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Tuesday, March 13, 2012

 12:37 PM 

DSCC head: Lack of primary to help Baldwin

Guy Cecil, executive director of the Democratic Senatorial Campaign Committee, predicted Wisconsin's four GOP candidates will try to "out right-wing each other" in the primary, while Tammy Baldwin will be able to spend the next eight months appealing to a broader base of voters.

Cecil said in an interview with WisPolitics.com that Baldwin's lack of a primary opponent will help her as she prepare to take on Jeff Fitzgerald, Eric Hovde, Mark Neumann or Tommy Thompson.

He said the Madison congresswoman's biggest hurdle at this stage of the campaign is her lack of name ID statewide. But he noted she has been competitive against the GOP candidates she's been paired with in public polls and voters will be more attracted to her message of rebuilding the middle class than what Republicans have to offer.

"That's what people want to hear about. They're not interested in side shows about contraception," Cecil said.

Cecil called Wisconsin a top-tier state for Senate Dems as they look to hold onto their majority. In addition to five pickup opportunities in places like Massachusetts and Maine, he included Wisconsin along with Missouri and Montana among the party's top seats to defend.

That also means "everything is on the table" in terms of the support the DSCC will offer Baldwin, from TV ads and fundraising help to grassroots organization. He also said the president's operation will benefit Baldwin come November.

Democrats have 23 seats to defend this fall, while Republicans have just 10. Dems now have a 53-47 majority that includes two independents who caucus with them.

Cecil also accused Republicans of turning off female voters by turning every issue from the economy to debt relief about women's health and predicted that would come back to bite them in November.

They're the ones who have been waging his battle, not Democrats," he said. "I believe the majority of voters in Wisconsin as in the rest of the country believe that women should have access to contraception."

-- By JR Ross


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