Chris Cillizza of the Washington Post:
The decline in President Obama's poll numbers -- and those of his party -- over the first eight months of his administration has led to a bumper crop of Republican recruits in the House as GOP candidates who sat on the sidelines for the last two election cycles are now leaping at the opportunity to run....Obviously that's a big "if" in that last sentence, but I can't help but wonder if this sentiment could have some affect on the congressional race here in Northeastern Wisconsin.
Analyzed broadly, Republican recruitment -- coupled with the vast number of seats they lost in the 2006 and 2008 elections -- has allowed the party to stretch the playing field considerably and, by so doing, put in place the pieces of a 20-plus seat gain in 2010 if the national environment continues to move their way.
While the declared Republican candidates so far are strong, it wouldn't be surprising in the least if someone with greater name recognition and political infrastructure in this area looked at this trend and decided to jump in the race.
Cizzilla also cites The Cook Political Report, which shows WI-8 as "Lean Democratic." While this is not as weak as "Toss Up," the fact that Kagen can get elected twice and now manages to only muster a "Lean" even when he doesn't have a widely known opponent must add to the temptation to run.
It remains to be seen if there is enough support for any Republican candidate to make WI-8 one of the districts that switches parties in 2010. It's possible that this trend could make an appearance here in Northeastern Wisconsin. If it does, this could make the Republican primary even more exciting and among the most important in the national Republican effort to make gains in the House.