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Monday, November 3, 2008

 11:30 PM 

WisPolitics interviews leading up to Election Day

WisPolitics has been doing a series of interviews and luncheons leading up to Election Day with both sides weighing in on the 2008 campaign.

Here are snippets from four of them -- from the most recent to the oldest interview -- with a link to more:

Democratic Party of Wisconsin Chair Joe Wineke 10/31:

Wineke has never been bashful about his side's chances in an election. But he insists they're not taking anything for granted this fall.

"We're always worried. We're Democrats," Wineke said, though he predicted a very good night for Dems next week.

Wineke was optimistic that freshman Dem U.S. Rep. Kagen will win by an "OK number" and said Republican John Gard represents "the Republican Party of the past." He said he "flat-out" predicts Dems will win the Assembly this fall and praised the party's efforts to find good candidates in as many districts as possible. He said it's paid off to have challengers taking on the GOP leadership structure in the Assembly because it has helped keep those lawmakers at home worrying about their own races. By comparison, Dem leaders haven’t had to worry about a challenge, freeing them up to raise money for other candidates and help them knock on doors.

See more from Wineke:

State GOP Chair Reince Priebus 10/24:

Priebus says it's not over.

With polls showing John McCain trailing Barack Obama in battleground states, in some cases by significant margins, told WisPolitics he sees positive signs in the presidential race that make him believe the Republican nominee has a path to victory. They include questions he says the public still has about who Obama really is.

He also said Obama's primary loss in the New Hampshire Dem primary after leading in various polls tells him that the national surveys shouldn't necessarily be trusted as the final word on the race.

"I do think that John McCain is going to do much better than the polls are showing today," Priebus said. "Just like last week seems like last year, I think next week is going to seem like an eternity."

See more from Priebus:

U.S. Rep. Paul Ryan, R-Janesville, 10/27:

Ryan warned of the bad things congressional Democrats likely will do if they gain wide majorities in Congress and have Barack Obama in the White House.

Ryan said the race will tighten in its final days, and that his own campaign was going well. But Ryan sounded like he was bracing for a bad Election Day.

"I don't want to have a lonely victory, but I worry that it could be a pretty lonely night," Ryan told an Oct. 27 WisPolitics.com luncheon at the Madison Club.

See more from Ryan:

Dem pollster Paul Maslin Oct. 16:

Maslin says the intrigue of the 2008 presidential race is over, predicting that Barack Obama will coast to a victory where the national margin could reach double digits.

But Maslin, who has served as an adviser to presidential, Senate and gubernatorial candidates, says the fascinating chapter will begin on Nov. 5.

"Barack Obama is going to be elected and essentially take office the next day," Maslin told a WisPolitics luncheon Oct. 16. "For all intents and purposes he's president on Nov. 5. He better cut whatever deal he wants to with Bush right from the get-go because we're not going to have the luxury of blaming Republicans any more."

See more from Maslin:

-- By Staff


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