Wisconsin Archive:

Saturday, September 09, 2006

9/12 Primary Races Round-Up

Posted by James L.

So it's primary day this Tuesday, with elections being held in AZ, DC, DE, MD, MN, NH, NY, RI, VT, and WI. Here's a round-up of everything you should be keeping your eye on.

AZ-08 (Open, Kolbe): Boy, do I ever feel good about the Democratic chances in this district. Jim Kolbe, the district's Republican incumbent, is retiring. Kolbe, one of those elusive gay Republicans, cultivated a moderate reputation (whatever that means in the Republican Party these days), but received a slight scare in 2004 when conservative firebrand Randy Graf ran on a hard-right platform and scored 43% of the vote in the Republican primary of that year. That's a pretty impressive showing, given the traditional resource gap between a no-name challenger and an entrenched incumbent (admittedly, Graf's a state legislator, so he did start off with base of support). Now, Graf, an anti-immigration advocate, is leading the charge to clinch the Republican nomination for this open seat, and the most recent polling puts him ahead of primary opponent Steve Huffman (33-25, with 14% dispersed among three other minor candidates, and 29% undecided). However, Graf's in-your-face conservatism isn't exactly the best fit for a district that only tilts ever so slightly to the Republicans (Cook rates it as R+1.4), and the NRCC is in panic mode, spending $100k in a last-ditch effort to drag Huffman across the finish line. Clearly, we should be rooting for Graf in the primary if the NRCC is willing to spend coin to stop him. That said, even if Huffman is the winner, Hotline On Call notes that Huffman has plenty of weaknesses of his own:

But there are signs that Huffman is running a lackluster campaign. Despite a big fundraising advantage and Kolbe's endorsement, he remains down in polls. His treasurer was snooping around his challenger's ex-wife's home, prompting the Tucson Weekly to revoke their endorsement of him. And unlike ex-state Sen. Gabrielle Giffords (D) and Graf, he kept his seat in the legislature during the campaign - allowing the DCCC to hammer him for missing recent votes on border security.

Yikes. Things are looking pretty stressful for the Republicans if Huffman is the best they can come up with in this district. I can already see the negative ads in my head regarding his treasurer's bizarre antics.

The Democratic primary, on the other hand, is pitting two candidates who would either be strong or reasonably strong performers in the general election: ex-State Sen. Gabrielle Giffords and local TV anchor Patty Weiss. Giffords, though, leads Weiss 46-29 in the latest polling, and looks like the likely winner on Tuesday. Giffords is also the only Democrat in the current field who leads Huffman in a hypothetical general election match-up, by 42-39. Additionally, recent generic polling suggests that the district is leaning towards pulling the lever for the Democratic candidate this cycle, by a 50-46 margin. Between the nasty Republican primary pitting the NRCC against the local conservative base, a strong Democratic candidate, and an electorate that's beginning to tilt Democratic in the most recent polls, I'm expecting good things from AZ-08 in November.

MD-Sen (Open, Sarbanes): A whopper. A late August poll put Rep. Ben Cardin ahead of former NCAAP head Kweisi Mfume by a 43-30 margin in the Democratic primary to succeed retiring Sen. Paul Sarbanes, although other polls have shown a tighter contest over the past several months. However, the demographics of Maryland's Democratic electorate would seem to hold more favorables for Mfume than Cardin, at least on the surface. Still, Cardin has outraised Mfume by a wide margin, and has been putting up a far greater amount of resources on air time in this stretch run than Mfume can afford to spend. I'd be surprised if Mfume pulled off this upset.

MD-04 (Incumbent, Wynn): 2006 has seen a series of surprising primary elections where incumbents have been knocked off their perch--Lieberman, Joe Schwarz in Michigan, and Cynthia McKinney in Georgia. Can Donna Edwards make it four by knocking off entrenched Democratic incumbent Al Wynn? Edwards has made a strong case against Wynn, who has supported the Bush administration on several crucial votes, including the Bankruptcy Bill and the Iraq War. Lemme just chime in and say this: no Democrat has any business voting for the ass-backwards Bankruptcy Bill, but this especially applies to any Democrat who represents a district that delivered 70% of its vote to John Kerry in 2004, like Wynn's. The Club For Growth, even if their choice in candidates is often extremely questionable, has the right philosophy: use primary races in districts with deep partisan favorability to their cause, and push ideological purity there. An Al Wynn-style voting record may be a lot easier to stomach for, say, a Democrat representing a white-majority district in the South, but Maryland's fourth can do a lot better than Al Wynn. Edwards has been picking up momentum in recent weeks, with the impressive achievement of securing the Washington Post's endorsement. If she can't do it this time, Edwards will be well-placed to make an earlier, more well-funded challenge to Wynn in 2008.

MN-05 (Open, Sabo): I gotta say, I know next to nothing about this hotly-contested open D seat race in the Twin Cities region of Minnesota. The field is huge, but the big spenders and movers have been Keith Ellison, Mike Erlandson, and Ember Reichgott Junge. I would invite our resident MN commentators to give us the lowdown in the comments.

NH-01 (Incumbent, Bradley): This race isn't quite as sexy as NH-02, but there's still a glimmer of hope here. Cook rates this district as a highly competitive R+0.1, and Bush only edged Kerry by 2% here in 2004. One of the Democratic challengers, NH House Minority Leader Jim Craig, is credible, and holds at least some name recognition in the district. But first he'll have to get through a primary with Carol Shea-Porter, who has her share of supporters as well.

NY-11 (Open, Owens): The most recent polling I've seen in this open seat shows a dead heat between the four would-be Democratic successors to retiring incumbent Major Owens in this central Brooklyn district (and my home away from home): NYC Councilmembers Yvette Clark, David Yassky, State Sen. Carl Andrews, and Owens' son, Chris Owens. Yassky's had the best fundraising, but also the most controversy, with the other candidates criticizing Yassky for running in an African-American majority district. Looks like this one will go down to the wire.

NY-19 (Incumbent, Kelly): The Democratic field to take on incumbent Republican congresswoman Sue Kelly has been annoyingly huge, but it's been whittled down to four: ex-Republican attorney Judy Aydelott, school principal Ben Schuldiner, political hack Darren Rigger, and Orleans guitarist John Hall. Aydelott had the very early mo' in this district, but Hall's fundraising has really picked up steam, and the endorsements (including one from the NY Democratic Party) followed suit. Cook rates this district R+1.5, but the locals are hoping for some serious coattails from the Spitzer-Clinton bulldozer at the top of the ticket this year, as well as changing demographics as a result of NYC residents moving into the district for more affordable housing.

RI-Sen (Incumbent, Chafee): The big one! Depending on whether you choose to believe Rhode Island College or the National Republican Senatorial Committee, this primary race is either firmly in conservative challenger Steve Laffey's hands, or will be held safely by incumbent Republican Sen. Lincoln Chafee--both organizations put out wildly conflicting polls. The NRSC has made it clear that they're reading to cede the Rhode Island Senate seat to the Democrats if Laffey wins on Tuesday, so... well, you know who to root for.

RI-02 (Incumbent, Langevin): I don't have much to say about this one, but Jennifer Lawless has been running a primary challenge against Rep. Jim Langevin from the left. Langevin, in my estimation, is a pretty decent Rep, aside from his pro-life/anti-choice record. Lawless has gone so far as to say that Langevin Equals Lieberman, but given Langevin's opposition to the Iraq War, I don't think that passes the sniff test. So whatever.

WI-08 (Open, Green): No question about it: this is a Republican district. Bush scored nearly 55% of the vote against Kerry's 44% in 2004, yet Democrats are smelling an opportunity this year. Indeed, the most recent RT Strategies/Constituent Dynamics poll has the generic Democrat edging the generic Republican by 48-44 in this open seat race. The DCCC has gone up on the air to soften up likely Republican nominee John Gard's numbers, while the NRCC has done the same against physician Steve Kagen, the big spender in the Democratic primary race (he's put up over $1m of his own funds into this race, the last time I checked). Kagen's primary opponents, former Brown County Executive and De Pere mayor Nancy Nusbaum and business consultant Jamie Wall, have also raised impressive amounts for a crowded field, but Kagen's deep pockets has put the local Republicans on edge. If the NRCC is committing resources to defend this seat, the 2006 field is favorable indeed for Democrats.

Posted at 09:02 PM in 2006 Elections, Arizona, Maryland, Minnesota, New Hampshire, New York, Rhode Island, Wisconsin | Comments (18) | TrackBack (0) | Technorati

Wednesday, January 18, 2006

WI-08: NRCC Picks a Candidate

Posted by DavidNYC

The current rep of WI-08, Republican Mark Green, is running for Governor. The district went for Bush 55-44, which means a Dem could possibly win there, especially since it's an open seat. Mindful of that - and Wisconsin's late primary date, in September - the NRCC has decided to get involved on the GOP side. It's unusual for groups like the NRCC, DCCC, etc. to take sides in contested primaries, but sometimes they do.

In any event, they've tapped WI Assembly Speaker John Gard. Gard's opponent, state Rep. Terri McCormick, is obviously pissed and may yet cause trouble. On our side, we've got three people running: Wealthy self-funding doctor Steve Kagen, Ex-GOPer Nancy Nussbaum, and Jamie Wall, an economic development director for current Dem Gov. Jim Doyle.

A contested primary has both positive and negative aspects. However, I think the negatives can start to outweigh the positives in situations where a) the primary is very late and b) one side doesn't have a primary. If the Dem primary is expensive (which it may well become, especially with Kagen's presence), the short turn-around time may leave Dems short of cash in the final stretch run. I'm not suggesting the DCCC follow the NRCC's lead here, but if this is looking like a top-tier pickup opportunity, they should keep some cash stashed away to be deployed after the primary.

Posted at 02:54 PM in 2006 Elections - House, Wisconsin | Comments (3) | TrackBack (0) | Technorati

Tuesday, October 11, 2005

WI-Gov: Doyle (D) with a Hefty Lead

Posted by DavidNYC

Earlier, we relayed some news from Josh Marshall about the stink of Abramoffian corruption bleeding into the campaign of Rep. Mark Green, candidate for Wisconsin governor. Today comes some good news for Jim Doyle, the Democratic incumbent. Take a look at this new poll from the Wisconsin Policy Research Institute (adults, no trendlines):

Doyle: 46
Green: 33
Undecided: 21
(MoE: ±5%)

This is a marked contrast to the Zogby Patented Happy Fun-Tymes Poll (TM), which had Green ahead 46-44. Whatever. (WPRI also shows Doyle swamping another GOP hopeful, Milwaukee County Executive Scott Walker, 50-31.)

However, it's not all roses for Doyle. For one, Green appears to have low name recognition - though the internals maddeningly conflate "neutral opinion" with "don't know." I am sure Green's D/K is not 61% - I'd bet it's more like 30 to 40%. On the flipside, Doyle's favorables aren't very good - he's at 46-38, though apparently the 46% mark is the best of his career (PDF), according to the WPRI.

With 21% undecideds, and Green's name rec poised only to grow, I think there's a lot of room for this race to gyrate. I don't know how serious the Green-Walker primary battle is, but these sorts of things usually tend to give challengers more exposure. On the flipside, the primary in WI is very, very late - September of '06, so if it's a hard-fought battle, the eventual victor will have precious little time to change gears and wade into battle with Doyle.

The one odd thing about this poll is that it surveyed just adults - not registered (or likely) voters. I don't know what that tends to do with results, but I'd guess that people who are less politically inclined are probably more likely to support incumbents by default, simply by virtue of their greater name recognition. So it may mean that this poll tilts a little bit toward Doyle. Thoughts from those with insight on this detail would be greatly appreciated.

(Via jj32.)

Posted at 02:58 PM in 2006 Elections - State, Wisconsin | Comments (5) | TrackBack (0) | Technorati

WI-Gov: GOP Campaign Manager on Abramoff Gravy Train

Posted by DavidNYC

Go read Josh Marshall for the complete take on this one. But here's the capsule summary:

Rep. Mark Green (R-WI, and not to be confused with the long-time New York politician of the same name) is running for governor in Wisconsin. It turns out that Green's campaign manager, one Mark Graul, has long been on Jack Abramoff's sleazy gravy train, repeatedly begging like a little kid for basketball tickets. (To see the Wizards? Man, this guy must have had no life.) To compound his sin, Graul has attempted a non-denial denial of his connections to Abramoff.

The upshot: The details of this relationship are publicly known because of Team Abramoff e-mails. If Eliot Spitzer has taught us anything, it's that e-mail will screw you every time. Good luck there, buddy.

So, two observations:

1) The obvious one: A schmendrick like Graul only gets luxury box tickets from a Republican bag man like Abramoff because he's perceived to have influence with his boss, Green. The odds that Green himself is not similarly tainted are, in my opinion, as low as Crazy Eddie's insane prices. Either way, incumbent Dem Governor Jim Doyle needs to make an issue out of this, big-time.

2) Speaking of which: The Republican culture of corruption is so deep, so wide, and so entrenched that almost every Democrat running for any office in any part of the country can and should - nay, must - push this issue and push it hard. People hate getting ripped off by the government, and that's exactly what the GOP's been up to for the past five years. We need to be totally unafraid in making this our national platform. If a few corrupt Democrats go down because of this, so be it - far, far more Republicans will pay the price.

Posted at 12:52 AM in 2006 Elections - State, Culture of Corruption, Wisconsin | TrackBack (0) | Technorati

Monday, April 04, 2005

Feingold raising money

Posted by Bob Brigham

Associated Press:

WASHINGTON - U.S. Sen. Russ Feingold, whose name has become synonymous with campaign finance reform, is raising both his profile and thousands of dollars with his new leadership political action committee.

Feingold, D-Wis., is using the PAC to fund political travel, like his high-profile trip to Alabama last week, and to make contributions to fellow Democrats as he tries to help the party regain the Senate next year.

The PAC, the Progressive Patriots Fund, is also likely to pay political dividends for Feingold, especially if he decides to run for president in 2008, as some are urging him to do. The travel is getting him exposure among voters and media outside Wisconsin, and the PAC's contributions will earn him gratitude from influential Democrats.

"After the election, I got a tremendous amount of input from people saying, 'How do we turn this thing around in the Senate, the House and the presidency,' and asking me to help," Feingold said in a telephone interview. "So this is an opportunity where you can have a fund that allows you to do that sort of thing."

I took a look at Feingold's first blog post and Tim has gone in-depth here and here. We will be following the 2008 Presidential Election with info on Democratic nomination and Republican nomination.

Posted at 03:04 PM in 2008 Election - President, 2008 President - Democrats, Wisconsin | Comments (1) | Technorati

Tuesday, March 29, 2005

Russ Feingold, Alabama kiss and make up

Posted by Bob Brigham

Feingold made up with Greenville.

Tim has more on Feingold for President, 2008.

Posted at 10:51 PM in 2008 Election - President, 2008 President - Democrats, Alabama, Wisconsin | Comments (2) | Technorati

Thursday, March 10, 2005

Senator Feingold

Posted by Bob Brigham

As featured on CNN's Inside Politics, Senator Russ Feingold posted on MyDD today.

Senator Feingold cross-posted on DailyKos, I especially like what he wrote in his Tip Jar comment (yes, he had a Tip Jar comment):


to everyone who has taken time out today to read my first blog and post a message. It is a great experience to enter into this new avenue of democracy. I think there are some excellent points being made on both mydd and dailykos.

Today, I have been splitting my time between the floor debate and votes on the (horrible) Bankruptcy Bill and an all day Budget Committee mark-up on the (irresponsible) 2006 Budget Resolution, so I will not be able to respond to each comment. But I have been trying to keep up with the messages posted today in response to my diary. I am grateful for all the thoughtful responses ranging from the proper use of toasters to some serious constitutional questions.

In particular, I think the discussion about the definition of "blogger" is particularly interesting. It is really helpful to me to read the comments of people who know a lot more than I do about blogging. I value the input.

As a senator from Wisconsin, I visit each one of Wisconsin's 72 counties every year and hold a town hall meeting or "Listening Session." I've done over 800 of them up to now, and this has been a great help in my work. I hope this discussion today will be the beginning of another way for me to listen to people's views and do my best to be an effective U.S. Senator.

I can assure everyone that while this may have been my first endeavor into the blogging community, it will not be my last. Again, thanks for your views.

I tipped him. But he already had Trusted User Status...

The post-modern era is flourishing.

Posted at 05:28 PM in 2008 Election - President, 2008 President - Democrats, Netroots, Wisconsin | Technorati

Tuesday, February 08, 2005

Senator Feingold Interview

Posted by Tim Tagaris

Is done...

Well, it turns out that I am second-to-last blogger to ask a question; chances are anything I have thought out will have been covered at that point. That's fine--I am just happy to be there. So. . .

Put your questions/comments in this entry. I will keep the screen open while the Q&A is going on, crossing off questions as we move along. If something is left by my turn, I will fire it out there.

Also, feel free to trackback people from your sites--I will do my best to blog the exchange as it happens, just like we did with Donnie Fowler's interview.

Overview: The first question I asked was about veterans and "supporting the troops." I got so pissed while thinking about 250,000 vets a year waiting in line for care, people I know personally who have died in Iraq, and Republicans waving their purple fingers at the SOTU, that I stuttered and stammered through the whole question.

The second question I asked was about the Senator's quote in the Milwaukee Journal Sentinel:

"If at some point people say, 'Hey, we think you ought to run for president' (and) it's a serious thing, I'm going to listen. I would only run if I honestly believed that I was the guy that really could win, that I was the person who was the best candidate to run"

That one, I managed to get out without making myself sound like a smitten fifth grader. Extended entry...

5:52 P.M.

I am about to call in right now. I am a bit frustrated because on Tuesday night where I work--there is Irish dancing classes that go on upstairs. It sounds like a train is running through the building. I hope the conference is taken on mute for all callers, otherwise I will have to go outside to my car and take the call. If that happens, I will post a full update when its over.

6:02 P.M.

Gotta take the call outside. Will update when it's over. Sorry folks.

7:05 P.M. (Recap)

Right off the bat we got into 2008. Markos asked about other potential candidates for president wooing Washington insiders to bolster future runs.

The Senator countered with a refrain he repeated throughout the Q&A. Locking down insiders right now is a losing strategy. We don't even know what the world is going to look like in two years and it would almost be irresponsible (my word) to make a decision on 2008 right now, and start agressively moving towards it.

I gotta be honest--I had to take the conversation in my car (not running), so I was freezing and not able to take many notes. However, I think detailing the following is important:

He acknowledged a battle for the soul of the Democratic Party is taking place. He stressed that if there is a WINNER of that battle, and we divide ourselves in the process, the party is in trouble. I agree, sort of...

In my mind, Tim Roemer has little place in the future of "my" Democratic Party. See Mercatus. Congressmen like Martin Frost who run television ads claiming their Republican opponent isn't Republican enough. . . Umm, not palatable to me either. I understand that in some areas of the country you gotta do what you gotta do to win. But there is a line where personal principles have gotta come to the fore--and "Who supported President Bush?" "Speaker Hastert, and Martin Frost" "Kay Hutchinson and Martin Frost." Umm, no thanks.

But I think what most of SSP readers want to know is whether or not we got any clues as to whether or not Feingold is running in 2008. I came away from the interview unsure. It is obvious that he is seriously thinking about; waiting to see how things play out in D.C. and across the country before comitting to anything.

Were it Final Jeopardy, I would guess that he will be the progressive option on the ballot in Iowa, New Hampshire, or whatever states come first in the next cycle.

At the end of the interview, Chris Bowers asked him whether or not he was aware that in most online polls for 2008, he leads--almost exclusively.

Hopefully that translates at some point into him realizing that people are saying, "Hey, we think you ought to run for president."

Cause he "oughta."


Posted at 03:00 PM in 2008 Election - President, 2008 President - Democrats, Activism, General, Wisconsin | Technorati

Sunday, January 30, 2005

Is Feingold the "Best Candidate to Win?"

Posted by Tim Tagaris

With almost four years to go until the next presidential election, I don’t know the answer to that. Apparently, neither does Senator Russ Feingold; but he is traveling the country to figure it out.

One of President Bush's most vocal opponents in the Senate is weighing a 2008 run for the presidency.

U.S. Sen. Russ Feingold, D-Wis., told the Tiger Bay Club of Volusia County on Friday that he'll decide whether to run after "going around the country" working to return a Democrat to the White House.

Let's assume for a moment that the 2008 primary process will be the same. As a Midwesterner, Feingold would seem to be in good position to place well in the caucuses. He would probably even do better in New Hampshire a state that often favors the non-establishment "maverick-type" candidates. Chris Bowers spoke last month about Feingold's perception as an outsider:

Feingold is in an odd position. Even though he has won three terms in the US Senate, he actually is still known as a "reformer" and an "outsider," due in no small part to the constant repetition of the "McCain-Feingold" legislation in the national media.

I agree. The label of outsider is a well-deserved one for Feingold, and for more than just his role in the McCain/Feingold Campaign Finance Reform legislation.

As most people know by now, Senator Feingold was the lone voice of opposition to the USA PATRIOT Act. In his dissent a mere weeks after the unpopular vote (at the time), Feingold cited respect for the Constitution and protecting Arab Americans. He continued in the same speech:

The Founders who wrote our Constitution and Bill of Rights exercised that vigilance even though they had recently fought and won the Revolutionary War. They did not live in comfortable and easy times of hypothetical enemies. They wrote a Constitution of limited powers and an explicit Bill of Rights to protect liberty in times of war, as well as in times of peace.

There have been periods in our nation’s history when civil liberties have taken a back seat to what appeared at the time to be the legitimate exigencies of war.

Our national consciousness still bears the stain and the scars of those events: The Alien and Sedition Acts, the suspension of habeas corpus during the Civil War, the internment of Japanese-Americans, German-Americans, and Italian-Americans during World War II, the blacklisting of supposed communist sympathizers during the McCarthy era, and the surveillance and harassment of antiwar protesters, including Dr. Martin Luther King Jr., during the Vietnam War. We must not allow these pieces of our past to become prologue.

It's the "straight talk express" v.2.0. In my mind, that is the most appealing aspect to a potential Feingold candidacy. His matter-of-fact style of speaking and positions on the issues is one that has the potential to cross over to the other side of the aisle. For the same reasons John McCain is popular, Russ Feingold would be equally as popular. What is ironic about that, is that while McCain truly is a bit of a moderate, Feingold actually represents to the positions pretty left on the political spectrum.

Image Hosted by ImageShack.us

How will this go over in the conservative South? I don't think very well; quite frankly, I think we win in the Midwest and West. Either way, Feingold is taking his show on the road, his first stop, "playing golf" in Alabama.

"On Nov. 2, I was fortunate enough to be elected by the people of Wisconsin to a third term in the U.S. Senate. Right after the election, I confess I immediately went looking for a warm place to golf. So I piled into a van with some friends in Milwaukee and drove from Wisconsin to Alabama."

Suffice to say, not everyone believes that the good Senator from Wisconsin traveled by van across the country to brush up on his short game.

Keep a lookout for Sen. Russ Feingold , the second half of the McCain-Feingold campaign finance duo, who just won a third term from Wisconsin voters. He's on a nationwide mission to test out his progressive message that's liberal on some issues, like universal healthcare, and conservative on others, like the deficit.

Fans think he can bridge the blue-state-red-state divide, making him not just a voice for a changing Democratic Party but a possible '08 presidential candidate. He's not the only one: Republicans are keeping an eye on Massachusetts Gov. Mitt Romney , who's on his own message tour.

So now the speculation is over--the Senator is the first candidate officially testing the waters for 2008. But can he win? First of all, we know that he will do quite well in the Midwest.

In Wisconsin, Feingold received more total votes than John Kerry, crushing his opponent in a state John Kerry carried by the slimmest of margins - 50% to 49%

2004 US Senate Results for Wisconsin:

Russ D. Feingold (D) 1,632,562 55%
Tim Michels (R) 1,301,305 44%
Other 14,977 1%

No question about it, Feingold has some serious support in the netroots/grassroots as well.

Whether it is was MyDD poll that had Feingold clearly leading the way before an orchestrated "freeping" by General Clark fans -- or an ever growing Feingold for President Yahoo Group -- there is a growing buzz.

But the grassroots is one thing, national support on a ballot is another. So far, "mainstream" America has not caught Feingold fever. An Ipsos-Public Affairs poll (Dec. 17-19, 2004. Nationwide) had Feingold placed 7th, with a mere 1% of the vote. Even the popular tradesports.com has listed Feingold as a potential candidate, but he isn't getting much love there either.

It's early, but the question is officially on the table: "Is Feingold the best candidate to win?"

For more on Senator Russ Feingold:

US Senate Website

Feingold on the Issues

2004 US Senate Campaign Site

Posted at 04:14 PM in 2008 Election - President, 2008 President - Democrats, 2008 President - Democrats, Wisconsin | Comments (3) | Technorati

Wednesday, September 15, 2004

Two More Gallup Polls (MI & WI)

Posted by DavidNYC

Gallup hits two midwestern states. First up, Michigan (registered voters, no trendlines):

Kerry: 50
Bush: 43
Other/Undecided: 7
(MoE: ��4%)

Nader gets a point here, in case you were curious. Gallup's notoriously right-leaning likely voter model doesn't help Bush much here - with LVs, it's 50-44. The jerky boys at CNN think that a six-point gap with a four-point MoE means the race is "too close to call." Time for some basic math lessons (though virtually all the media is guilty of this flawed reasoning).

And here's a bit of welcome turn of events: RVs oppose Michigan's gay marriage-banning amendment by a margin of 51-44. I have no idea if either side has done any advertising on this issue, so this figure may jump around a bit by Nov. 2nd.

It's a good news-bad news set of polls, so now I'm gonna give you the bad news, in the form of Wisconsin (registered voters, late August in parens):

Kerry: 45 (49)
Bush: 50 (46)
Other/Undecided: 5 (5)
(MoE: ��4%)

I never base my beliefs about where a state will head on a single poll - but an eight-point swing kinda sucks. As we get further and further from the RNC, I'm less inclined to believe in any kind of bounce, especially since national polling hasn't shown much of one. The conventional wisdom says that WI and IA are our two most vulnerable blue states, and this poll certainly doesn't seem to disprove that.

So what happens if we lose WI? Well, assuming nothing else changes, Florida would rescue us, and Ohio would also, just barely - we'd get 270 EVs on the nose that way. If we lose both WI & IA and win FL... then we're again back to 270. This analysis excludes NH, which most observers believe will turn blue this year. An unlikely but possible way to win without WI & IA would be to take NH, NV and OH, for a landslide win with a whopping 272 EVs. I'll take it.

Posted at 12:12 AM in Michigan, Wisconsin | Comments (20) | Technorati

Monday, July 19, 2004

ARG: Kerry Up in FL & WI

Posted by DavidNYC

Florida (likely voters, June in parens):

Kerry: 49 (48)
Bush: 45 (46)
Undecided: 6 (unavail.)
(MoE: ��4%)

Bush's favorability: 44-46. Kerry: 51-44. I have to say, it looks like Bush has done a pretty good job driving up Kerry's unfaves here, given that down in Florida six months ago, he was probably just some little-known Senator. On the flip-side, if we pick up Florida, Bush would still lose even if he won Oregon and Wisconsin. (I can't imagine him winning PA if we win FL.)

Wisconsin (likely voters):

Kerry: 49
Bush: 44
Undecided: 7
(MoE: ��4%)

ARG doesn't bother to archive their old poll results, so I'm unable to find directly comparable trendlines. With Nader included, Kerry leads 48-42, with Ralph at 4. In March, Kerry led 46-43-4. Bush led among independents in March, 43-42, but now Kerry has a 45-39 advantage. Bush's favorability is at 47-46 (54% unfavorable in March), while Kerry is at 51-43 (43-26 in March). And for kicks: St. Ralph has a 70% unfave rating.

It's a bit hard to keep up with what has now become a weekly flood of polls, especially when you go away for the weekend. Taegan Goddard has helpfully posted links to several new ones here. And also via Taegan, a bit of rather good news that adds further confirmation to some legit CW: A Republican polling outfit released a memo predicting that undecided voters will break for Kerry.

Posted at 02:04 AM in Florida, Wisconsin | Comments (6) | Technorati

Thursday, July 08, 2004

Bush Lead Narrows Sharply in Wisconsin

Posted by DavidNYC

In April, the University of Wisconsin did a poll which showed results that most of us could scarcely believe. In March, they had Bush with a six-point lead, but in that April poll, that lead widened to an astounding 50-38. So, a bit of good news: Bush is now down to a four-point lead according to a new poll, conducted in June, pre-Edwards, of course (April trendlines in parens):

Kerry: 42 (38)
Bush: 46 (50)
Nader: 5 (6)
Undecided: 5 (4)
(MoE: ��4%)

I don't like including Nader any longer, but if the polling organizations keep including him, then I feel that I have to as well, for accuracy's sake. Most of the other numbers aren't much changed since March (the last time this outfit asked this particular question). Bush's favorability rating still seems fairly high: 52-42.

But his re-elect numbers got worse - in fact, they reached their worst point yet. When respondents were asked if they'd like to see Bush given a second term, or if they'd prefer to see "someone else," 43% said re-elect and 51% said don't re-elect. In April, those numbers stood at 48-47. (And in the less-anomalous March poll, they were 45-50.) So what this says to me is that some 9% of voters - the difference between the 42% Kerry gets in the horserace and the 51% opposing Bush's re-election - are ready to be pursuaded. That gives me at least some confidence that we can hold on to the Badger State.

Posted at 06:08 PM in Wisconsin | Comments (9) | Technorati

Thursday, June 10, 2004

LAT Polls Three Swing States: MO, OH, WI

Posted by DavidNYC

As part of a larger national poll, the LA Times also ran polls in three swing states: Missouri, Ohio & Wisconsin.


Kerry: 37
Bush: 48
Nader: 5
Unsure: 10

Kerry: 42
Bush: 48
Unsure: 10


Kerry: 45
Bush: 42
Nader: 4
Unsure: 9

Kerry: 46
Bush: 45
Unsure: 9


Kerry: 42
Bush: 44
Nader: 4
Unsure: 10

Kerry: 44
Bush: 44
Unsure: 11
Other (vol.): 1

(MoE for all polls: ��4%)

The MO result is pretty disheartening - but of course, we don't need it to win. On the flipside, we can't afford to concede it, either. If we do that, then the Bushies can pour that money into Ohio instead.

(Thanks to mattb25.)

UPDATE: I added in the polling numbers without Nader. Kerry looks a lot better in MO - indeed, five points better - without Nader in the mix.

Posted at 01:34 AM in Missouri, Ohio, Wisconsin | Comments (13) | Technorati

Friday, January 16, 2004


Posted by DavidNYC

At long last, I'm back. Exams were hell, but winter break was relaxing... though it was far too short. In any event, I promised a state run-down, so here's the Badger State:

Electoral Votes: 10 (11 in 2000)

2000 Results:

Gore: 47.83%
Bush: 47.61%
Nader: 3.62%
Buchanan: 0.44%

Like Michigan, Ohio and Pennsylvania - and a bunch of other eastern states - Wisconsin has also shed an electoral vote. (In fact, the only Gore state that's gained an EV is California.) Nonetheless, Wisconsin is still very important to us. And as you can see, the margin in 2000 was razor-thin: The spread was a mere 5,708 votes. There were so many ultra-close states last time that the narrowness of our victory in Wisconsin has been, in my opinion, a bit ignored. But people are beginning to focus on it now - or at least, so Bob Novak claims. (Via Kos.)

Despite the fact that Bush has made numerous visits to Michigan and Pennsylvania, Novak says the GOP is targeting Wisconsin and Minnesota as their best bets to switch to red this year. He doesn't give any particular reasons why, though I presumably the tightness of the 2000 race there is a big factor. (In that case, why not target Iowa as well, which went blue by a similarly narrow margin? I'm going to assume Rove is doing just that.) Obviously, a lot depends here on the Nader voters who could easily tip this race back to the Dems, albeit far from decisively. As I've said in an earlier post, I won't presume to know what these folks will do. But it goes without saying that I hope they come to our side.

Wisconsin's unemployment rate has eased a bit in recent months, down to 5.0% in November from a recent high of 5.9% in July (all figures seasonally adjusted). But, as Billmon and Krugman (among others) have observed, the lumber mill may not have re-hired Yon Yonson. Rather, he may have just quit looking for work. That is to say, the official unemployment rate only counts people who are actively searching for a new job. If you give up looking, ta-da, you are magically no longer counted among the ranks of the unemployed. (Krugman also thinks that a lot of people are who say they have jobs are only "marginally" employed.)

And the 3-year picture tells a familiar story: Unemployment when Bush took office was just 3.9%. In a very evenly divided state like Wisconsin, anti-incumbent resentment brought about by joblessness could well make a difference, especially if it brings otherwise apathetic voters to the polls, or better yet, convinces Republican voters to switch sides. Folkbum, a DKos regular and long-time Wisconsin resident, believes that the proverbial guys in pickup trucks might indeed be persuaded to vote Democrat. And if the rural areas of Wisconsin have been devastated in recent years the same way, say, they have been in Pennsylvania, this may be a bad omen for Bush.

A good sign for us is that Wisconsin just elected a new Democratic governor in 2002. The bad news is that Jim Doyle won with just 45% of the vote (former Gov. Tommy Thompson's brother split the vote by running on a third-party line), so I'm not sure how much of a trend, if anything, this represents. Doyle's approval rating is also in the doldrums - a December poll put it at just 42%. Wisconsin's legislature is Republican, but all of its statewide elected officials are Democrats. Speaking of which, Russell Feingold - a hero to many on the left for his strong stance on campaign finance reform - is up for re-election. While he may not be Paul Wellstone, I think his campaign could fire up the base a bit. And right now, apparently, his re-election prospects look pretty good: The University of Wisconsin's Badger Poll (PDF) gives Feingold a 50-30 re-elect.

Meanwhile, Bush's approval rating in Wisconsin ain't that hot. It doesn't stink as bad as the horsehead Paul O'Neill found in his bed the other morning, but it's not too pretty. The December Badger Poll (PDF) gives Bush a 52% approval rating (17% "excellent", 35% "good"), which is down considerably from his April high of 69%. The same poll says 46% want to see Bush re-elected vs. 47% who want someone else. I don't think you want to be under this particular Mendoza line, not in a state this evenly divided.

And with the electoral college overall so closely split, every state feels like its crucial. No, Wisconsin is not California. But those are 10 EVs we would have a tough time making up elsewhere. We're going to have to mobilize heavily in Wisconsin - manpower and money - in order to keep it.

Posted at 04:21 AM in Wisconsin | Comments (10) | Technorati

Tuesday, November 04, 2003

Up Next: Wisconsin

Posted by DavidNYC

Crossing Lake Michigan, we head to Wisconsin, another Dem swing state. Questions, comments and smart remarks greatly appreciated.

Posted at 06:48 PM in Wisconsin | Comments (6) | Technorati

Wisconsin Archive: