In the interview, John Gard talks about the state of the race, as well as how things have changed between 2006 and 2008. A sampling:
“ Steve Kagen ran as a more conservative guy, but he’s voted like a far-left liberal,” he said.
A vote study conducted by Congressional Quarterly indicated that Kagen voted with his party 95 percent of the time in 2007 on issues that divided the two parties. That score that puts him below the median for members of the Democratic caucus, which had a highly unified year in 2007.
Kagen on Tuesday returned from a bipartisan congressional delegation to the Middle East. His campaign manager, Casey Frary, said the congressman “has made his energy policy quite clear.” He supports drilling for new oil and natural gas in the United States, investing in every form of renewable energy available and stopping manipulation of the energy market, she said.
But Gard’s campaign clearly will try to use the oil issue to distinguish himself from Kagen. “Fundamentally in northeastern Wisconsin it’s what Steve Kagen stands for, and what I stand for. And I believe that my views are consistent with the overwhelming majority of people there,” Gard said.
Voting patterns would seem to be on Gard’s side in the race. President Bush won 55 percent of the district vote in 2004 and 52 percent in 2000. But because of the overall Democratic trend this election cycle and Kagen’s boost as an incumbent, CQ Politics rates the race Leans Democrat.
Make sure to head to the link for more.
As the article says, Wisconsin’s 8th district should be very competitive for a candidate with a pedigree like John Gard’s, but Rep. Kagen does have all the advantages of an incumbent.