Analysis: Conservatives Used Tactics Of The Left In Wisconsin Win

Activists with the conservative Tea Party movement say they owe a lot to their schooling in left-wing community organizing tactics for the historic Republican victory over the Democrats and their union allies in the Wisconsin recall election.

While the Democrats said huge campaign spending by conservatives supporters of Republican Scott Walker allowed him on Tuesday to become the first governor in U.S. history to survive a recall election, the Republicans point to their grassroots, get-out-the-vote work as more important.

Money alone doesn't win elections. In the three weeks before the election, Walker benefited from a disciplined get-out-the-vote drive mounted by people associated with the Tea Party movement, which reviles President Barack Obama. Wisconsin could be a key battleground state in the November 6 election as Obama seeks re-election against Republican Mitt Romney.

A lot of the campaign cash bankrolled a wave of pro-Walker advertising. Exit polls taken on Tuesday, however, indicated the ads may not have been a decisive factor; nearly 90 percent of voters say they chose their candidate before the ad barrage.

"Not only is the Tea Party alive and kicking, those guys ran a great get-out-the-vote campaign," said Ford O'Connell, a Republican strategist and chairman of the CivicForum PAC political group. "They have given away the secret recipe for what could win the election for Mitt Romney."

Read more from Nick Carey at Reuters

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published this page in In The News 2012-06-08 01:30:00 -0400
Analysis & Political Strategy