Thursday, June 09, 2005

AG Straw Poll Question Stirs Protest

The AG straw poll question stirred protests from Lautenschlager and Falk loyalists, a Democratic Party operative and those caught in the middle who wish the question wouldn't be publicly posed at all.

But the topic of Lautenschlager's ability to win and Falk's potential candidacy is being talked about by Dem activists as the '06 campaign year draws near.

Lautenschlager loyalists and those who know the AG say she's determined to stay in the race and prove her detractors wrong.

Falk supporters generally hold to the theory that the Dane County exec won't directly challenge Lautenschlager. "My guess is she won't primary her," said one Falk supporter, dismayed the straw poll question appeared to pit Lautenschlager vs. Falk when Falk wasn't a declared candidate.

A Lautenschlager supporter likewise protested, noting the incumbent is the only candidate right now. "Things have died down," the supporter observed. But the question will stir up the speculation again, the supporter said.

Falk in recent public comments indicated interest in an AG candidacy and said no one had discouraged her.

Top Dem operatives continue to worry about Lautenschlager's campaign and fundraising.

Falk, meanwhile, has continued to raise money even though she was unopposed for re-election in April. She was scheduled to be at the convention this weekend, and her supporters acknowledged that if she goes she'll be asked the AG question by convention-goers -- straw poll or not. But her stance is to remain non-committal.