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The Campaign Spot

Election-driven news and views . . . by Jim Geraghty.

Priebus on Wisconsin: ‘We’ve been analyzing this state for two and a half years.’



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RNC chairman Reince Priebus on a conference call discussing the Wisconsin gubernatorial recall election:

“The RNC is all in in Wisconsin . . . Judging from Debbie Wasserman Schultz’s token appearance in the state today, and Stephanie Cutter’s comments on MSNBC today, apparently [Obama for America] and the DNC are all in . . . We’re looking forward to seeing what their top-notch ground game will accomplish in November. Democrats have been all over the map on Tom Barrett and this Wisconsin recall.”

“To highlight the GOP unity for Scott Walker, we’ve announced a partnership with multiple state parties throughout the Midwest. Not only is the RNC full-bore on money and ground effort with Wisconsin, but also Illinois, Indiana, Iowa, Michigan, Minnesota state GOPs are assisting with volunteers as well. We’re announcing competitions for both state party and individual competition. We’ve made two million volunteer voter contacts in the state already, and we’re identifying nearly every Wisconsin voter. For perspective, it took the Obama campaign a year to make a million contacts nationwide.”

“We’re feeling very good about how we’re doing on absentee ballots right now.”

“If Wisconsin goes red, it’s lights out for Barack Obama. Putting it in the red column for the first time since 1984 would be a really big deal . . .  I don’t think there’s a state in the country where the GOP knows the voters better than Wisconsin . . . We’ve been analyzing this state for two and a half years. Contacting two and a half million voters, having all of that consumer data, the Prosser election, the state legislative recall challenges . . . You have a pattern here of success that is going to make it easier to win here in November.”

“We’re not seeing any fatigue on our side at all. One of the biggest problems that the Democrats have is that a decent number of Democrats tell pollsters and in focus groups, ‘we may not be Republicans, but we think this recall stuff is out of control. A legislative disagreement with Walker is not enough to have a recall and spend millions of dollars on that.’ To many Democrats, this is absurd. That’s a problem in their turnout model that they don’t know what to do with.”

“The idea of tracking early votes is not a process that is unknown or a vague reality to the state and national parties. We track early votes every day. We know what’s turned in. We know, to a reasonable degree of certainty, how those ballots look in comparison to the voting propensity of those voters, people who we believe to be GOP voters. We know if there are any major problems in early and absentee ballots. We feel very good right now about where we’re sitting regarding absentee ballots.”

“I’m always concerned about voter fraud. Being from Kenosha, I’ve seen it happen. We’ve seen it in Milwaukee. I think we need to be a point or two better than we think we are. Voter ID is constitutional and it has been upheld by the Supreme Court.” (Voter ID laws will not be in effect for the recall elections.)


Tags: Reince Priebus , Scott Walker , Wisconsin


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