In his Bloomberg column, Ramesh Ponnuru doesn’t think much of Scott Walker’s presidential prospects even if he is re-elected tonight:
For one thing, Walker’s struggle raises the question of whether a politician can make a credible run for the presidency after barely winning over his own state’s voters. The last two presidents each won their states convincingly before they ran. George W. Bush won 68 percent of the vote to be re-elected governor of Texas in 1998, and Barack Obama won 70 percent of the vote in Illinois to become a senator in 2004.
Meanwhile, over at Commentary, Seth Mandel doesn’t buy Ponnuru’s argument:
It’s true that both Obama and Bush had won resounding statewide victories before running for president. And historically, candidates who lose their home state in a presidential election usually lose the election too. But Walker’s ability to win over Wisconsin’s voters means he’d put the state in play in a presidential election. Unlike Bush and John McCain, whose home states were red, and Mitt Romney, who never had a chance to win Massachusetts, that gives Republicans a chance to expand the map. Walker’s close election means it is precisely the kind of state Republicans have to learn how to win if they want to end their slide in presidential elections.
Earlier in Ponnuru’s piece, he notes “there’s still a lot of liberal passion” against Walker. But even if Walker only beats Mary Burke by 2%, as I recently argued, he still beats her and for the third time in four years, liberals will have thrown everything and anything at Walker and have nothing to show for it. Walker is implementing profound change and those who benefit from the existing system are going to fight tooth and nail to keep the status quo. This is especially when those who benefit from the system have the clout to make Walker’s reformist agenda difficult to implement. Yet Walker has beaten the odds time and again. Mandel is absolutely right to argue that Walker does not need a landslide victory tonight to be a viable GOP presidential candidate in 2016. He only needs to win.
And if Scott Walker can win under less than ideal circumstances in Wisconsin then it is possible he could be elected President of the United States under even less ideal circumstances.
Notice to Readers: The American Spectator and Spectator World are marks used by independent publishing companies that are not affiliated in any way. If you are looking for The Spectator World please click on the following link: https://thespectator.com/world.