Despite his recent release of an internal poll that shows him up by an enormous margin, Brett Hulsey is doing everything to convince voters that progressive leaders support his candidacy. Most recently, he has been passing out literature that touts an endorsement from Tammy Baldwin that the Baldwin campaign has publicly refuted.
At best this is very sloppy on Hulsey's part. It is an unforced error that fits nicely into Manski's description of his opponent's campaign as "imploding," in a phone interview the other day. This behavior coincides with rumors that Hulsey is paranoid about Manski's candidacy in a district in which over 70 percent of voters cast a straight party-line ballot for Democrats.
Why is this even necessary? Hulsey has Spencer Black's support! Black's endorsement was not exactly brimming with enthusiasm, but it still exists. Why reach into fantasyland for support when you have all the actual support you need?
My guess is that it is not only practical political strategy that seems to motivate Hulsey's endless thirst for endorsements. It seems to be an issue of pride as well. In the primary as well as the general election, he would often match endorsements for an opponent's campaign with a strikingly similar press release, usually announcing the support of a similar group.
If AFT endorsed Hesselbein, Hulsey would respond by touting his support among local teachers. When Manski announced the support of Fire Fighters Local 311, Hulsey came out with a release touting the support of the Professional Firefighters of Wisconsin. The Baldwin talk seems to be a likely response to Manski's endorsement by figures such as Peg Lautenschlager and Ed Garvey.
It may not be a presidential election, but it is not a special election or a Spring election either. There is going to be a high turnout of voters, a very large portion of whom have no interest in down-ballot races. The establishment parties have an overwhelming advantage, no matter how many progressive insiders support Manski, whether that be Peg Lautenschlager, John Nichols or MTI.
If Hulsey wants to win this race, his priority should be to not monumentally mess up in the next 11 days.