We discussed some of this on the air yesterday, but a lot of it didn't unfold until after the show. Jeff Fitzgerald was a guest on my show Thursdsay and more or less said that his only chance right now is for the other three to destroy each other. It's still an unlikely scenario that Fitzgerald would emerge from the ashes of a scorched earth campaign by the other three as the victor.
But the ultimate outcome is now impossible to predict. Club for Growth decides to go after both Thompson and Hovde. Freedom works then has Hovde's back. So you've got two outside conservative groups at war. Now pile on top of that the arsenals that the Hovde, Neumann and Thompson campaigns might unleash and this could eclipse the 1992 political murder suicide in the Democratic primary to take on Republican Senator Bob Kasten.
Congressman Jim Moody thought the nomination was his for the asking. And it was, until millionaire Joe Checota tried to become Herb Kohl 2.0 and spend his way to the nomination. It was working until Moody turned the key and pushed the red button and emptied all the silos. Checota responded. In the end, a then little known state senator named Russ Feingold took the nomination. The moment from that campaign that sticks out to me is when Joe Checota urged voters who weren't going to vote for him to vote for Feingold over Moody.
This is going to get much more vicious than it already is. That's not enitrely guessing on my part. I have an idea of some of the attacks to come. That's all I can say publicly. Jeff Fitzgerald's "clean jersey strategy" is indeed a long shot. But there is a reason the deterrent against a full nuclear assault during the Cold War was called MAD (mutal assured destruction). Someone among the already engaged trio would do well to try to rise above the others, if that's still possible.
One other thought on Fitzgerald's strategy. Voters are indeed burned out on the constant election cycle in Wisconsin. A vicious campaign could play into his hand, although time is short, a month from today. It could be a long, hot month. And I'm not talking about the weather.