Big names help Gov. candidates gain votes

The candidates need all the voters they can get

With the election just six days away big name Democratic players have come to Mary Burke’s side and there’s a reason.

“Every national poll I’ve ever seen, there are more Democrats than Republicans in terms of self identification so you wonder ‘how Republicans do ever win?’ The answer is because the Democrats don’t show up to the polls nearly as much,” UW-La Crosse Porfessor Joe Heim said.

Democrats typically have lower voter turnout especially in non-presidential election years and bringing in President Obama can encourage people to head to the polls, Heim said.

“He’s still widely supported and admired by African Americans so he’s there to target that particular group to get them out to vote,” Heim said.

Gov. Scott Walker is also doing what he can. He campaigned with Rep. Paul Ryan in West Salem, Wednesday, and will be joined once again by Gov. Chris Christie on Friday, but Walker said that isn’t for political gain.

“He’s just a lot of fun. He asked if he could come in so we said, ‘Come on in to join us,’ but really our focus is we’re not bringing in any surrogates in from Washington. Our focus is on Wisconsin,” Walker said.

Heim said Christie’s visit is very political and gives Walker a broader reach in the state.

“He’s a very big name in the Republican Party but he’s a more moderate,,” Heim said. “It shows the governor is more acceptable to the moderate wing of his own party.”

Most of the big Democratic names have rallied in Milwaukee. Vicki Burke of the La Crosse County Democratic party said she’s trying to reach voters locally.

“It’s important that we get out and talk to our neighbors because that makes a difference to remind them how important the election is,” said Burke.

Heim said the race is so close that at this point it’s a numbers game.

“This is probably more than anything a turn out election which party gets there better base out is going to win the election,” Heim said.