Government and Political Roundup: Wisconsin could determine who is the next PresidentWisconsin News
-- Wisconsin may very well end up deciding the presidential contest in 15 days.
Wisconsin may very well end up deciding the presidential contest in 15 days. The Associated Press has identified 106 swing counties in nine states that voted for both Republican President Bush in 2004 and Democratic President Obama in 2008. Almost a-third of counties – 32 of them – are in Wisconsin. It’s where the candidates and their parties are zeroing in, as President Obama and Republican Mitt Romney try to nail down the 270 electoral votes they need to win the White House. As a state, Wisconsin has not carried a Republican since Ronald Reagan’s second term in 1984. But two Democratic victories since then were by four-tenths-of-one-percent or less. And the swing counties have a lot to do with that. Those are the places where registered voters are being swamped with robo-calls, several mass mailings a day, and nearly constant T-V ads. Most of Wisconsin’s 32 swing counties are in the northern two-thirds of the state. And they vary in population, as large as Racine and as small as Washburn County in the far northwest. And while they change allegiances, the A-P says very few swing counties have a lot of undecided voters at this point. Voters express a variety of themes. The most common is that the incumbent has not lived up to his promise, and the challenger seems to have better leadership potential.
Those counties are: Barron, Brown, Burnett, Calumet, Chippewa, Clark, Columbia, Door, Forest, Jefferson, Juneau, Kewaunee, Langlade, Lincoln, Manitowoc, Marathon, Marinette, Marquette, Monroe, Oconto, Oneida, Outagamie, Racine, Richland, Rusk, Sawyer, Shawano, Washburn, Waushara, Waupaca, Winnebago and Wood. ___________________________________________________________________________
Tammy Baldwin’s U-S Senate campaign defends the way she dodged criticism during last week’s debate about her donation from a group that opposes sanctions against Iran. The Council for a Livable World gave Baldwin 60-thousand-dollars – a gift that her Republican opponent Tommy Thompson says the House Democrat should give back. But Thompson misidentified the group and its name in his debate with Baldwin last Thursday night. And she calmly refused to address the issue until Thompson could come up with the group’s exact name, which he never did. He first called it a “company,” and Baldwin replied that companies cannot give political donations. And when Thompson later called the group “The Council for a Living Earth” instead of “Living World,” Baldwin said she never heard of such a group. Thompson’s camp later accused of Baldwin of lying, saying she knew exactly what the former governor was talking about. But John Kraus of the Baldwin camp said Thompson made a quote, “phony attack.” And Kraus told the Milwaukee Journal Sentinel that Thompson should quote, “own up to his own fumbles.” He also said Baldwin would not give back the 60-thousand dollars. Thompson and Baldwin will debate each other one more time on Friday night.
The vice president’s wife is wrapping up a three-day campaign swing in Wisconsin today. Jill Biden campaigned in Oshkosh Saturday, and was in Kenosha, Waukesha, and Sun Prairie yesterday. Today – the first day of early voting – she’s planning appearances in Madison and Appleton. Among other things, the wife of Vice President Joe Biden is talking about the importance of education and other election issues, and she’s encouraging supporters to vote early using the absentee process. The early voting period continues until a week from Friday in the Badger State.