June 8, 2008
REDDENING THE RUST BELT:
Supreme Court race may be roadmap for McCain (Scott Bauer, 6/07/08, Associated Press)
A little-known country judge's road to the Wisconsin Supreme Court is being eyed by John McCain backers as a map for him to win the state.
Republican operatives are closely studying how circuit judge Michael Gableman, a conservative candidate from Webster in far northwest Wisconsin who never ran a statewide race before, was able to oust a more liberal sitting Supreme Court justice in April. [...]
Gableman won without even coming close to carrying either of the state's two largest cities, Milwaukee or Madison, which also happen to be strongholds of the Democratic Party. He got just 28 percent of the vote in Dane County, where Madison is located, and 42 percent in Milwaukee County.
President Bush didn't do much better in 2004 -- winning just 33 percent in Dane County and 37 percent in Milwaukee County.
The key difference is Gableman won and Bush lost.
"What Gableman showed is that you can lose badly in Dane County and lose significantly in Milwaukee County and still win statewide," said Graul, who was Wisconsin state director of President Bush's campaign in 2004. He also worked on the Gableman race.
Also encouraging to McCain supporters is Gableman's strong showing in the north and other traditionally blue collar Democratic counties in southern Wisconsin near the Illinois border.
If McCain can get 49 percent of the vote in Kenosha County, which borders Illinois and Lake Michigan in southeast Wisconsin, then he will win Wisconsin, Graul predicted. Bush got 46 percent there. Gableman got 48 percent.
Another key county for McCain is neighboring Racine. Bush carried it with 52 percent in 2004. Gableman did even better, winning with 54 percent. Graul has set a 55 percent target for McCain in Racine County to help him win Wisconsin.
WI is one of those states that W would have carried but for the Bob Jones baggage. Posted by Orrin Judd at June 8, 2008 10:44 AM