President Obama is going to be in town on Tuesday. Nearly 4000 people have already rsvped on Facebook (it's not going to be easy to miss, so very few of those will be no-shows). The rally is an important one for Obama because it gives him an opportunity to speak to large numbers of voters who can have an effect on all of the many competitive races in Wisconsin this year.
In addition to driving out the vote for Russ Feingold and Tom Barrett, many of the students on campus are registered to vote or have friends who are registered to vote in the 7th or 8th Congressional Districts, where Democrats Julie Lassa and Steve Kagen are fighting for their lives against tough GOP challenges.
The enthusiasm Obama stirs up, even amidst the disappointment in liberal circles about some of his campaign promises, is an absolute necessity for Democrats across the country to stay competitive. Polls which have shown Democratic stars like Feingold down have attributed the GOP leads largely to the enthusiasm gap. While the public continues to view Democrats more favorably than Republicans, right-leaning voters are the ones who are coming out to vote en masse this November.
Steve Kagen, for instance, rode Obama's coattails to victory in the face of a massive spending campaign by the GOP two years ago. Without mobilization of core Democratic voters, including students, Kagen is as good as dead. I would say the same about Feingold.
In Feingold's case specifically, I think Obama needs to go to Milwaukee with Feingold and stump aggressively for him. Michelle Obama is fundraising for him, but there needs to be some stimulus to the Democratic base for Feingold to overcome the Tea Party effect that will likely make Ron Johnson the next U.S. Senator from Wisconsin.
Last but not least, the legislature Dems could use Obama as well. There are a good number of Dems in the Assembly whose victories in the past two cycles can be attributed to the excitement that the Vote No! campaign stirred in student areas in 2006, as well as the massive student turnout for Obama in 2008.