Saturday, May 8, 2010

So much promise too....

Well, now that David Obey has run to the tall grass and given up his seat, you have to wonder what's in store for the rest of the Wisconsin representatives...

1st. District - Paul Ryan (R)

With the amount of national attention that Mr. Ryan is getting, coupled with the fact that as of this writing he's running basically unopposed, it's hard to see him out of his seat in 2010. There's a problem though. Despite what he may say, the RNC has to have him on the short list for presidential candidates in 2012. That would leave the first district wide open for the 2012 congressional race. If the Democrats are looking to pick up seats in 2012, this will be first on their list.

2nd District - Tammy Baldwin (D)

The problem with Wisconsin is that among the 8 current districts, three of them are so entrenched in their respective parties that it's almost impossible for the other party to make any headway. The second is one of these. The Madison area will stick with the incumbent Baldwin until she decides it's time to retire. With the $729,201 that she had on hand as of March 31st, I don't see that happening anytime soon.

3rd District - Ron Kind (D)

Kind, in my opinion, is the wild card in the state. He is facing a bit of a challenge from Dan Kapanke (WI S. - 32) for the seat, however with the issues that seem to be bogging down the Tom Barrett campaign for Governor, I still think that Kind is debating a run for governor. Kind is running out of time though. If we don't hear about Kind for Governor soon, he looks to be in a good position for another term.

4th District - Gwen Moore (D)

Short of Bob Uecker or Robin Yount setting up residence in Milwaukee and running as a Republican, Moore is another lifer from Wisconsin. It will be interesting to see where the census data ends up though. It does seem likely that Wisconsin will probably lose another congressman after this election cycle. Pair that with the fact that Milwaukee has been shrinking in population as fast, if not faster, than the rest of the state, will the 4th survive, or will it be absorbed by the 1st and 5th? Will be interesting to see.

5th District - Jim Sensenbrenner (R)

The third of the entrenched congressman from Wisconsin, Sensenbrenner is another lifer. Even if they redesign the 5th significantly, as long as Waukesha County is part of the fifth, this seat will be solidly Republican for many years. Even if a good chunk of the city of Milwaukee ends up in the fifth during redistricting (not a given by any means, but possible) there should still be a strong conservative base here.

6th District - Tom Petri (R)

The problem with the sixth is that most voters tend to be conservative and are rather apathetic towards their representative. This is partially due to the fact that this district is sandwiched squarely between the Milwaukee and Green Bay TV markets; too far away to be of any concern for the local news stations. Reasons enough to make the sixth the only truly unopposed race in the state. The district has been Republican since 1967, and I don't see it changing anytime soon.

8th District - Steve Kagen (D)

As a resident of this district for the majority of my life, it does pain me a bit to say this. This district is all about TV. If you have name recognition from any of the TV stations in Green Bay, you will win the election. That is the only explanation behind this district electing an allergist (his clinic sponsored the allergy counts on one of the TV station's local news) and a former news anchorman (Jay Johnson 1997-99). Kagen is by far the most vulnerable, but the bloodbath that will be the Republican primary (8 people listed at OpenSecrets.org as of this writing) will only serve to select damaged goods. All the mud will already be slung by the time the general election comes around in November. By that time, the electorate will be fed up with it all.

Once again, Wisconsin will be delegated to fly-over status. With one flip due to retirement (7th unless the Dems get a strong candidate quickly) and one and one hold for no good reason (8th), Wisconsin looks to be rather boring on the congressional side this November. It's a pity too...With the anti-incumbent tide that seems to be rolling in other parts of the country, Wisconsin could have been fun to watch. Well, if that's the case, I'll fall back on another Wisconsin tradition....I'll get another beer.

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