Why isn’t Hillary Clinton competing more strenuously in Wisconsin? She camped out in Texas last night and is not setting foot in Wisconsin until Saturday. This seems unwise. I think the decision (made before Tuesday’s election returns, I believe) betrays a lack of appreciation for the degree to which her campaign is in peril. It makes sense to “skip” a poor state if you think it might trip you up on your way to victory, but now Clinton, more than anything else, needs Obama to fall short of expectations. Even a close second in Wisconsin might look pretty good now. It is not a bad place to make a run. She trails in the last poll (albeit before Tuesday night’s results) by less than 5 points. Yes, Obama has college kids galore, lots of anti-Iraq war sentiment and tons of momentum. However, John Coleman, Wisconsin University political science professor and guru on state politics, reminds me: “Wisconsin is not a high income state and manufacturing is still important here. She has been doing better among those who see the economy as the number one issue, and this is a state in which the economic news has been on the downslide lately. There is a populist streak in the state, and she might be able to fine tune her economic message to tap into that.”
She is down on money, excitement and positive media spin, but it won’t get any better after she loses big in Wisconsin. So, doesn’t it make sense to make a run there?