Neumann predicts Walker will win, helping him in Senate primary

Alexis Levinson Political Reporter
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Tuesday’s Wisconsin recall election marks the first of many times that the state’s voters will head to the polls in the next five months.

Former Wisconsin Rep. Mark Neumann, who is vying for the Republican Senate nomination against former Gov. Tommy Thompson, says he will not be a victim of voter fatigue.

Neumann told The Daily Caller he believes that Republican Gov. Scott Walker will prevail in Tuesday’s election, energizing the party and propelling Neumann to victory in the August 14 Republican Senate primary.

“I think Scott Walker’s going to win,” Neumann predicted. He said that he called Walker on Monday night to wish him good luck.

Neumann is in what some might call an unfortunate position of running for Senate in a year when Wisconsin voters have seen a record number of elections, and have been asked to turn out to vote every two months.

The prospect of voter fatigue is a very real one, but Neumann said he expected the opposite.

“We’ll find out,” he said, but “what I’m seeing is a very energized base of people.”

Democrats, he said, “are as energized [right now] as they could possibly be.” If they lose on Tuesday, as Neumann expects, he said it would likely be “somewhat demoralizing,” giving Republicans momentum.

“They’ve taken their best shot, and it hasn’t worked,” Neumann said, speaking as though Walker’s victory had already been declared.

“I think it bodes well for Mitt Romney,” Neumann said. “I think it bodes very well for us to win the Senate seat.”

The major effect of the recall, he said, is that it “shortens the window” in which the Senate race will take place.

“To me,” Neumann said, “I think the Senate race really begins tomorrow morning.”

Neumann believes Walker winning would help him specifically in the Republican primary.

“The re-election of Scott Walker and his conservative agenda is an indication that Republican primary voters are looking for … [someone with a] conservative record,” Neumann said. “That’s me.”

Neumann is the conservative and tea party favorite in the primary race. In addition to Thompson, he faces State Assembly Speaker Jeff Fitzgerald and businessman Eric Hovde.

Walker’s policy of balancing the budget without taxes dovetails well with his message, Neumann said, of “balancing the federal budget and ending Obamacare.”

“Tomorrow morning,” he said, “we intend to carry that message forward.”

Neumann ran against Walker in the 2010 gubernatorial primary, and the two traded some nasty ads. But Neumann said they are on very good terms now.

“When that primary ended, the next morning, I went to a unity breakfast” with Walker, Neumann said, adding that he thought that Barrett and his opponents being unable to bring their party together after a tough primary was “very, very harmful to Tom Barrett.”

Of course, even if Walker wins the recall election, he might not be in the governor’s mansion for long. As ABC’s The Note pointed out, “A win by Walker will also raise his national political profile. A guy who beat labor – in a pro-labor state – will be feted as a hero by national conservatives.”

The speculation of Walker as a possible running mate for Romney has already begun (something TheDC’s Matt Lewis thinks is “a very bad idea”), and Neumann said he was very on board with the idea.

“I think it’d be great,” he said, enthusiastically. “I think we need a solid conservative alongside of Mitt Romney.” He noted that Wisconsin has two “really ideal” vice presidential candidates, as he called them: Rep. Paul Ryan and Walker.

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