Will Senate Democratic Debate Change Race?
No one lays a glove on Barnes. But one surprise winner and some terrible TMJ mikes.
The clock is ticking.
The August 9th election is just three weeks away and Lt. Governor Mandela Barnes leads in the polls with 25% of the vote in the latest Marquette University Law School poll, and Bucks executive Alex Lasry second, with 21% of those voters expressing a preference. Well behind were state treasurer , with 9% and Executive , with 7 percent.
Nelson noted that many Democrats failed to turn out in 2016, including Godlewski, which allowed Donald Trump to win the presidency and appoint three justices to U.S. Supreme Court, who proceeded to rule against abortion rights. Godlewski, in response, didn’t deny that she failed to vote, but blasted Nelson saying, “As the only woman on this stage I won’t be lectured by any men about how important this is.”
The winners in this exchange were the two leaders, Barnes and Lasry, who stayed above the fray. Barnes came off just as he probably planned, with no mistakes, solid responses, and effectively pushing his key theme, that he is the working class candidate in the race who will support unions and restore pre-Trump era tax levels on millionaires.
Lasry also leaned hard on the only accomplishment he claims, getting jobs to build the Milwaukee Bucks arena and paying workers a $15 minimum wage. Besides the fact that he has exaggerated his role in getting the minimum wage, as Urban Milwaukee has reported, the Bucks arena got a huge subsidy from the taxpayers, which made it much easier to pay higher wages. But for those unaware or unconcerned about such details, Lasry’s performance was solid and got stronger as the debate went on.
If anything may hurt Lasry, it’s an ad released that night by Nelson which portrayed Lasry as a rich “trust fund kid” from New York who is out of touch with Wisconsin and was surprised that Milwaukee had amenities you find in other big cities. It provides a preview of the kind of ad Republicans are sure to run against Lasry. But the main winner from this attack ad won’t be Nelson but Barnes, as it helps the front runner make the case that he is more electable than Lasry.
The biggest loser in the debate was WTMJ’s microphone system, which repeatedly left portions of every candidate’s speeches going too quiet at times. TMJ plans to rebroadcast the debate tonight at 6 p.m. and hopefully will work to correct that problem by then.
From a news perspective, the main headline was that Barnes confirmed he would support using federal land to perform abortions. Lasry, Godlewski and Nelson all said they would support banning the sale of assault weapons if elected. And Nelson said he wanted to nationalize oil companies as a means to prevent profiteering by the companies.
Meanwhile the latest campaign fundraising reports filed with the Federal Elections Commission show incumbent Republican U.S. Senator Ron Johnson and Lasry raised the most between April 1 and June 30, as Wisconsin Public Radio reported.
Johnson raised $6.2 million, spent just more than $6.2 million during that period and ended with $3.6 million cash on hand. Lasry brought in $7 million, nearly all of it ($6.5 million) loans from Lasry himself, while he spent $6.7 million during that time and ended about $1.3 million cash on hand. Barnes raised more than $2.1 million, spent more than $2.2 million and was left with nearly $1.5 million cash on hand. Godlewski raised more than $1.5 million but $660,000 of it was loan to her own campaign, while she spent more than $2.7 million was left with about $464,000. Nelson raised $227,464, spent $535,560 and was left with $241,666 cash on hand. Olikara raised $97,884, spent $112,942 and ended the period with $144,234 left.
The figures show Lasry has spent an enormous sum — three times more than Barnes during the period — and Godlewski spent more than Barnes, but both have yet to catch up to the leading Democrat. Meanwhile Barnes is left with more cash on hand than any other Democratic candidate, which is more good news for him.
- Bernie Sanders Endorses Barnes for US Senate - Rich Kremer - Jul 18th, 2022
- Murphy’s Law: Will Senate Democratic Debate Change Race? - Bruce Murphy - Jul 18th, 2022
- Small Business Owners Grill Democratic Senate Candidates - Erik Gunn - Jun 28th, 2022
- Murphy’s Law: Which Democrat Can Beat Ron Johnson? - Bruce Murphy - Jun 20th, 2022
- Op Ed: GOP Needs Alternative to Ron Johnson - David Irwin - Feb 9th, 2022
- Lasry, Godlewski Spend Heavily on Campaigns - Shawn Johnson - Feb 2nd, 2022
- Ron Johnson Dramatically Underperforms in First Finance Report Since Announcing for Reelection - Lt. Gov. Mandela Barnes - Feb 1st, 2022
- Re-election Bid Just the Latest Lie From Ron Johnson - A Better Wisconsin Together - Jan 10th, 2022
- Alex Lasry Releases New Digital Ad Targeting Ron Johnson - Alex Lasry - Jan 10th, 2022
- Ron Johnson Explains Run For Reelection - Laurel White - Jan 9th, 2022
Read more about 2022 U.S. Senate Race here