U.S. Sen. Tammy Baldwin will stay out of the fray during the heated process to pick a Democratic candidate for president.
The Madison Democrat told WIN2020, a new podcast featuring political strategists Scot Ross and Bill McCoshen, she will not endorse a candidate in the packed Democratic presidential field as the more than 20 candidates vying to be the party’s nominee race toward the primary season’s official start in February with the Iowa caucuses.
“I am not planning on endorsing,” Baldwin said. “I want to offer up my insights, my experiences in running a great campaign back in 2018 and help these candidates understand the Wisconsin values that they need to reflect and offer myself out to all of them. If I endorsed, there would be less likelihood of getting the opportunity to share that insight with all of them.”
Political pundits say Wisconsin, with its recent electoral history of tight margins and flip-flopping between parties, is one of a handful of states with outsize influence in selecting the president in 2020. In 2016, Wisconsin stunned political observers by choosing Donald Trump by a less than 23,000-vote margin. It was the first time the state voted for a Republican in a presidential election since 1984.
Despite Trump’s win in 2016, Wisconsin went blue in 2018, choosing Democratic Gov. Tony Evers over incumbent Republican Gov. Scott Walker by less than 30,000 votes. Baldwin in that election cycle beat her Republican opponent, state Sen. Leah Vukmir, by a wider margin of 11 percentage points.
Baldwin previously told the State Journal she didn’t anticipate endorsing in the primary. She also said her re-election bid is a blueprint for other Democrats to win in the pivotal swing state.
Baldwin in her latest interview echoed that idea, contending that a successful Democratic candidate will need to understand the state’s economy, show up for voters and stand up against special interests.