Remember Mark Neumann?


What is his political life expectancy? When was the last time you read an article about him? He’s usually mentioned in passing in articles on the gubernatorial race. The only recent campaign news is that he has pledged to spend $1 million of his own money to try to beat Scott Walker.

I ran into a member of the Walker campaign last night who told me that Neumann would drop out of the race “when the party tells him to.” Looking back, I realize he might have simply meant that Neumann will leave the race when he loses the Republican primary, however, the sly grin on the man’s face seemed to imply something that would come out of a smoke-filled room. Did state Republicans hope that a competitive primary would energize the grassroots and draw attention to the party and its policies, or did they see Neumann as a nuisance who would threaten party unity?

Both parties have proponents of these two diverging philosophies, and they almost always clash during primary season. You might think the “unity” argument is less powerful in state elections because the primary is relatively cut and dry – one election, one guy or gal wins, and the party is forced to accept. Moreover, I would guess that political parties are open to any strategy that will increase awareness among voters, most of whom are less interested in state politics. However, the primary is also much closer to election day, and although the grass roots may be excited about a competitive primary, most voters just get confused. “I’m like, conservative, who am I supposed to vote for?”

I’m guessing the GOP will start to pressure Mark Neumann to leave the race pretty soon.

Any thoughts?

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7 Responses to “Remember Mark Neumann?”

  1. Landon Murphy Says:

    Last Week the Daily Cardinal posted an article also questioning whether or not Neumann is done for in this race. One of his supporters, Joe Trovato, wrote a response on Mark’s campaign site. Joe, and I’m guessing many other Wisconsinites, believe Neumann is anything but out of this race.

  2. T Jakin Says:

    Isn’t it a good thing that Neumann hasn’t had a “political life?” I could rant for hours about how career politicians on both sides of the aisle have screwed up Wisconsin and the U.S. I don’t think career politicians have a chance this fall — once you get outside the insider circles, no one can stand either Walker or Barrett. Neumann has a name recognition problem, sure, but it’s nothing that $1 million can’t take care of.

    Oh, and non-career politicians don’t give into pressure from their political party, so I’m pretty sure that’s a non-factor. But I can see why the political insiders want him out…

    • Jack Says:

      Neumann didn’t exactly pursue a non-political career by choice. He was a congressman for a while and then he lost a senate race.

  3. Dusty Says:

    I think a lot of folks are waiting for the Neumann campaign to DO something other than just exist. One million bucks of your own money? There’s something the average Wisconsinite can relate to.

  4. Ordinary Jill Says:

    To be fair, that’s pretty much how Herb Kohl got his Senate seat. Going into the primary, folks in Madison assumed that former Governor Tony Earl, who was much more experienced and knowledgeable on the issues of the day, would win the retiring William Proxmire’s seat. Kohl’s money (and eponymous chain of stores) bought a lot of name recognition in the greater Milwaukee area, however.

  5. Jack Says:

    The only way I see Neumann having a chance is if he gets out there and says something really original. He has to distinguish himself from Walker, and that probably means going on the attack. Nobody is going to pay attention to him, no matter how many ads he runs, if he just re-hashes the typical Republican talking points. He has his own money, but Walker has a lot of other people’s money.

  6. Dohnal Says:

    Neuman’s races have always been big media after July. He has small staff and does little grass roots stuff.
    If he leaves race it will let all of the liberals beat up on Walker for months.

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