31 thoughts on “Ron Johnson’s campaign strategy: buy the election

  1. Why this strategy seems to actually be working for him is difficult to stomach. Talk radio has done this primary a huge disservice. Johnson’s campaign is politics as usual. I thought we were waking up this year – not tolerating status quo. Just b/c Johnson isn’t a career politician, as he loves to claim, does not mean his every move isn’t being guided by career politicians. To cry out for for a change in Washington and then ignore Westlake and jump on the Johnson train to “I hope it gets me to where I want to be”, is really quite hypocritical.

    1. I love all the people who would never in a million years vote for Westlake, bitching about the Republicans who’ll actually be voting in the primary not supporting Westlake. Most of you just want him to win because it would make Feingold’s re-election easier.

      And again, you can complain all you want, but there’s no way a guy like Westlake has a chance against entrenched & rich candidates like Feingold & Kohl. You can complain all you want, but the truth is it takes either personal wealth or the ability to generate funds.

      And the fact of the matter is, we owe a great deal of the prevalence of the rich, self-funded candidate to Mr. Feingold himself (along with McCain).

    2. Feingold would eat Westlake for lunch! Why do you think all the libs hope he wins and not Johnson. Johnson has spent his money going after Feingold, which is what we all want. Ron Johnson IS a conservative just like the thousands that will be voting for him in the primary. Are the Westlake supporters so “cult-like” that they have lost sight of the main goal which is to oust the liberal? Do they believe that their fellow conservatives are now the “enemy” because we choose another candidate?

      It’s time to wake-up and come down off the ledge if that is the case. Let’s come together to support whoever wins the GOP primary on Nov 2!

      1. Feingold would also eat Ron Johnson for lunch. Given how gaffe prone Johnson has proven himself to be, a debate between Feingold and Johnson would be a massacre.

  2. Actually the difference is that Westlake gets out and talks to anyone and everyone about his positions. Which I admire, but which also makes him unelectable because his positions are so right wing fringe. Johnson is aware, or is learning, that a republican cant run on the issues so his message is being very closely monitored and he is not being allowed to meet actual voters or anyone who might ask a tough question. By controlling the message to simple platitudes, noone can disagree with him. He is for freedom after all.

    We are seeing that all over the country. Now Gov brewer will no longer debate after her debacle. We need to send a message as voters, regardless of party, that this is unacceptable. We need ti actually hold our leaders to account, not just vote blindly for D or R.

    1. Johnson is aware, or is learning, that a republican cant run on the issues

      Man, that’s just utter & complete bullcrap.

      1. when is the last time a major campaign ran on the issues? There is a reason reince is guarding him so tightly and wont let him go out and tell people what he thinks.

  3. Ron Johnson, using a 20th Century strategy in a 21st Century world. Too bad for him, most of us that are cell-phone only use this new invention called the DVR. He is toast in the general.

    Interestingly, I saw zero Johnson references at the Taste of Madison today, but I did see someone rocking a Dave Westlake t-shirt. And I’m betting that person will be voting for Feingold come November if RoJo wins next week.

    1. Why would anyone conservative enough to wear an orange shirt vote for a liberal like Feingold in the general? Oh, unless you are referring to those shenanigan playing Dems who will vote Westlake in the primary to try and secure a Russ win in the general. Ha!

      1. If I were a Tea Party conservative, I’d find I have more in common with Sen. Feingold than Ron Johnson, with their positions on the PATRIOT Act being one example of how Feingold has more in common with the Tea Party folks than Johnson.

        1. Zach please tell me you are kidding? If I hear of even ONE single TEA party person voting for Feingold, I will faint. The entire TEA party movement is FURIOUS with most of his votes, including the granddaddy of them all…health-care. Feingold is not going to garner votes from our movement. Sorry.

  4. So the patriot act, nclb, medicare part d, tarp, etc… Are all forgiveable offenses, but voting to make sure that a for profit insurance company can’t drop you when you get sick is the sin of sins?

    1. Ohhhh don’t get me started on that healthcare bill. You know darn well that they was way more in that monster than what you just stated Proud. What a freakin disaster HC is turning out to be so far…

    1. Thanks for linking us to a report outlining how much each candidate has raised, not how much each candidate has spent.

      But if you want to talk about actual spending, then explain how your statement, “dems always spend more money in campaigns” is true, given the fact that Republican U.S. Senate candidate Ron Johnson has outspent Sen. Feingold 3 to 1 on TV ads in the state. Johnson has spent $4 million on broadcast TV in the state, compared with $1.4 million for Feingold, which kinda flies in the face of your argument.

      But hey, nice try!

      1. First & foremost, I’m not arguing either way in the “X always spend more than Y.” In such a content, it’s truly a case of them alternating turns being lesser of two evils. Generally speaking, you guys are all hypocrites – you’ll say raising & spending money is evil when the other guy has more & when your guy has more it’s a sign of how widely supported they are.

        But the spending vs. raising is really a distinction without a difference. Campaigns pretty typically spend as much as they raise – the whole point of raising the money isn’t to sit on it. The rationale they seem to employ pretty universally is that donors give candidates money to spend and by not spending it, you’re going against their wishes.

        Finally c’mon Zach, you’re smart enough to know that a comparison between Johnson & Feingold’s spending is not at all valid. Comparing a candidate running in a contested primary vs. an incumbent running unopposed is apples to oranges. Not to mention one is unknown and the other a well-know, 3-term incumbent.

        1. Locke, how many of Ron Johnson’s ads have been directed towards Dave Westlake?

          The answer is zero; all of Johnson’s ad spending has been directed towards Sen. Feingold. I’d buy your argument if Johnson had been burning through money on ads to try and beat Dave Westlake, but that’s simply not the case.

          1. Zach – that’s certainly a good point. Though Johnson still has to win two races instead of one which means spending more money. And for Johnson to be recognized enough to even be in the same ballpark as Feingold necessitates spending more money. These are have nothing to do with the party of the candidates – they’re fundamental rules of campaigning.

            That said, having looked back and re-read the thread, if I could I’d go back & change my tone a little bit. I missed the context – that your point in bringing up that Johnson has outspent Feingold was to refute Husker’s false generalization that “dems always spend more money in campaigns.” Given that context, I agree with you. I still think the comparison is apples to oranges because of the fundamental issues I mentioned, but as a counter example to an absolute statement it serves the point.

            How about calling out some of the other generalization fallacies that are repeated ad nauseam lately. 🙂

    2. Further, even if we use the list you linked to, your statement still isn’t true, as a number of Republicans have outraised Democrats, including Rep. Paul Ryan, Rep. Tom Petri, Rep. Jim Sensenbrenner, and Sean Duffy. That kinda flies in the face of your argument.

      Thanks for playing.

    1. Nah, not really.

      But hey, I’m still waiting for you to explain how Dems “always” spend more money on campaigns than Republicans. After all, if we apply Locke’s logic to the list you linked to, then Rep. Petri, Ryan, and Sensenbrenner, along with Sean Duffy, have all spent more than their Democratic opponents.

      Kinda flies in the face of your “Dems always spend more than Republicans” argument, doesn’t it?

          1. Wasn’t you. And Yeah. Only problem is, minus the generalizations, he’d probably have to just sit silently. 🙂

        1. Locke, I am welcome to examples of races where issues were first and foremost.

          I pointed out not only in AZ where the republican party got the homeless on the ballot to run as green party. I will go out on a limb and say they didnt do that because their platform is so strong.

          Then there is the example that many of the current repubs in office dont want to put out a platform of what they would do if elected. Is that because it is strong on the issues that American care about?


          Then there is the example of ron johnson, who wont go anywhere but extremely friendly audiences, and then when he does speak off the cuff, we have press releases the next day saying what he truly meant to say.

          So while it may be a “generalization” there are enough examples to prove that it is far from a stretch

            1. All you’re doing is proving you don’t understand my point and don’t understand what the words “Never” and “Always” mean.

              And I have no interest in wasting my time throwing examples of Democrats pulling the same crap. Ad hominems and tu quoque bore me.

              You think there’s some huge character & behavioral differences between Republicans and Democrats. That’s a position I find unintelligible and as far as I can tell, only only people who are blinded by partisanship believe it.

              1. I guess we dont understand each others point. This was not a democrats good/republicans bad kind of thing.

                I was looking at the bigger picture in terms of if most people knew the true platforms of the two parties the republicans and the tea partiers would be thinking twice.

                Politics have become a game of my opponent is evil and im not that bad so vote for me, and its sad. Somewhat pollyannaishly, I want people to sit down and debate actual issues and topics.

                1. I want people to sit down and debate actual issues and topics.

                  My gripe all along has been your statements that “Republicans can’t win elections on the issues” that they’re all bad & do corrupt things. That was the generalization fallacies I’ve griped about.

                  Engaging in that crap – which is what 90% of your posts are – is most certainly not getting down to the issues.

                  “X said this, but really wants to eat your babies” and “X said/did this, so all R’s are that way.”

  5. Zach bud look. Russ has picked up over 12 mil. he’s going to use. But no reason to spend it yet. Look its there money and they can spend it on both sides to tell you the truth I think it shows how messed up politics are here in the USA but it legal so they can do it. But this is what you do. You try to find anything you can and nit-pick about Johnson. First it was he supported drilling in the Great Lakes that didn’t work out. Then you try to bash him on sun spots but that didn’t stick. Zach can you say with no problem and no thought that Russ is a “PENNY PINCHER?”

Comments are closed.