Saturday, October 16, 2004

How Kerry Lost Wisconsin

Way back when John Kerry visited Green Bay and referred to the Packers' stadium as "Lambert Field," I joked to some friends that he may have just lost Wisconsin.

Since then (although I doubt there's a connection) polls have shown Bush consistently leading in Wisconsin. This is quite a turn of events for the Badger State. Earlier this year my wife was complaining that Wisconsin always goes to the Democrat--and typically it does. Granted, we did have a Republican governor for four terms during the eighties and nineties, but that might have been an aberration. (Madison's not called "The Berkeley of the Midwest" for nothing.) At the same time we elected two Democrats to represent us in the Senate, and our Congressional District replaced Rep. Steve Gunderson with a Democrat as well.

And yet, it looks like this election year, the great state of Wisconsin might actually go to President Bush. I don't think we've been in the Republican column since 1984 when only Minnesota and DC went to Walter Mondale. (I'll have to check on that. Not sure about 1988.)

Last Monday I drove to Lambeau Field to watch the Packers play the Titans. Terrible performance by my team. Embarassing. (But we did see Rupert wandering around on the sidelines, so the trip wasn't a total loss.)

But I noticed many more Bush/Cheney signs in the eastern part of the state than in the areas around Our Fair City. Here--if yard signs and bumper stickers are any indication--the Kerry/Edwards supporters vastly outnumber the Bush/Cheney supporters. But not too far to the east I was hard-pressed to find a single Kerry/Edwards yard sign.

And in Green Bay itself . . . well, take a look at these billboards.

If Kerry loses Wisconsin, "Lambert Field" may have just been a factor after all.


UPDATE: Kerry also has a difficult time pronouncing the name of the local cuisine.
Here in Sheboygan, during a "Kerry-Edwards '04 Brat Fry," Kerry adds to the litany [of midwestern mistakes] by referring to the local food as a short-A "brat," the way you would refer to a spoiled child. "Brot!" yell members of the crowd. For good measure, Kerry makes the mistake at the end of his speech, too. "Before I get a chance to have some braaats . . ." "Brots!!" some women near me shout in frustration.


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