Wisconsin is an interesting political animal. If you judge the state based on the 2008 election, you would believe it to be an impossible pick-up for the GOP. Unfortunately, this is how most media views Wisconsin. It’s easy to look at the 14% beating John McCain took and trumpet that as a comparable statistic. This is a valid statistic to point at, but there are a lot more metrics we can use to paint a completely different story.
For example, in 2004 John Kerry only defeated George Bush by less than 1%. And at the time the state was dominated by a much heavier liberal/progressive influence at the state level. And if we go to 2010 we see an environment where Republicans trounced Democrats at every turn. Republicans elevated Scott Walker to a win for Governor, took other state constitutional offices, took the state house and senate, took the Wisconsin Congressional delegation and immediately enacted a fiscally conservative agenda across the state.
Here we are two years later and Democrats do not have the infrastructure they once commanded. Worse for their efforts, Republicans now have infrastructure that not only rivals the old school Dem machine, but in recent history has been more successful across the board.
Finally, there is an epic Senate race boiling that represents perhaps one of the clearest contrasts in the nation. Radical leftist Tammy Baldwin (D) is facing Tommy Thompson (R) for the open Senate seat. The RCP poll average shows a statistical tie.
Enthusiasm is high amongst GOP voters. Much higher vs. the Democrat base, and independent voters are beginning to break towards the top of the GOP ticket (Romney/Ryan). So according to the data we see today, Wisconsin could very well break to Romney and Thompson.
It gets even worse…
A source of mine told me early voting in Milwaukee, a city that should be Obama’s stronghold, is extremely behind when compared to 2008 numbers. In fact, as of Friday just 8,600 early votes had been cast, this compared to 35,000 in 2008. Also keep in mind that Wisconsin cut its early voting period from almost a month to just two weeks, meaning a much smaller window for the Obama machine to work its organizing magic.
We’re now just eight days out from election day and weather will be bad all the way into Wisconsin for the remainder of the week. I don’t expect anything big will happen to turn around early voting numbers, so Obama will have already lost the edge he should have almost by default.
As of this moment I believe Wisconsin is beginning to favor Romney. That’s not to suggest Obama can’t win it, but the data coming in suggests an environment similar to that of 2010, which is an environment that crushes the liberal/union machine in Wisconsin.
If our projection map is accurate, and we believe it is, then Romney could win Wisconsin and only need New Hampshire, Nevada or Iowa to win it all. Meaning, Romney would win this without Ohio. And, of course, Obama has similar problems in Ohio as well.