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June 06, 2012

Wisconsin Recall: What We Got Right, Wrong, and Barrett Gets Slapped

With bonus analogy of Tom Barrett's campaign below the fold.

That out of the way, what did we get right, what did we get wrong, and where do we go from here at the #AOSHQDD?

What We Got Wrong:
My prediction was too conservative.
The last prediction was 52% to 48%, influenced (in hindsight too heavily) by the last-minute PPP poll. Had I stuck to the previous prediction, I would have nailed the race, calling it 53% to 46% on May 24th.

Less Focus on State Senate Races.
Looks like Van Waaagard will lose his bid to hold onto Senate Seat #21, though the victory for the Democrats will likely be a short one thanks to redistricting. Republicans will likely gain 1-2 seats in November. Very important to rub salt in the wounds by flipping this back, making the tens of millions of union dues only so much feces-pee-and-arby's-shake-soaked paper, collecting like flotsum in a sewer line to Lake Michigan.

What We Got Right:

Projection Map County-by-County.
My projection map a la which counties would be close, which would be blowouts, and where the closest ones would be bore a rather striking resemblance to the final result:

Final Projection Showing Swing Counties:




Live-updating from the counties ahead of the mainstream press?
Far, far faster than the Associated Press, not to mention more accurate. We had Waukesha and Dane about a good 30 minutes to an hour ahead of AP's official updates.

Emphasis on polling data, and a rejection of partisan internals.
Sticking strictly to the RCP average, one would guess Walker to win by 6.7 points.

His actual? 53.14% to 46.29%, an actual spread of 6.85 points. The average of the polling came within a fraction of a point of the final result.

If you were foolish enough to buy Barrett's "internals", you would have never seen this coming. I hope customers of Lake Research also question the validity and expertise of that firm, with their laughable 49-49 poll last week. DO NOT EVEN LISTEN TO PARTISAN INTERNALS. EVER. The only time a side releases them, as we inferred and I have stated numerous times in the 1,449,329 Wisconsin threads posted, is if they are losing, and badly. Last night proved that.

What Worked for Republicans overall?

Nearly everything.
Astronomically massive turnout in the WOW, particularly Waukesha's near-100k spread for Walker, indicate that the GOP itself can really exceed their own expectations with a strong ground game. Despite busing and concerts, free cabs and some questionable characters with out-of-state residences, Walker absolutely spanked Barrett. Barrett enjoyed a 41,000 vote boost out of Madison and Milwaukee over what he got in 2010. That puts Walker's final margin in perspective- because he not only matched Barrett's gains, he improved further. Dave Weigel (I know, I know) saw the perfect union of establishment and TEA party when he visited Wisconsin nearly a month ago, and warned the left repeatedly how massive Walker's GOTV operations were. Even we had our doubts about it, after constant pushes from the media about the Democrats driving every voter to the polls, about their "superior" methods of getting their voters to turn out early and cast their absentees. No more. The Wisconsin GOP is a model for every Republican state outfit and performed beyond any I have ever seen.

Over the next few months, John and I will probably build off the success we had with the DD, improving access on mobile devices and throwing in a few more bells and whistles, but overall, not bad.

I have one more thread gloating as a Californian(!) about our elections here, but after that I am taking a good break. The Wisconsin recall has been a fun ride with a fantastic finale.

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posted by CAC at 10:00 AM

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