Brian Walsh

Wisconsin has been on a different political trend than the rest of its fellow Great Lake states recently—its more conservative voters are concentrated in the suburban areas, while its more rural parts tend to vote Democratic.  In 2006, however, both rural and suburban voters voted for the Democrat on the 8th Congressional District ticket, sweeping Steve Kagen and his policies of out of control spending into office.  It seems, however, that 8th District voters are experiencing buyer’s remorse with Kagen and have effectively given Republican challenger Reid Ribble a solid shot at victory. 

The 8th Congressional District occupies the northeastern corner of the state and borders Michigan’s Upper Peninsula and Lake Michigan.  Cities such as Appleton and Green Bay also call this district home.  Although it has a Cook Partisan Voting Index of R+2, Obama handily took this district with 54% of the vote in 2008.  However, in 2004 Bush won out over Kerry by 11 percentage points.  Bad news looms for Kagen here as well, since Democrats in Congress here have never kept their seat for more than two terms – especially when they’re like this incumbent, who has been so entrenched with the liberal Democrat’s leadership that he has voted with Pelosi an astounding 98.2% of the time.

Steven Kagen has his work cut out for him this November in his bid for reelection.  Kagen has hardly been shy about his voting record, and he has been a rubber-stamp for Pelosi and the reckless Obama agenda.  His unwavering support for legislation that was extremely unpopular in his district alienated him from voters, and it will likely present a major problem.  Kagen not only voiced his support for Obamacare but bragged about helping craft it.   As Wisconsin voters are feeling the squeeze of these hard economic times, Kagen’s votes for the stimulus, government takeover of healthcare, and bailouts have burdened them even more.


Brian Walsh

Brian Walsh is the Political Director of the National Republican Congressional Committee.