So how did the close GOP race for governor we've been hearing about turn into a huge Scott Walker victory?
Here's one theory: It never really was close, but the Walker campaign successfully sold everyone a bill of goods and lowered expectations. That's always great political strategy if you can pull it off.
Just a few weeks ago, the Walker people were quietly telling reporters they hoped to get 60% of the primary vote.
But suddenly there was talk of a tight race, although there were no public polls to substantiate it, just second- and third-hand reports about concern in the Walker camp. Mark Neumann's campaign was happy to go along with that scenario, as he went from being considered an also-ran to a real contender, breathing some life into his campaign and giving his backers some hope and reason to vote.
Supposed evidence of Walker's worries was that he turned his guns on Neumann in negative commercials. I suggested that might be more about running up the margin than any real concern, but there was no way to know because of lack of reliable public polling.
If that's what happened, the Walker campaign pulled off a real PR coup. Suddenly what had been a predictably big victory became a surprise, and big news. (Walker will probably miss his 60% goal, but that's history now. The high 50s looks like a major upset.)
Were we had? I don't claim to know for sure, but I certainly think so.