While campaigning across the country in recent weeks, Governor Scott Walker has remained cryptic about a likely presidential bid. Walker has delivered speeches focused heavily on his vision for the nation. However, the second term Republican governor has been careful to add the caveat of “if” he decides to run for president.
With few candidates officially in the race so far, there are some questions about what impact waiting is having on Walker’s campaign. While UW-Madison political scientist Ken Mayer says he expected an announcement by now, he says the biggest risk the governor is taking by waiting is losing some ground to other candidates, both in building support and possible funding sources.
Mayer says there are likely good reasons for the Republican governor to hold off on making it official. He says “as long as he is not formally a candidate, he is not bound by the financial restrictions on campaign contributions, reporting and other activities that apply to presidential candidates.”
The means Walker can continue to travel the country using funds from his 527 Our American Revival with fewer restrictions. That goes away when he announces and registers with the Federal Elections Commission, due to restrictions on donations and reporting requirements for candidates. Until then though, Mayer says “as far as the FEC and the law is concerned, he’s just a guy flying around talking about issues.”
Since the start of this year, Walker has traveled to Iowa, New Hampshire and South Carolina to talk to conservative audiences. He’s scheduled to appear in Oklahoma and Arizona later this spring.