When Gov. Scott Walker won the Wisconsin recall election on June 5, political spectators began to argue that Wisconsin could be a potential pick-up state for Romney in the fall. The Badger state’s Republican governor and newly crowned conservative hero on the national scale says he believes it’s possible– but Romney will need more than just a party affiliation.
“He’s got a shot,” Walker told reporters in Washington, D.C., Thursday morning. “He needs a clear plan.”
It’s not enough that both men are Republicans–a simple association with him won’t be enough to win in the state, Walker says. Instead, the man who earned the distinction of becoming the only governor in U.S. history to survive a recall election suggested that Romney needs to convey a simple and concise plan that voters know he can deliver on.
“I think it’s got to be narrowed down to a very simple set of messages,” Walker said.
“It’s not just a referendum on President Obama. It’s also got to be ‘yes, I don’t think I’m better off than I was four years ago, I don’t think the economy is coming back…And I think candidate Romney has a plan that I believe in.”
Walker did not offer any specific recommendations for the content of said message set. He did offer his thoughts on who he believes should join Romney on the GOP ticket: Congressman Paul Ryan.
A Republican presidential candidate has not won the state of Wisconsin since Reagan in 1984, but Walker noted that the margin of victory has been close in recent years.
“Wisconsin 2000, 2004, was the closest blue state in America,” Walker noted.
In 2000 Al Gore won by a margin of less than 1 percentage point, and in 2004 it was the same for John Kerry. Obama swept the state in 2008 with a 14-point margin. Walker described Obama’s margin of victory as “an anomaly.”
When asked about Obama’s lack of presence in Wisconsin in the days and weeks leading up to the recall election, Walker said he has heard a lot of frustration among Democrats in the state, but he wasn’t sure it would have made a difference.
Everyone was very aware of the recall in the state, Walker pointed out. Even those not old enough to vote, as Walker learned when he met with a fourth grade class the day after the election and was asked how he felt about the increase in his number of votes received in this election compared with 2010.