GOP gubernatorial candidate Tim Michels says he’s anticipating a good number of Republican poll watchers tomorrow when asked if he trusts the process underway in municipalities statewide.
“You know, I think there’s going to be a lot of people out there that are going to be poll watchers,” Michels said on WISN’s “UpFront,” which is produced in partnership with WisPolitics.com. “It’s not my opinion. Everywhere I go, people are concerned. And election integrity, it’s not a Republican issue, it’s an American issue. I don’t care if you’re a Republican, Democrat or independent. People want to know we have fair, honest and transparent elections here in Wisconsin. There’s nothing radical about that in Wisconsin.”
Gov. Tony Evers is painting Michels as a “radical” in the final hours of the campaign, reaffirming the state has free and fair elections and defending municipalities using private funds to help run elections.
Said Evers: “It’s not necessarily where the money comes from, it’s making sure we have enough resources to run the election. You know this whole business about fraud — our election was safe, secure and fair. We spent $1 million, we should take that $1 million we gave to (former state Justice Michael) Gableman and help Milwaukee and other cities run their elections.”
“UpFront” asked Dem strategist Joe Zepecki and Republican strategist Bill McCoshen what they’ll be watching on election night.
Zepecki said he’s looking at Dane County.
“How high can the big blue machine go? Bill knows that’s the part of the state that is growing, and Democratic performance has been increasing every two years,” he said. “The better Tony Evers and Mandela Barnes do in Dane, the more room they have for error everywhere else.”
McCoshen said he’ll be monitoring Dane and Milwaukee for the Dems, and the BOW and WOW counties for Republicans.
“I’m looking at Dane and Milwaukee on the Democratic side to see what kind of margins the Democrats roll out. But on the Republican side, it’s really the ‘BOW’ and the ‘WOW’ counties – Brown, Outagamie and Winnebago are the BOW counties, Washington, Ozaukee, Waukesha are the ‘WOW’ counties,” he said. “Republicans need to roll out big margins in those six counties to offset the potential for big numbers in Milwaukee and Dane.”
Marquette Law School poll director Charles Franklin says he’s worked to ensure Republicans aren’t under-polled in his statewide surveys this election cycle.
“Our sample is 2 percent more Republican than Democrat, and that’s actually 1 point more Republican than it’s been over the last couple of years,” Franklin told “UpFront.” “We’re not seeing a sudden decline in Republicans as part of our sample, but especially with underestimating Trump’s vote in 2016 by a fair bit, there’s always a worry that you might be missing those folks. We do look to see if our response rates are lower in counties with high Trump votes, and in this latest poll and all of them, we’re seeing no relationship between response rates and how strongly the county supported Trump in 2020. That’s not proof we’re not missing anybody. It just says the alarm hasn’t gone off at this point.”
Also on the show, ABC News political director Rick Klein says ”it would be a surprise if U.S. Sen. Ron Johnson didn’t win” based on the latest polling.
“I’ll have my eyes on turnout in Milwaukee and of course the kind of margins in the WOW counties, the areas where Democrats have been more competitive than they have in the past,” Klein said.
Klein said whoever can win two of three battlegrounds – Georgia, Nevada and Pennsylvania – will likely control the U.S. Senate if Johnson wins Wisconsin.
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