RNC chair Reince Priebus, a former chair of the Wisconsin Republican Party, says there’s no need for national political reporters to try and glean anything about the 2012 elections from the state Senate recall fight underway in his home state, where Democrats seem to have the momentum.
“I don’t think its a test run,” Preibus said on a conference call with reporters this morning. He added that even though some of the key issues on the ballot in the coming weeks in his home state are “a similar debate to what we’re having in the country,” the “the localized nature of it doesn’t allow it to be analogous to the 2012 election.”
If the polls are to be believed, that’s good news for the GOP.
In one of the first ballot tests of the race last month, Democrats won big. Democrats and their allies have been running hard on a message of Republican overreach in Wisconsin, following the epic standoff between Democrats and GOP Governor Soctt Walker (R) over labor rights earlier this year. That message has extended into the nationalized fight over health care and other spending priorities, with Democrats raising big money and racking up polling successes off ads like this one:
However, national politics could have an impact on the Democratic side, too, with some worrying that the less-than-appealing-to-the-base debt ceiling deal may keep Democratic turnout down. Partisan types on the Democratic side urge that theory be taken with a large grain of salt, pointing — as Priebus did — to the localized nature of the fight.
But Republicans certainly nationalized the Wisconsin labor fight while it was going on, and national Democratic and allied groups raised big bucks off the fight, too. Priebus said the party machine he used to run back in Wisconsin is feeling pretty good about the recall races.
“I feel confident we’re going to do well next week,” Priebus said.
You can be confident Republican leaders and the national media will make a big deal about battling back the Democratic insurgency in Wisconsin should the GOP win in the recall fights.
And, despite what Priebus said today, Democrats and the press will do the same thing if Democrats prevail.