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April 20, 2012

A Closer Look at the Wisconsin Recall

Consider this the first in a short series reviewing the data we have on hand from previous elections as well as polling courtesy of (strange it may seem) DailyKos.

We are forty-six days away from the Battle of Wisconsin. In the time between recalls, Scott Walker has improved to leading all of his rivals, seen his approval rating increase, and has enjoyed a more engaged base of support. Republicans came out of the woodwork to vote in the Presidential primary, a sign of motivation for the battle ahead.

There are three things to watch.

Republican turnout. What almost cost Prosser his position as supreme court justice was a sharp decline in Republican turnout from the gubernatorial race the year before. Going county by county, the only area where Republicans turned out at a better rate (respectively) than the Democrats was Milwaukee. Klopp carried that county, but her margin was a miserable +30,000 votes, not the +80,000 enjoyed by Barrett just months earlier. Had Republican turnout statewide matched what was evident in Milwaukee, Klopp would have been crushed and there would have been no multi-day drama.

The margin of victory in critical counties. Dane is going to go 73-27 for whomever the Democrats pick, Milwaukee probably 60-40 for the Democrat. If that margin shrinks at all, the Democrat's already tough challenge of unseating Walker grows near-impossible. Waukesha will go 75-25 for Walker. That number drops (not likely), Walker will be heavily dependent on the mid-sized counties to bring it on home- something that did not materialize for Prosser. The evaporation of Walker10 margins in LaCrosse, St Croix, and Eau Claire cost Prosser thousands of votes. Much of that "evaporation" came from the already mentioned poor Republican turnout, which is very unlikely.

Who wins the Democratic primary. Falk has obvious strength in Dane, not much in Milwaukee, and turnout for the Democrats would probably mirror the Prosser-Klopp election. Barrett, on the other hand, would be a bit tougher. Walker would not be able to depend on a narrow Democratic margin in Milwaukee and will lose Dane by roughly the same margin anyway. However, Barrett himself has the problem of using the same "aggressive" tactics against the unions as Walker, so the "close" race may end up with the same 5 point spread Walker beat Barrett by in 2010.

There is one interesting thing to consider regarding the recall election: timing. The recall is scheduled for June 5th, weeks after a particular city loses some of its most "active" voters. I leave it to the moron horde to discuss which critical Democratic voter bloc I am referring to.

Right now, Walker is the strong favorite. He is projected to get 52% of the total vote, just under what he got in 2010. There are recalls against 4 state senators also, so Republicans need to remain vigiliant and bust records with turnout to really drive the point home: we aren't going to let the union goons run our state. It is too late for my state of California. I listen to my governor, Jerry Brown, rant and mumble, and I die a little inside. You guys and gals in the Badger state have a man worth fighting for. Keep it up.

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posted by CAC at 06:28 PM

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