Friday, January 31, 2014

The Party "Extremes"


By Jeff Simpson

Its common knowledge now that Mary Burke's campaign strategy is to attempt to appeal to the  Obama/Walker voter.   After the dust up yesterday of Mary Burke skipping out on the appearance by President Obama, her friend Paul Fanlund put out an article, trying to justify this strategy.

Franklin generally agrees: “I think if you look at all of our data over two years now, you do find something in the ballpark of 10 percent that fall into this category of what you might call Walker-Obama voters, and I have looked at them in some detail.
“They’re much more likely to call themselves independents; they are much more likely to say they are moderate rather than either liberal or conservative. They’re considerably younger than the population as a whole. They pay less attention to politics and are, of course, less likely to be partisan.”
The problem that we come into with this is that they make the false assumption, that both sides are the same.  That the "far left" will play as poorly with the general public as the "far right".   That is a false assumption, and the fact that not only the media but all to often the democratic party feeds into that has been a major reason for the election beatings the last few years.

Let's take a look.   For the purposes of this article, I will look at what I consider to be the opposite ends of the spectrum - Republican Senator Glenn Grothman and Democratic Representative Chris Taylor.

Here is a list of  Glenn Grothman's bills:

Sponsoring a mandatory forced ultrasound before abortion,  A bill that prohibits non-existent sex selective abortion, and making it harder to vote. 

A sampling of Representative Chris Taylor's bills:

Healthy Women/Healthy Families Part 1 and 2 (AB 348, AB 349): Restores state funding
to the state’s family planning program and essential Medicaid services for uninsured and
low-income women and families across Wisconsin.
Let Them Drink Milk Initiative (AB 566): This bill restores funding for school milk
programs for low-income children.
Mercury Bill (AB 744): Establishes rebate programs for the return of thermostats and
compact florescent lightbulbs that contain mercury in order to reduce mercury pollution
in landfills and in lakes, rivers and streams.

Not seeming equal to me.  Let's now look, because with the wonders of youtube we can, at SB507:

 Section 1. 48.982 (2) (g) 2. of the statutes is amended to read:
2 48.982 (2) (g) 2. Promote statewide educational and public awareness
3campaigns and materials for the purpose of developing public awareness of the
4problems of child abuse and neglect. In promoting those campaigns and materials,
5the board shall emphasize nonmarital parenthood as a contributing factor to child
6abuse and neglect.
7Section 2. 48.982 (2) (g) 4. of the statutes is amended to read:
8 48.982 (2) (g) 4. Disseminate information about the problems of and methods
9of preventing child abuse and neglect to the public and to organizations concerned
10with those problems. In disseminating that information, the board shall emphasize
11nonmarital parenthood as a contributing factor to child abuse and neglect.
12Section 3. 48.982 (2) (gm) of the statutes is amended to read:
13 48.982 (2) (gm) Provide, for use by the board in its statewide projects under sub.
14(5) and for use by organizations that receive grants under subs. (4) and (6),
15educational and public awareness materials and programming that emphasize
16nonmarital parenthood as a contributing factor to child abuse and neglect and the
17role of fathers in the primary prevention of child abuse and neglect.
Glenn Grothmans(the author of the bill) view's:

Chris Taylor on SB 507:

Let's now look at a random video of each

Glenn Grothman pointing out how rough white males have it in America:

Representative Chris Taylor regarding the Republican legislative agenda:

Do you really think we can equate the "far left" with the "far right"?  Are the people of Wisconsin more aligned with Grothman or Taylor? Are there people in Wisconsin who say, I want to force ultrasounds on women and have corporations tell me how much BPA is in the plastic container I just bought?   Are there voters who say i want to make sure we crush the unions and allow minorities to vote, so I am torn on who to support? 

Is that the voter we need to reach?  want to reach? is reachable?

As Fanlund himself puts it:

 Whatever, Walker’s re-election fate will apparently hinge on the sort of political non-combatants reflected in Franklin’s polling. It has always seemed to me, I said to Franklin, that about 45 percent of Wisconsin voters adore Walker, another 45 percent loathe him, and those with much, much less passion get to decide his fate.

 So 90% of the people have their minds made up in terms of what side they are on leaving 10% apathetic.  The one thing no one addresses is that while 90% of the people have their mind made up, less than 50% of the people VOTE.

In Wisconsin we have (roughly) 5,700,000 people of which, approximately 2,500,000 people voted in the last gubernatorial election.   take into account that (roughly) 1,300,000 people are under 18, that leaves roughly 1,900,000 people who do not vote.  The ten percent(which is a very high guesstimate) of undecided's would equal approximately 570,000.  This still leaves over 1,300,000 people who represent a party and have not been motivated to move to the polls to fill in the line. (FYI for perspective - Tom Barrett lost the recall election by 171,106 votes). 

 Who amongst the do not vote category is more likely to turn up on election day?  Someone who identifies and likes a candidate or someone who has no idea whats happening in our day to day society?

Now let's break it down even further.    We know that there are more Democratic voters in Wisconsin than republicans. While Wisconsin is a purple state it definitely leans to the left of center.

Now let's go back to the Marquette Poll that everyone likes to use as a fact:

What issues are important to the people of WI?

Says Franklin of his latest poll: “Support for increasing the minimum wage, support for extending unemployment benefits, opposition to refusing Medicaid expansion. There’s quite a list of things that we polled on that show majorities that are typically Democratic sides of the issue.”
Last summer, Walker quietly signed into law a bill requiring women to have an ultrasound before an abortion, an action opposed by 56 percent to 38 percent in Marquette’s October poll.

Now let's sum it up.  There are more Democratic voters in Wisconsin than republican, the Core issues that matter most to Wisconsinites, are traditional Democratic strong hold issues and the current Democratic candidate for Governor is running as "anything but a rabid Democrat".

 Mary Burke is also losing ground fast

You do the math.  

More on this subject @ Political Heat


  1. Burke's decision to snub Obama during his visit to Wisconsin will be interpreted by many in the Black community as a big FU. We see again the idiocy of taking the base for granted while trying to appeal to voters who don't quite know what the hell is going on and are swung by volatile single issue politics.

    Warning: Voting blocks seen in your rear view mirror may appear larger than they actually are.

  2. Burke skipped out on Obama's visit!? That compounds the tragedy of Veinhout's accident.

  3. Jeff, have you asked your county board to put a minimum age referendum on the November ballot?

  4. The "dust up" was created by simple folks that have never run a state-wide campaign. Kathleen-pharmacists-can deny- women-contraceptive-coverage-Veinholt fanatics need to do some research.

    1. Vinehout fanatic? Try clear-eyed centrist who wants Burke to live up to her potential. It's a tired and immature strategy to avoid the President. A good strategist reads the present, foresees the future. Whoever is in charge over there blew it twice in a row - that anemic state of the state response and now the Waukesha visit. Making excuses, whitewashing the polling, and quashing dissent won't get the job done.

    2. Okay wide-eyed centrist: Kathleen Vinehout got 4% of the state-wide primary last time. She did not win her own county or Senate district. If you are so wide-eyed and you believe Kathleen can beat Mary and then Scott Walker. Start organizing a state-wide write-in campaign for her. Do something other than fantasize. Oh, wear your seatbelt.

    3. Never bought into the Vinehout candidacy from day one. Burke could be a terrific candidate and she is blowing it badly. It's not like we're going to get stuck with four more years of Thompson - this election has serious consequences for Wisconsin families. She needs to step up.

    4. >>>She needs to step up.<<<

      Not possible imo.
      Unless I miss my guess, she has already struck out. #swingingatpitchesinthedirt

    5. Hope you're wrong. But the fundraising differential between Burke and Walker is pretty lopsided thus far and will only become more so now. Who's going to give to a losing cause?

    6. How much of that "money advantage" cones from people who could actually vote for Walker in 2014? Answer: not that much.

      And there's your path to victory, if Burke and the DPW had the guys to say it....or if she'd dump millions of her own money in, like Mike Tate promised she would.

    7. I wonder if it's true that only 5.5% of his money is coming from out of state right now? If WSJ is correct about that then it really is different this time and doesn't bode well for Burke. I admit though I'm sceptical - there are so many ways to count up the donors and determine in-state v. out of state.

    8. Not even close with that concern trolling attempt. That 5.5% number is the amount of Walker's total contributions that came from 13 BILLIONAIRES for the 2012 recall election. Early figuring has the out-of-state contributions being at least $2.6 of that $5.1 million. Also, these people were maxing out before the end of the 2013 year, and can only repeat that $10,000 contribution once more in 2014.

      The WSJ may be in the tank for Walker(their headline today talks about fundraising and not the $86,000 for "legal compliance"), but the 5.5% number is pretty easy to figure out if you read the article.

  5. Jeff- I think you calculus is correct. It's like the DPW has learned nothing from Obama and Baldwin's victories, where they expanded the electorate with people WHO WANTED TO VOTE FOR THEM. The DPW and Burke are failing to make people fired up to vote for them, and especially in a midterm , that's a stupid strategy.

    I fully intend to ask Burke just that question at the Dane County Dems meeting on Feb. 12, because all I see right now is a repeat of the failing strategy that "advocate" thinks is the way to go.

  6. Good post.Typical Wisconsin journalism, right? In Fanlund's mind, he's giving cover to a centrist campaign when actually he's just defending a poorly managed campaign.

  7. I want Walker to be gone. We all need to unite behind Mary Burke.. Think----If Walker wins and we end up with a GOP controlled Senate and Assembly we are in for passage of all kinds of idiotic bills that WILL be signed into law. On the other hand if we get Mary Burke and a GOP controlled Senate and/or Assembly there is not much that Mary can accomplish. We then give it 2 years and see what develops . It is imperative that Scott Walker gets beat. It will be a tough uphill battle. (lowering tax rates is attractive to many voters) Mary Burke is our only hope for the state of Wisconsin and she will do a great job. Get behind Mary Burke. We need to build some momentum. That is very hard when many are picking OUR candidate apart.

    1. Right now there are only three ways to express feedback on the Burke campaign: 1) Comment on Democratic blogs and ask the tough questions at events, 2) withhold donations, 3) hold off volunteering. With no primary there's no real a-ha moment until election night. Does that sound like the right time to examine and adjust?

    2. lol John Edwards for President!!!

  8. I think we need to forget about how good a campaign our candidate is running or even how good a governor she will be. Remember this----Mary will be a great Governor compared to Scott Walker.

    1. I guess that works if you believe there's no correlation between good campaign strategy and winning the election. Probably not, though, right?

    2. I'd rather increase the chances of Walker losing the election. And Burke and the DPW aren't doing things that increase those chances.

      So yes, I will criticize and demand the candidate (WHOEVER IT IS) do better than what we've been seeing the last 3 months from Burke and Tate. If you don't get that, you need to step aside until you do get it

  9. Take a few minutes and encourage your county board to put a minimum wage referendum on the November ballot. It is a great way to encourage people who do not always vote to vote. Rachel Maddow had a great segment on the power of the minimum wage last night.

  10. By the way, where is Burke's website? I couldn't find anything except a site paid for by Republicans to attack her.

    1. You mean her media outreach people haven't reached out to prominent bloggers?

    2. Im not sure, I dont know any.

      Bill its here -

  11. Nice change of direction this morning on the minimum wage.