Monday, February 11, 2019

Amy Klobuchar: On, Wisconsin!

"Amy Klobuchar trolls Hillary Clinton with Wisconsin jab," reports the Washington Times:

“We’re going to be in Iowa and in Wisconsin,” the Minnesota Democrat told reporters after she announced her 2020 presidential bid in Minneapolis.

I think we’re starting in Wisconsin because as you remember there wasn’t a lot of campaigning in Wisconsin in 2016,” she added. “With me, that changes.

Mrs. Clinton infamously neglected to campaign in Wisconsin after she won the 2016 Democratic Party nomination. She wound up . . . becoming the first Democrat to lose the state since 1984.

Mrs. Clinton addressed the loss in her campaign memoir “What Happened.”

“If there’s one place where we were caught by surprise, it was Wisconsin. Polls showed us comfortably ahead, right up until the end,” she wrote. “I would have torn up my schedule . . . and camped out there.”
Over and over during the 2016 race, I said we shouldn't call my home state of Wisconsin a "blue state." I kept saying it's a purple state, a swing state, a state that could go either way.

People told me I was wrong because Democrats had won Wisconsin in the past several presidential elections.

I told them to look at the margins of those elections in Wisconsin:

Al Gore won Wisconsin . . . by 0.22%, making it the third-closest state in 2000.

John Kerry won Wisconsin . . . by 0.38%, making it the closest of all 50 states in 2004.

Barack Obama won Wisconsin by more than 10% in 2008, but that was an unusually large margin for anyone to win Wisconsin (the biggest since 1964). Why did that happen? In November 2008, the economy seemed to be in free fall at the end of an 8-year Republican administration. An outlier under extraordinary circumstances like 2008 is a less reliable predictor than close elections like 2000 and 2004.

I also said to look at Wisconsin's governors. The governor back in 2016 was a staunchly conservative Republican, Scott Walker, who succeeded a Democrat, who succeeded two Republican governors in a row (including Tommy Thompson, a pioneer of welfare reform in the '90s who went on to serve in President George W. Bush's cabinet).

I grew up in the very left-wing state capital, Madison, but the rest of Wisconsin is not Madison. It was a terrible mistake for Democrats to overlook Wisconsin or make assumptions about the state.