Daily Bread for 7.11.22: Michels Is an Outsider Who Isn’t

Good morning.

Monday in Whitewater will see a morning shower, then afternoon thunderstorms, with a high of 86. Sunrise is 5:27 AM and sunset 8:33 PM for 15h 05m 56s of daytime.  The moon is a waxing gibbous with 93.1% of its visible disk illuminated.

 Whitewater’s Planning Commission meets at 6 PM

On this day in 1796, the United States takes possession of Detroit from Great Britain under terms of the Jay Treaty.

 Craig Gilbert has a story at the Journal Sentinel about the WISGOP gubernatorial race, contending that the dominance of Milwaukee’s suburbs in Republican primaries will be put to the test in August

Gilbert suggests that the WOW counties (Waukesha, Ozaukee, and Washington) may favor one candidate, while WISGOP primary voters may elsewhere may favor another. He’s right that that geographical split has happened in Republican primaries before. 

He wonders if a similar split may manifest again:

That brings us to the 2022 gubernatorial primary, where the frontrunners are Kleefisch and Michels.  A third contender, Kevin Nicholson, dropped out Tuesday after failing to catch fire.

We don’t have enough public polling to measure with much confidence the specific regional strengths and weaknesses of Kleefisch and Michels.  But in simplified “insider vs. outsider” terms, Kleefisch is the more established candidate, having run with and served under Walker for eight years.  She probably needs a very strong showing in southeastern Wisconsin, her home base, to win statewide.

Michels is not a complete outsider, since he ran for office once before, losing a U.S. Senate race to Democrat Russ Feingold in 2004. He also has some “insider” support.  But he is a lifelong businessman (he runs a huge construction firm) and has never held office.

Michels is flooding the race with TV ads. And he has Donald Trump’s endorsement, which probably carries more weight in northern and western Wisconsin, where Trump performed well as a primary and general election candidate than it does in the Milwaukee suburbs, where Trump underperformed as a candidate. 

While Michels may turn out to be very competitive in the southeast — also his home base — you would expect him to get his best numbers in other parts of the state.

I’m not sure a meaningful split will manifest. Michels will likely be “very competitive in the southeast,” diminishing a split between geographies.

Tim Michels, a wealthy businessman endorsed by both Trump and Thompson is an outsider who isn’t: while he’s not the former two-term lieutenant governor, there’s more than enough in his background to appeal to establishment Republicans in the southeast, while still appealing to Trump devotees.  Thompson’s endorsement doesn’t add to Michels’s establishment credentials; Thompson’s endorsement merely acknowledges those credentials. 

(Michels is also willing, as is common among Republicans in the Trump era, to jettison any prior positions that might seem too soft for the would-be alpha males in the WISGOP. Those men who’d complain about wearing a mask will find enough to be copacetic with Michels. A more serious generation rightly esteemed stoicism, but here we are.) 

Tim Michels is, or will make himself, what WISGOP voters would like. It’s been working so very well for him, with less than a month until the primary. 

See also Rebecca Has Another Bad Day, So, What Happened to Kevin Nicholson’s Candidacy? Tim Michels, That’s What, Who Has the Strongest Position in the WISGOP Gubernatorial Primary? The One Who Didn’t Show, and Trump Puts His Finger on the Scale.

 Pod of Orcas swim by family in rare up-close sighting in Shetland:

A pod of orcas, including the matriarch and several young calves, were filmed as they swam close by a family on holiday in Shetland, Scotland.

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