TAMPA, Fla. -- Not since 1984, when President Ronald Reagan won re-election, has a Republican candidate for president won in Wisconsin.
But now Rick Wiley, the Republican National Committee political director, believes the stars are aligning to end that drought. Wiley spoke to reporters in a Tuesday conference call from the Republican National Convention in Tampa.
Wiley said that President Obama has neglected the state and will pay for it at the polls. "It's been 194 days since the president has been in Wisconsin," Wiley said. The June recall election victory for Gov. Scott Walker was the result of the GOP's solid "ground game," Wiley added, noting the party is well prepared for the November election.
"We didn't miss a beat," he said. "It goes from Scott Walker's recall to Gov. Romney's election campaign and the team on the ground has done a wonderful job."
Still, reporters pointed out that the Romney campaign has yet to advertise in Wisconsin, questioning whether the state is really in play.
Romney For President political director Rich Beeson denied that was the case. "I don't want to pull back the curtain and open up the playbook," he said. "I'm not going to say when or where or how much, but at some point, you're going to see Wisconsin getting the attention other states are getting."
"Wisconsin is a target state. We don't do tier ones or tier twos," Beeson added. "We're in there with an enormous amount of ground resources. I wouldn't classify it as anything but a target state."
Joe Tarr is in Tampa with reporters from WORT 89.9 FM covering the Republican National Convention and will move on to Charlotte to cover the Democratic National Convention.