MADISON, Wis. – Until recently, Wisconsin seemed to be a Democratic strategist’s dream — a blue state getting bluer. Its two U.S. senators were well-established liberal Democrats. The governor’s office and both houses of the Legislature were in Democratic control after years of divided government. And President Barack Obama won the state in 2008 by 14 percentage points, one of his largest victory margins anywhere.
But something went awry on the way to Democratic hegemony.
A conservative insurgency — headed by a Republican candidate who actively courts, of all things, the tea party — is now making a strong bid for governor. And across the state, Democrats suddenly find themselves fighting to hold seats they once took for granted.
“Obviously we’re all nervous about our own situations,” said state Rep. Marlin Schneider, a Democrat who has served in the Legislature since 1970 and now faces two Republican challengers and an Independent. “There is a nasty mood there that has been there since the 2008 election.”
I have never understood why many Wisconsinites have leaned left. Madison and Milwaukee I can understand because they live in their own little independent universe where everything is rainbows, unicorns and anti-gun laws (which explains why Milwaukee is one of the deadliest cities in the nation). Democrats have always been in favor of higher taxes, expansion of the welfare system, and increased regulation on small businesses that drive our state’s economy. With Democrats in power Wisconsin has been run into the ground fiscally, with a record 5.4 billion dollar shortfall being shouldered by the private sector while government grows and state employee pensions skyrocket. In fact, earlier today it was announced that Wisconsin lost 7,900 private sector jobs in the month of May while it added thousands of government jobs that will undoubtedly worsen the already dire fiscal situation. Are Wisconsinites finally waking up to the failed policies of the elected Democrats?