Republican primary ended. The story highlighted the fact that he has held less than 6 public campaign events. Contrast that with Tammy Baldwin who has been hard at work holding nearly 30 public events all over the state in more than 24 cities. This stark contrast really made me wonder what Tommy's motivation is for essentially going quiet for so long.
Initially I assumed that Tommy has some sense of entitlement, still living on a 20 year old version of himself. Based on his current D.C. insider status, shameless shilling for special interests and his wildly extreme positions during the primary, it is clear that the former Tommy does not exist. Maybe he recognizes this and he is simply hiding from voters so that he doesn't have to fully answer for who he actually has become.
Is Tommy just being lazy in this campaign? He hasn't run a real statewide campaign for so long, I'm wondering if he just doesn't have the actual motivation to do it with real conviction. His default position these days seems to be pleasing the big special interests but does he actually have the fire in his belly to do the hard work? Based on his actions (or should I say non-action) since the Republican primary, it seems that he may just be dutifully going through the motions for the same special interests that made him rich as a Washington D.C. insider.
Tommy is taking Wisconsin voters for granted while Tammy Baldwin is clearly working hard and engaging with them all over the state. This reality appears to be impacting the polls because at least three show a big surge for Tammy Baldwin.
Baldwin 50, Thompson 45 (Sept. 9-12)
Baldwin 48, Thompson 45 (Sept. 12-13)
Baldwin 47, Thompson 47 (Sept. 11-17) Note the Baldwin surge because Thompson was up in this poll 50-44 in mid-August.
The bottom line is that all of the most recent polls show Tammy Baldwin surging and Thompson losing support. A majority of these recent polls show Baldwin actually taking the lead at this late point in the campaign. It clearly looks like Tammy Baldwin's hard work, clarity of message and engagement with actual voters is paying off.
Obviously I'm not the only one that sees the clear trend for Tammy Baldwin. Now Tommy Thompson's fellow Bushie, Karl Rove is dumping millions of dollars in dark out-of-state money into the race. This development makes me wonder if Tommy's going quiet was actually a part of his entire plan. A plan to essentially outsource his entire campaign to the same sleazy special interests that made him a multimillionaire D.C. insider in the first place.