Senate Democrat candidates react in the spin room

Posted at 10:36 PM, Jul 17, 2022
and last updated 2022-07-18 07:44:04-04

Several candidates gathered in the spin room after Sunday's Senate Democratic primary debate to offer their takes from what happened on stage.

What those in the room all agreed on is that there's still plenty of time for anyone in the pack to win the vote on Aug. 9.

Lt. Gov. Mandela Barnes did not hit the spin room, but his director of communications, Maddy McDaniel, made an appearance.

“He [Barnes] really did keep the focus where it belongs, on Sen. Johnson, and also made a big effort to help Wisconsin voters know who he is and what he stands for. And what his policies are. But really, this is about beating Ron Johnson," said McDaniel.


Bucks executive Alex Lasry also skipped the room. And his campaign declined to comment on the debate.

While most attacks during the debate focused on Ron Johnson, Outagamie County Executive Tom Nelson did go after State Treasurer Sarah Godlewski — the only woman on stage — on abortion.

"This is one of the top issues, and for someone to go ask for votes, someone who did not vote in one of the most important and consequential elections, the election who gave us Donald Trump, who then gave us three Supreme Court justices who gave us the majority to overturn Roe V. Wade," said Nelson.

WATCH: Democratic strategist Joe Zepecki breaks down the debate

Breaking down Democratic Senate primary debate

Godlewski, in response, doubled down on her commitment to women's rights.

"Look, Mr. Nelson is trying to distract us from what the real issues are in this race, and that comes to Roe v. Wade, because we know right now half our population has fewer rights than they had a few weeks ago," said Godlewski. "I’m the only candidate in the race right now who has a proven track record of not treating this as an afterthought."

Among those who qualified for the debate, the man last in the polls, believes he'll still finish first.

“The people believe the race is unsettled, and the front runner is far from decided," said Steven Olikara, Millennial Action project founder and former CEO. "There are other candidates who have had virtually unlimited money to make their case in this race, and the voters just frankly aren’t saying we like that enough.”

According to Marquette University's latest poll, more than 30 percent of voters are undecided on the race.

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