Do they think they're accomplishing something else?
The national Club for Growth today announced a new TV ad targeting GOP Senate candidates Tommy Thompson and Eric Hovde on tax issues.
The group, which has endorsed former U.S. Rep. Mark Neumann in the GOP primary, says the 30-second spot "Only Worse" will run in all Wisconsin cable and broadcast markets beginning today.
The ad says Thompson "pushed for nine different tax hikes" as governor, singling out raising the gas tax and the tax on nursing home beds.
Later, an announcer says Hovde, a Madison businessman, "said he had no problem with raising taxes" in a TV interview and "supported tax-raising Governor Jim Doyle."
"On taxes, Hovde's like Thompson, only worse," the spot ends.
I'd bet that Tommy has a core vote of about 30-35% that he's going to get no matter what. The only way Tommy loses is if the so-called conservatives are able to coalesce around one alternative to the Thompson candidacy. By painting Hovde as worse then Thompson, CFG makes Thompson seem like a guy in the middle. So now Tommy's argument becomes "everyone hates Neumann but even Neumann agrees that I'm better than Hovde."
Neumann's not winning this primary, but CFG's hard-nosed approach might help assure that Hovde doesn't either.