MADISON, WI (WTAQ) - The next presidential election is 1,044 days away -- and yet, the campaign is well underway for two Wisconsin Republicans and almost a dozen others who might run.
The Associated Press is keeping a checklist of the preliminary things that all the candidates are doing while they publicly deny White House aspirations.
Governor Scott Walker and Janesville Congressman Paul Ryan are among 10 Republicans being tracked along with four Democrats. The AP says they're all getting nationally-known on TV, filling holes in their resumes, making contacts with party leaders and activists, and taking early steps to build campaign organizations.
Both Ryan and Walker have written pre-election books, have had national fundraisers, and appeared on at least a half dozen of the Sunday interview shows. Both have so-called "shadow campaigns" -- including Ryan's Prosperity Action committee and state and national strategists for Walker.
They've both been to the early 2016 voting states of Iowa, New Hampshire, and South Carolina. Both are getting foreign travel experience -- Walker on a trade mission to China as governor, and Ryan in Afghanistan, Iraq, and other parts of the Middle East. And both say they're immersed in their present jobs, while voters keep getting asked about their presidential possibilities.
A Marquette poll in October had Walker in the lead with 29 percent of Republican support. Ryan was second followed by Florida's Marco Rubio.
The poll gave Democrat Hillary Clinton a clear lead so far, with Vice President Joe Biden a distant second.
(Story courtesy of Wheeler News Service)