Is Wisconsin a battleground state that’s up for grabs in the November presidential election?
According to a report by the Milwaukee Journal-Sentinel’s Craig Gilbert it just might be.
Why have the presidential ad wars, raging in more than half a dozen other states since May, largely bypassed Wisconsin so far?
Could it be that Wisconsin is not quite the battleground it has been in the past?
“It’s not in the first tier,” said Ken Goldstein, a political scientist who heads Kantar Media’s Campaign Media Analysis Group, which tracks campaign advertising.
He says the campaigns’ TV buys show that Wisconsin, where President Obama leads in the polls, currently ranks behind seven or eight other states in competitiveness — among them Ohio, Virginia, Florida, Iowa, Colorado, Nevada and New Hampshire.
Republicans dispute any suggestion that the state isn’t up for grabs. They say Wisconsin is a winnable target and high priority for them, but that the state’s historic recall fight has effectively delayed in key respects the build-up of the presidential contest.
While Republicans in Gilbert’s report say Wisconsin is winnable for Republicans in November, Gilbert notes in his article that there have been 18 public surveys this year, including the recall exit poll, and President Obama has led in 16, been tied in one, and trailed Romney just once – in a Rasmussen poll. What’s more, in polling conducted since mid-June of this year, President Obama has led Romney by a fairly consistent margin of between 6-8 percentage points, nearly an identical margin to that of the June 5 exit poll reported, which had President Obama with a 7 point advantage over Romney in Wisconsin.
So is Wisconsin up for grabs in November? Despite Republican assertions to the contrary, I’m saying no.