Friday, November 20, 2009

Roth announces race against Kagen

Dems have had a hard time holding the Green Bay congressional district. Steve Kagen's win against a formidable opponent (John Gard) in 2006, and his reelection in a rematch against Gard in 2008 have given Dems hope that this district might stay with them for a while.

Now, State Rep. Roger Roth (R-Appleton) has sent a fundraising letter making it clear he will likely be a candidate for the Republican nomination.

Discuss: 1) What advantages as a candidate does Roth enjoy? 2) Is the location of his district a plus, minus or no effect for the race? 3) Read his fundraising letter. What does it say about his campaign? 4) Edit his letter to improve the message. 5) Draft an alternative announcement for a Republican candidate running against Kagen. 6) How should the Kagen campaign respond to Roth's entry into the race? 7) Find out how much money Kagen has raised, spent, and has on hand. 8) How liberal is Kagen's voting record? How often does he defect from the Dem majority? What is his support for Obama? What key votes has he cast that might be the basis of an attack along the lines Roth's fax implies will be his focus?

Sunday, November 15, 2009

WI has an AG race too! has the story. There is a Democrat, former DNR Secretary Scott Hassett, running against incumbent Republican Attorney General J.B. Van Hollen. The story discusses the results of a poll by Democratic polling firm The Mellman Group that suggests Van Hollen is weaker than many assume.

The polling memo is here.

Discuss: 1) Do the poll results surprise you? Why or why not? 2) Does the Van Hollen campaign response work? 3) Write 3 different responses to the poll from Van Hollen's perspective. 4) Why doesn't the Mellman poll memo mention Dem Scott Hassett's favorability or name recognition? Give two good reasons. 5) What crosstab would you most want to see from the Mellman poll?

Barrett announces, GOP Responds

Milwaukee Mayor Tom Barrett is now officially in the race for Governor.

The text of the Barrett announcement is at

Scott Walker's campaign was quick to respond here.

And what of new media?

Barrett has a website, but no Twitter or Facebook presence yet. Only using email. They do offer the announcement text (linked above) and a contribution page.

Mark Neumann's web page is silent on the announcement. His occasional Twitter stream has this:

47 degrees in Green Bay... couldn't be a better day to beat the Cowboys at home. Go Pack!

Which undoubtedly reflects what most in Wisconsin are thinking about today.

The Walker campaign however was quick on the attack:
  1. RT @scottwalkerhq More Doyle - @NationalJournal gave Tom the Taxer a “liberal” rating of 88%
  2. RT @jillbader Tom the Taxer talking about property tax? Scott Walker 0% increase – Barrett raised 4.4%
  3. RT @jillbader Just like Doyle…Barrett, on whether he will "moderate his views" as gov.: "I wouldn't say moderate.” 9/3/01
  4. This is how serious I am about holding down property taxes:
  5. Headed up 2 Green Bay 4 the Packers/Cowboys game. Go Pack Go! #packers
  6. UR vote: Barrett – More taxes, more spending. My plan – less taxes, more jobs. #believeinwi

And the parties? Here is the WisGOP Twitter stream:

  1. RT @WKOW: RT @jhersch_wkow What does the Republican Party think about Barrett's candidacy for governor? Hear reax on 27 News at 10!
  2. Doyle and Barrett: More taxes, more spending. No thanks! Watch the video:
  3. Liberal Barrett, aka "Tom the Taxer" to run for Doyle's third term.

And the Dems?
  1. Another poll and chance to show who you support in 2010:
  2. Show your support for Mayor Barrett in today's online poll:

Walker and WisGOP were quick and on message. Also note the opposition research the Walker campaign was immediately ready with and quick to put out. No doubt about how they want the public to see Barrett. Neumann not engaged with Barrett today, though quotes from Neumann camp did appear in the Journal-Sentinel story this morning driving home the negative "career politician" point.

On the Dem side, the Barrett new media campaign (all of 5 hours old at this point) consists of a website and little more. Dem party support was much slower than the GOP operation which was quick, repeated and on message. Dems did put up a statement on their website, but failed to Tweet about it.

Discuss: 1) Will today's new media stream change the election outcome? (Answer "No") But 2) If you were running each of these campaigns and parties, how would you feel about your performance today? Why? 3) Deconstruct the Barrett candidacy announcement. What does it reveal about his approach? 4) Deconstruct the Walker response (and related Tweet stream.) 5) How effective are each in achieving their goals? 6) Where do each suggest potential vulnerabilities?

A Republican on every ballot

A Republican on every ballot -

A party being rebuilt from the ground up.