MADISON -- Voters take to the polls Tuesday night in Iowa for the Iowa caucus, which will potentially determine who may face off against Barak Obama in the 2012 presidential election. Here in Wisconsin Tuesday, a committee in Madison decided which names will be on our state's ballot for the April 3rd primary, and the race for president in Wisconsin officially kicked off.
The candidates that will be listed on Wisconsin's primary ballot include Republicans Michele Bachmann, Newt Gingrich, Rick Perry, Mitt Romney, Ron Paul and John Huntsman. On the Democratic side, there will be just one name: Barack Obama.
Martha Love of Milwaukee was asked to be a part of the historic moment as a representative for the Democratic National Committee. Love looked at a list of more than 85 hopefuls, both Republican and Democrat, who contacted the Wisconsin Government Accountability Board or the Federal Election Commission wanting to get on the presidential ballot. The selection committee, by statute, chooses only those recognized by the national media. In some other states, the candidates need signatures to get on the ballot, but not in Wisconsin.
While Democrats and Republicans say they'll be closely watching the Iowa caucuses to see who's up and who's down, the Wisconsin Republican Party chairman says he doesn't think anyone will drop out of the race immediately. "They all seem pretty pigheaded and they will go to a couple primaries. They've worked hard for six, seven, eight months, and I think they'll see it out a little bit farther,"
If some of the candidates drop out of the race before Wisconsin's April 3rd primary, Wisconsin's short list of presidential candidates may get shorter. Wisconsin's ballots aren't printed until February or March. If a potential candidate wants to get on the ballot in Wisconsin, they would have to get at least 1,000 signatures from each of eight congressional districts in the state, and officials don't see that happening.