RGA writing off Wisconsin?
Hotline on Call:
Want to know which races the RGA [Republican Governors Assn.] considers among the hottest in the country? Look no further than an email the group sent out -- signed by a fella named "Mitt Romney" -- yesterday. Romney and Co. are offering "flight, lodging and a per diem" for any volunteers willing to put the 72-Hour program to work in one of six states: Iowa, Maine, Oregon, Illinois, Arkansas, and Michigan.Before Democrats pop the cork and start the victory party, two sobering thoughts: The RGA is still flush with money and likely to dump a lot of it onto Wisconsin television in the final weeks. And this is a state where a "sister organization" like All Children Matter or Coalition for America's Families are spending heavily, too.
While the RGA notes in the letter that they are focusing on these states in particular because their "sister committees" aren't, the fallout of what is effectively "naming names" has been predictable. Under a headline of "GOP Group Bypasses Colorado," the Rocky Mountain News reports on the missive and gets the requisite professor to say that it means that DC Republicans are writing off Rep. Bob Beauprez (R). Not surprisingly in this internets era, PA Gov. Ed Rendell's (D) campaign saw the Rocky story and issued their own release pointing out that the Keystone State was "noticeably absent" from the list.
RGA chair Phil Musser was quick to point out that there are many races not listed because of either significant other national party investment or restrictive campaign finance laws. Places like Wisconsin, Nevada and Maryland may not have been singled out, Musser said, but that doesn't mean the committee isn't investing heavily in those states.
Be that as it may, does every Democratic governor and Democratic gubernatorial candidate beyond these six states now seize on this volunteer-seeking blast email to throw a wet blanket on their GOP rival?
The RGA's Dem counterparts, by the way, are playing it safe. Asked which particular races they would be seeking volunteers for, a DGA official quipped that they "want everyone to help everywhere."
The email is only about putting some extra volunteers in the field. Wisconsin Republicans may not think they need help -- although they did fall just a little short for W in 2004, when a guy named Mark Graul, who's now Mark Green's campaign manager, was running the state for Bush.
UPDATE: I must be psychic. As I was writing this post, the RGA was placing new television buys to start Oct. 18 across the state. They'll be spending $500,000 or more in 12 days. I don't think it will be positives telling voters something nice about Mark Green. Likely to be more of the same smear campaign that hasn't worked so far.