The Other Wisconsin Primary

As the 2012 Republican nomination contest peters to a close, each successive primary becomes less exciting than the last. Tomorrow's Wisconsin, Maryland, and D.C. primaries are no Super Tuesday, and April's slate of races looks to be the most Romney-friendly yet. The contest in Wisconsin is particularly odd because the state's GOP elite is almost unanimously pro-Romney—a consensus that the front-runner has lacked in other bellwether states. The pro-Romney bandwagon is partly due to the fact we're in the primary's coda, but there's a state-specific reason too. The Wisconsin GOP isn't thinking about tomorrow—they're thinking about June 5 and Governor Scott Walker's recall election. A new Rasmussen poll shows that 52 percent of likely voters want to recall Walker, and Republicans in the state are trying not to mimic their presidential candidates' fondness for discord. “The party as a whole is more united behind Scott Walker than it’s been for anything it’s ever done,” said Mark Graul, a veteran campaigner from Green Bay. “There’s no Santorum-Romney civil war going on within the party.” 

Instead, it is Wisconsin Democrats at risk of imitating the Rick and Mitt show. The primary to decide who will run against Walker in June will be held on May 8, and it looks like the race could be tight, resource-draining, and constituency splitting. Milwaukee Mayor Tom Barrett—whom Walker beat in 2010—jumped in the primary race on Friday. His opponentis Kathleen Falk, a former executive of Dane County who is raking in major cash from labor groups in the state. Secretary of State Doug La Follette and state Senator Kathleen Vinehout are also running, but will likely end up the Newt Gingrich and Ron Paul of the primary. As Republican party elites at the national level are trying to turn to the general election, so are Democrats in Wisconsin trying to push a quick resolution to the recall primary. But unions and politicos are still warring over who they want to send to the big fight, and while Republicans finally seem to be ending their primary battle, Wisconsin Democrats’s seems about to hit a fever pitch.  


So They Say

"I guess we better unzip him and let the real Mitt Romney out because he is not!”

Ann Romney, responding to accusations that her husband is too stiff

Daily Meme: Things We Wish Were April Fools' Jokes

  • Sarah Palin will co-host "The Today Show" tomorrow morning, saying she "appreciates NBC's boldness" in making the offer.
  • According to sources, Rick Perry likes to sing while relieving himself.   
  • Tagg Romney thinks that the writers for AMC's period drama "Mad Men" are part of the "lib media."
  • A boy band declined an invitation to play at the White House. 
  • The Supreme Court ruled today that it's ok for law-enforcement officers to strip search you for any offense.
  • Keith Olberman apparently complained about his drivers smelling bad and talking to him. 
  • Three Mega Millions Jackpot winners haven't claimed their prizes yet.


What We're Writing

  • Jamelle Bouie points out that Republicans' positions on contraception are damaging their ability to pull in the women vote.
  • Paul Waldman hypothesizes that George W. Bush's post-presidency schedule includes a lot of Xbox with the Secret Service detail.


What We're Reading

  • Tampa—site of the big GOP convention this summer—is the second most-pessimisticcity in U.S.
  • Outside spending in the 2012 election has now hit $100 million.
  • Is Fehrnstrom the biggest Etch A Sketch of the Romney campaign?
  • Breakfast is the most important meal of the political fundraiser circuit.
  • Ann Romney scares Democrats.
  • John Cassidy thinks Hunter S. Thompson would have loved the 2012 race.
  • "Informal advisers" are the new hot thing in political campaigns.
  • Romney planning to use time machine to get rid of more liberal versions of himself.

Poll of the Day

Public Policy Polling's most recent survey for tomorrow's primaries has Romney up for a likely double win in Maryland (52-27) and Wisconsin (43-36).

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