I’ve long been wondering when Democratic U.S. Senate candidate Tammy Baldwin, who’s the only Democrat running to replace retiring Sen. Herb Kohl, will finally start running some TV ads.
My curiosity about when Baldwin’s campaign will finally start running some ads has been piqued by anti-Baldwin TV ads that have been running on and off here in Wisconsin, with the latest coming from Americans For Prosperity.
As I see it (and obviously I’m not an expert on campaigns), the risk the Baldwin campaign is running is that they’ll allow their opponents (or groups allied with their opponents) to define who Tammy Baldwin is to Wisconsin’s voters before Tammy Baldwin can, and I think that’s a fatal mistake. As we saw in the gubernatorial recall election, Gov. Walker’s ability to run ads virtually unopposed from November 2011 until March 2012 essentially framed the debate surrounding the gubernatorial recall election, allowing Gov. Walker’s campaign to dictate messaging to a degree that may have ultimately doomed Milwaukee Mayor Tom Barrett before he even won the Democratic gubernatorial primary.
My concern here is that by ceding the airwaves to her Republican opponents and the conservative groups allied with them, Tammy Baldwin will allow those campaigns/groups to define her in a highly negative manner, forcing her to play “catch up” with Wisconsin voters. Instead, Baldwin and her campaign should be using the time they have until Republicans have chosen their U.S. Senate candidate to introduce Baldwin to Wisconsin voters in an effective and positive manner. Tammy Baldwin has a great life story – one that would no doubt resonate with lots of Wisconsinites who don’t know her that well – and that’s what her campaign should be trying to get out on the airwaves across Wisconsin.