Why Doyle Will Win Another Term

The state is mired in historic debt, unemployment rates are high and still rising, state employees are angry over being forced into furloughs and layoffs, and Democrat Gov. Jim Doyle is positioned well to win a third term. He’s navigating the difficult times by prioritizing on the economy and jobs.

Here are four major reasons why Doyle will be tough to beat in November 2010.

Campaign Cash The two-term governor hasn’t made his political plans known, but if his fundraising is any indication, he’s ready for another run for office. Doyle has proven he can raise money and grab even more cash than his Republican challengers. In this department, he shows no signs of slowing down. The current governor hasn’t stopped raising money since being re-elected in 2006. Doyle has already raised $1.4 million and the hefty fundraising hasn’t even started yet.

Ties to Obama Doyle has adeptly tied himself to popular President Barack Obama by focusing state government almost solely on the economy. The governor has been at the front of the line in chasing federal stimulus dollars for major initiatives in Wisconsin like construction projects and rail expansions.

GOP Primary Battle Milwaukee County Executive Scott Walker looks to be the clear front-runner on the Republican side but he comes with some baggage from running the state’s largest county. It’s something Democrats will be ready to try to exploit. Walker put in a serious bid in 2006 before bowing out and allowing Congressman Mark Green to take up the GOP mantle.

This time around, Walker will have a serious primary fight on his hands. Former Congressman Mark Neumann promises to give Walker a fight and there might still be another challenger or two who decide to enter the race.

Doyle will benefit from watching all of it from the sidelines—especially as the challengers spend gobs of money to win a chance to unseat the incumbent. No New Taxes Even with the current deficit well over $6 billion, Doyle hasn’t proposed a general or sales tax increase. That will serve him well with the electorate. It’s true, he’ll have to placate state workers stung by layoffs and justify a myriad of fee increases to the public but he’s been down that road before and has a plan he can sell.

No New Taxes Even with the current deficit well over $6 billion, Doyle hasn't proposed a general or sales tax increase. That will serve him well with the electorate. It's true, he'll have to placate state workers stung by layoffs and justify a myriad of fee increases to the public but he's been down that road before and has a plan he can sell.

Colin Benedict is WISC-TV’s news director. Before that he was the station’s political reporter. He’s lived in the Madison area since 1995. E-mail him at cbenedict@wisctv.com

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