Bill Clinton's absence in Wisconsin has convinced pundits Mark Halperin and John Heilemann that Hillary has already given up any hope of winning the state's primary.
“Where’s Bill?” Halperin asked during a filming of Bloomberg Politics' "With All Due Respect," before noting that normally the former president would have already booked the first flight there to make the contest as competitive as possible.
In fact, reports indicate that the Clinton camp has no campaign appearances scheduled in Wisconsin before Tuesday’s primary. Upon hearing that news, Heilemann and Halperin agreed the Clintons are “destined to lose” in The Badger State.
“The fact that Bill Clinton is not going there at all, suggests to me that not only do they think they’re going to lose, but that they’re already going to lose by a big margin and there’s no point in deploying him there in a wasted effort,” Heilemann concluded.
Recent Wisconsin polling shows Sanders nipping at Clinton’s heels. The RealClearPolitics average has her ahead by just one point and a Marquette University survey actually had Sanders ahead by four points.
Choosing to ignore these numbers, the Clintons are instead setting their sights on the April 19 primary in New York, where the former senator has a large lead.
America Rising PAC’s communications director Jeff Bechdel notes Clinton's schedule clearly displays her desperation to just get Wisconsin over with so she can campaign in more friendly territory.
"Clinton staff and surrogates are falling all over themselves to get on TV and downplay expectations in Wisconsin. Apparently so worried about the results there, the Clinton campaign hasn't even deployed to Wisconsin the walking gaffe machine that is Bill Clinton. By ceding the Badger State to Sanders, Clinton's campaign risks giving Brooklynite Bernie Sanders more momentum heading into New York."
Clinton must win in the Empire State, The New York Times warns, or she is more vulnerable than ever.