• WisPolitics

Saturday, August 23, 2008

 2:29 PM 

Republicans forecast continued split among Dems

Republican Party of Wisconsin Chairman Reince Priebus, who will also chair the state's GOP convention delegation, hopes for the worst when Hillary Clinton's name heads into contention for the Democratic roll call vote.

"They get to eat themselves alive and we get to watch and be entertained," Priebus said.

Priebus said his party must focus on both the economy and national security at their convention the following week, as well as highlighting the distinctions between McCain and Obama. He noted that McCain had been gaining in recent polls anyway and that a bump after the convention could give the GOP added momentum heading into the fall.

He downplayed any issues with the timing of the GOP convention, which is up against Labor Day and the opening of the NFL season, but did add that its proximity to Wisconsin in St. Paul has drummed up added enthusiasm among state Republicans.

"We're getting a tremendous amount of interest in this convention," Priebus said. "We're still trying to get even more guest passes than we've been allotted."

He added that the Twin Cities media market's influence on western Wisconsin could provide added exposure for the GOP in a crucial area of the state in November.

"We've got a lot of legislative races that are important in that part of the state," Priebus said.

DPW chairman Joe Wineke said that while selecting the national convention site does matter symbolically -- suggesting that the western United States may be increasingly in play for Democrats -- the effect of the GOP convention's proximity to Wisconsin would be limited.

-- By Andy Szal


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