The big news out of the Wisconsin Republican Convention was that Dick Leinenkugel, seen as the only viable Republican challenger to Sen. Russ Feingold (D), dropped out of the Senate primary. But what does "viability" mean? Ron Johnson, whose candidacy Leinenkugel threw support to, would seem to have all the elements of it, except for the tag of "moderate," which somehow is supposed to mean something magical.
Johnson, a manufacturer from Oskosh (gosh!), has millions of his own money to spend. He just got into the race; he doesn't even have a campaign website yet.
He's assembled a top-notch team of good consultants (Curt Anderson, a former executive director of the NRSC named Mark Stephens, counsel/strategist Charlie Spies). He does not have the taint of the D.C. establishment.
Conservative talk radio legend Charlie Sykes is pushing his candidacy, which is equivalent to oodles of paid media. And he got 64% at the convention -- a convention he did not anticipate winning. His performance was so sharp this weekend that the two other Republicans who are trying to get the nomination might drop out of the race.
There's no good polling as of yet to see how he'd stock up against Feingold, and no shortage of doubters who think he's way too conservative for a Middle C state like Wisconsin.
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