Tuesday, February 20, 2007

Ziegler Victory All About Television, Not Politics

Washington County Circuit Judge Annette Ziegler won the State Supreme Court primary Tuesday night, with Linda Clifford, a more liberal Madison attorney, finishing second.

The right-wing talk radio and blogging machine will spin at full speed the rest of the week, claiming that Ziegler's win was a sign that the state electorate wants more conservative, less activist (sic) judges/justices.

The truth of the matter is that Ziegler won because she put television ads on the air and Clifford didn't.

TV is a powerful medium in political campaigns, and in a low-turnout primary, TV ads are a sure vote-getter.

But now the battle is joined and both candidates will spend heavily on television commercials in a race expected to be the most expensive Supreme Court race in state history.

Meaning a TV-heavy race.

Ziegler had less money on hand than did Clifford going into the last ten days of the primary, according to news reports.

So come election night in April, Ziegler might wish she hadn't spent a dime on TV ads during a primary in which she was virtually guaranteed a first or second place finish and thus a place on the April ballot.


Bill said...

it can probably be said that the increased use of money in state supreme court elections has come belatedly to Wisconsin (the NY Times had an extended article about races in Ohio late last summer), but it is no less troubling. its basically a runaway train once it gets started. Sad.

Anonymous said...

I think that this is really a stretch and that the Clifford campaign, sadly, is in trouble.

I'm a Dem activist, and I don't see a thing from the clifford machine. Absolutely nothing.

Clifford lost by over 15 points to Ziegler in the city of milwaukee...I think that says more than Ziegler was running more ads. I think that Ziegler is about the worst thing that could happen to Wisconsin this spring, but I think that Clifford doesn't have a chance unless her campaign has a serious shake up.

James Rowen said...

I've seen campaigns that take a primary loss as a needed kick in the pants.