• WisPolitics

Friday, June 08, 2012

 3:25 PM 

Tate: DPW convention an opportunity to move forward

State Dem Chair Mike Tate is looking at his party's convention this weekend as a pivot point.

Normally, both parties use their state conventions in an election year as a springboard toward the fall. But Dems will meet in Appleton this weekend still smarting from falling short of recalling Gov. Scott Walker and Lt. Gov. Rebecca Kleefisch and watching Republicans hold three Senate seats.

They do have one bright spot to celebrate: John Lehman's apparent win in the 21st SD that would give them control of the Senate 17-16.

But that majority could be short-lived with a difficult map facing Dems in the fall elections, and some wonder how the Dem base will react to Tuesday’s results come November, including whether it will impact the presidential race.

What’s more, there are long-term questions for the party about who its next standard bearers will be in the 2014 cycle and beyond.

But Tate said in a new WisPolitics.com interview that he believes this is an opportunity to move forward.

“In some ways the Republicans got their victory and maybe let a little hot air out of the balloon if you will,” Tate said. “Democrats and progressives are still hungry for winning and to demonstrate that, we can and will win and that the issues that we fight for are with the majority of the people. I believe that, and I think we’re going to show that in November.”

Some have attributed Walker’s margin on Tuesday, in part, to a GOP ground game that has improved dramatically and some argue has matched or exceeded what Dems were able to put up. Traditionally, that has been an advantage for Dems in elections.

Tate, however, cautioned about reading too much from what he said were the unique circumstances of the recall election, including a significant disparity in resources. He argued if things were even financially, the outcome would have been much different.

He also argued recall fatigue worked against Dems and pointed to exit polling that showed President Obama with a lead on GOP challenger Mitt Romney.

Still, he acknowledged that Republicans have a financial edge in the “post-Citizens United era.”

“We don’t represent the millionaires and billionaires and oil kingpins from Texas that can write six-figure checks. We just don’t,” Tate said.

-- By JR Ross


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