Not news, from the WSJ — Wisconsin might be in play this year. The story is subscription only so I won’t pull a long quote, but Team Romney is eyeing to make Wisconsin a battleground if Governor Walker survives the recall election.
I suspect Walker is going to make it, and pretty handily. Call it a five-point spread. Maybe a bit better.
While Obama won WI pretty handily in 2008, you should remember that George W twice came close to painting the state red. He lost there by barely 4,000 votes in 2004, back when the GOP had very little state infrastructure. Today, the party controls the state government, and will continue to do so unless something unexpected happens during the June 5 recall.
In fact, let’s go back to my very first Wargaming the Electoral College map from last August.
I wrote then that
There’s a wave of disgust and despair in the industrial Great Lakes and Midwest. I believe this wave hurts both parties, making the region the battleground for 2012.
Wisconsin is doing better than the nation at large, which ought to help Obama. But Scott Walker has put together a pretty amazing machine, effectively governing a leftwing state from the center-right. Everything he and his team learn from the recall, they can put into play during the general election. And if a polarizing Republican like Bush can nearly win there, Wisconsin should certainly be winnable for a moderate like Romney.