Sunday, June 26, 2016

Vos argues WisGOP/ALEC way on K-12 schools is working. FAILS

Apparently Thursday's press release from Dems, which used an LFB analysis to show that voucher schools are stealing from K-12 public schools and grabbing increasing amounts of state taxpayer dollars, has left a mark. I summarized those findings in this blog post, and found that post getting retweeted over 30 times, and nearly 900 pageviews in the 48 hours since, which means some people must be nodding their heads with the conclusions (I just throw stuff up the flagpole here, I have no control over whether people notice or care).

It's also telling that the voucher lobby and Assembly Speaker Robbin' Vos (R-ALEC) felt a need to respond within a day of that Dem release on voucher schools. There must be serious concern in their polling that people have caught onto the scam that voucher schools are, because they wouldn't make such a big effort pushing back if they felt their position was solid and/or believed by the general voter. Let's break down what appeared in Robbin's Friday release, which he titled "The Spin Facts on School Funding," see where his claims come from, and whether they add up.
Funding for public education is the largest general fund area making up 45 percent of the Wisconsin state budget. Republicans allocated nearly $10.6 billion for K-12 education over two years, according to the Legislative Fiscal Bureau (LFB) budget analysis. This investment is larger than the amount Democrats put toward public schools when they were in the majority during the 2009-11 budget cycle.
The claim is technically true (watch for this rating to show up on Wisconsin Politi-"fact"), as we do spend $158 million more in this budget from GPR for public schools vs 2009-2011 under GPR (state taxpayer) aids. But Vos conveniently leaves out that 2009-11 was a budget drastically affected by Bush's Great Recession, and practically all areas of the budget had to take cuts as more people were out of work and the state lacked revenues as a result.

He also leaves out that this is a paltry 1.52% increase over 6 years, and that's in total dollars. When you adjust for inflation, we're spending less today (and Robbin, I'm being generous here, as I'm not assuming any inflation between 2015 and 2017). I'm using the combined amounts of regular K-12, High Poverty, and Categorical aids to come up with these numbers.

2009-11 Public school aid in 2015 dollars $10.995 billion
2015-17 Public school aid in 2015 dollars $10.553 billion

So that's over $400 million LESS going to public schools in this budget if you adjust for inflation, despite there being more resources available due to the growth of the Obama Economy over that time. In addition, even if you adjust for the slightly lower enrollments in public schools (most of which is due to the expansion of vouchers over that time), it's still a drop in aid of around $215 per student today vs 2009-11.

Robbin' also tries to argue that "we're spending a lot of money so get off our WisGOP backs." Also note the tired (and disproven) quote that vouchers improve choices and quality of K-12 education, despite 25 years of evidence in Wisconsin that it has not.
“Over the next decade, LFB estimates spending on public schools will top $94 billion while the funding level for school choice will equal less than 1 percent of K-12 education spending over the next decade,” said Speaker Vos. “We are committed to providing the best possible education to every child regardless of where they live or where they choose to attend school.”
This is a classic case of mixing and matching when spinning figures. $94 billion over the next 10 years for K-12 education would be a massive increase from today, but it also uses all sources of funding (GPR and otherwise) for all types of schools (including vouchers) That's not what last week's memo discussed, as it was limited to GPR funding for K-12 public schools. And projecting any future expenses for education is a sham because any legislature can change those figures on the spot, including the funneling mechanism that gives taxpayer dollars to the GOP campaign contributors that run voucher schools.

This is pathetic spin by Robbin' Vos, and it doesn't work when you look into the figures for more than 5 minutes. Strike one. Let's see what else the Speaker tries to argu.
The cost to educate a choice student in this budget (LFB weighted average) is $7,353. The average per pupil spending for public students is more than $13,000, which is higher than the national average. In addition, LFB has found that if the choice program didn’t exist, most public schools would get less state support.
More RW BS of mixing and matching stats to make an argument. When discussing cost of education, it leaves out that private schools also have funding sources beyond state aid, just like public school do. This includes donations and tuition from non-voucher students, but does Robbin' actually produce a stat which shows TOTAL COSTS OF EDUCATION for a voucher school, not just the payment by the state? Of course he doesn't! In fact, I'm not sure one even needs to be reported by voucher schools, which seems pretty amazing given that taxpayers are funding these schools like public schools, and should therefore get the same level of accountability as public school spending.

Also not mentioned is the fact that much of that private school tuition for non-voucher students can now be written off on the parent's taxes, and both the voucher payment and the tax write-off enables private schools to raise tuition to a higher level than the market would otherwise indicate. Strike two, Robbin'. What else you got?
By looking at just a few basic standards from the Department of Public Instruction, it’s clear Wisconsin has excellent schools that provide a quality education to students around the state. In 2015, reading scores for 4th and 8th graders went up. Plus, the state’s graduation rates are above the national average.
The reading score stat is nice overall, but leaves out that within that same test, Wisconsin has the worst gap in the nation between black and white students. This is something voucher schools were supposed to diminish in Milwaukee through "competition", and instead the gaps have become worse and more disgraceful over time.

In addition, having "above-average" graduation rates is something Wisconsin has had for years, mostly because of the state's previously-strong investment in public education. In fact, since DPI changed its measurements in 2004, Wisconsin's graduation rates have been among the best in the best in the nation. This was true before the Age of Fitzwalkerstan began in 2011, and last year's figures actually signal a decline from previous years (click here to see many of these measurements).

Wisconsin HS graduation rate
2004-05 88.8%
2008-09 89.0%
2010-11 90.5%
2012-13 92.1%
2014-15 88.8%

Now 88.8% is still pretty good, and a testament to the foundation of strong schools that we had before then. But there is no proof to Vos's assertion that the increase in voucher schools under GOP policy has helped the performance of Wisconsin's K-12 education, and if anything, things are worse now than when the WisGOPs came to power 5 years ago. Strike three Robbin', now get the fuck out!

This attempted spin to justify vouchers leads to this question. What was so messed up in Wisconsin schools that Vos and the rest of the ALEC crew decided to screw it up? Here's what the ALEC boys thought was screwed up- public school unions tended to back Dems, and voucher schools tend to give money to Republicans. So Vos and the ALEC crew decided to use our taxpayer dollars to funnel money to their financial backers, and then they try to cherry-pick stats and make up ideological reasons to keep the scam going. It was all a political move (as was Act 10) and it used the state treasury to kick back rewards to their allies.

The ALEC crew in the Capitol is not interested at all in improving K-12 education, or in increasing the investment in public education, and they don't care that past, current and future de-investment hampers our communities and economic competitiveness. Don't believe any whiny WisGOP press releases that come out over the next 4 months that try to claim otherwise.

Friday, June 24, 2016

Brexit- RUN TO THE HILLS!

The day after Great Britain shocked the world by agreeing to Brexit the EU, and after seeing the Dow Jones drop 611 points (with overseas markets doing even worse) this seems like an appropriate tune.



I mostly jest. No, this won't go well for the UK as they have to adjust their policies and government (with Cameron resigning and Labour's leader also likely to be gone), and also they'll have to likely adjust to Scotland and N. Ireland leaving the union (which makes sense, both places voted to stay in the EU and they can likely do so as separate countries). But if there's a country that can probably separate itself from the EU and stay reasonably afloat, it's the UK, even if the London financial markets get their asses kicked for a while.

But there's a bigger lesson to be learned, and it applies here in America. Lots of people are living their economic lives close to the edge, or over the edge, and they don't see where it's going to get better as things currently exist. And they're not going to trust some connected elite like Tony Blair to tell them a corporate-based, internationalist free-trade economy is a good thing (and frankly with good reason, because it hasn't been good for most people). The status quo is not being accepted by many, and if people are not given tangible, legitimate reasons to back it, or to reject the alternative, they're more than willing to give in to racism, xenophobia, and nostalgia, and vote in very bad ways. And more than a few people are willing to "blow shit up", because the current system is failing anyway, so perhaps something good can come from the ashes.

Sorry DNC, but Third Way corporatism and a smug attitude of "Well, you're not going to vote for DRUMPF" isn't going to be enough in 2016. People are tired of having smoke blown up their asses, and they will vote for something they can see and feel, even if it's counterproductive to their lives and their country. You have to say WHY something is good or unacceptably bad, because whether we like it or not, fear-mongering alone isn't enough to win for the thinking political parties these days, especially if you live in mostly-white, blue-collar places (aka- much of Wisconsin).

Thursday, June 23, 2016

New figures confirm how voucher schools have stolen from public ones

Not that we didn’t already know that Walker/WisGOP policies on K-12 education in Wisconsin show a preference for voucher schools over public ones, but we now have new data which gives numbers behind that favoritism. These figures show that not only are public schools being shortchanged in state aid, but that those funds aren’t being saved, and instead increasing amounts of money are being sent to unaccountable voucher schools.

State Sen. Janet Bewley asked the Legislative Fiscal Bureau for figures comparing the 2010-11 budget on K-12 education (the year before Walker and WisGOP came to power) and the budget for the soon-to-be completed 2015-16 fiscal year. These figures were split up between the aids to K-12 public schools, and to vouchers, and then total public school enrollments were used to determine the aid per student (the per-student aid for vouchers is set by statute).

Here’s what we found, and I’ll add that I’m projecting 2015-16 All Public School aids by using the budgeted amount of $751.75 million for categorical aids (the actual expense will likely be less).

General K-12 Public School Aids per Student
2010-11 $5,318
2015-16 $5,108 (-$210)
2015-16 in 2011 dollars $4,732 (-$586)

All K-12 Public School Aids per Student
2010-11 $6,011
2015-16 $5,998 (-$13)
2015-16 in 2011 dollars $5,556 (-$455)

K-12 Voucher School Payments per Student
K-8
2010-11 $6,442
2015-16 $7,214 (+$772)
2015-16 in 2011 dollars $6,682 (+$240)

9-12
2010-11 $6,442
2015-16 $7,860 (+$1,418)
2015-16 in 2011 dollars $7,281 (+$839)

So not only has the state cut public school aids while voucher school payments per students went up, but those voucher school payments went up well beyond the rate of inflation. Talk about enabling with free money! I’m sure this funneling funds out of public schools and into vouchers has NOTHING to do with convicted criminal Scott Jensen throwing big sums of “independent” voucher money behind GOP candidates in elections, would it? Nooooooo.

And the fact that over ¾ of new voucher students were already attending a private school means that the state funding is nothing more than a subsidy of those schools’ tuition. That move also gives more flexibility to those schools up to raise tuition by a higher amount, since fewer people are paying full price anyway (that’s a line GOPs use to argue against student loans and state aid to colleges, so why can’t I use it?). And those who are paying that higher tuition are likely to get some of that cost back, since Wisconsin parents can write off up to $10,000 of private school tuition.

State Rep. Sondy Pope (the top Democrat on the Assembly’s Education Committee) put the results of this money-funneling into a proper perspective.
“Our public schools and students have been struggling to maintain high-quality education under massive budget cuts. They’ve cut resources, staff, educational offerings and more to make way for Republicans’ irresponsible budgeting. All-the-while, private school students have been sitting pretty, having their tuition covered by massive taxpayer subsidies….

This information shows yet again how Republican legislators are choosing special interest groups over their constituents. With the voucher lobbying heavily padding their campaigns, these legislators have chosen to ignore and further damage our public schools – all for more money in their own pockets.”
Yeah, that pretty much sums it up, Sondy. WisGOP K-12 policies have ZERO to do with improving education or the talent that is produced by those schools, but has everything to do with funneling resources to those who support their campaign. And the state’s economy and budget continue to suffer as a result of the selfish political decisions that allowed this voucher theft to occur.

In DC and in Madison, WisGOPs think public should be kept in dark

You likely have heard about how Democrats in the House of Representatives had a sit-in on the House floor yesterday to demand that Speaker Paul Ryan hold votes on gun issues. But what caught my eye was the fact that not only did Ryan and his fellow House Republicans lack the guts to bring up the topic for debate, they also tried to keep people from seeing it on TV. Here's the Washington Post's Chris Cilizza's breakdown from yesterday.
…House Democrats, led by civil rights icon Rep. John Lewis (D-Ga.), seized the floor and demanded a vote on gun-control measures. They literally sat down on the carpeted floor to demand a vote and said they’d stay there as long as it took to negotiate one.

D.C. perked up. We turned to C-SPAN. And C-SPAN had nothing to offer us.

That’s because House Republicans presiding over the floor at the time gaveled the Congress on a break as the sit-in started. There was clearly a disruption going on, and they weren’t sure what to do. (The House isn’t like the Senate, where one lawmaker can force it to stay in session for hours and hours.) So the House went on recess, and per the rules, the C-SPAN cameras shut off.
That didn’t keep House Democrats from using social media and other tech apps to broadcasted the sit-ins themselves, continuing to draw attention to the issue, and making Ryan look even more cowardly, and making the "bury the bill" gambit backfire.

I find it noteworthy that Purty Mouth Pau-LIE’s decision to avoid a vote and attempt to keep the American people from having the gun issue be brought to their attention happened in the same month when he worked to hide other information from the public. Just last week, Ryan and his fellow House Republicans voted in favor of keeping people from knowing who the people in these big-money "independent groups" really are.
The House approved a bill Tuesday that would bar the IRS from collecting the names of donors to tax-exempt groups, prompting warnings from campaign-finance watchdogs that it could lead to foreign interests illegally infiltrating American elections.

The measure, which has the support of House Speaker Paul Ryan, R-Wis., also pits the Obama administration against one of the most powerful figures in Republican politics, billionaire industrialist Charles Koch. Koch’s donor network channels hundreds of millions of dollars each year into groups that largely use anonymous donations to shape policies on everything from health care to tax subsidies. Its leaders have urged the Republican-controlled Congress to clamp down on the IRS, citing free-speech concerns.

The names of donors to politically active non-profit groups aren't public information now, but the organizations still have to disclose donor information to the IRS on annual tax returns. The bill, written by Rep. Peter Roskam, R-Ill., would prohibit the tax agency from collecting names, addresses or any “identifying information” about donors.
Remember, these organizations are given tax-exempt status because their main purpose is supposed to be non-political. The IRS making sure that these groups were worthy of that status is what led to the GOP screaming that they were being singled out (a fake “scandal” if there ever was one). And not ONE House Republican voted against the bill that would give a shield to these groups.


You thought Walker was the biggest Koch whore in this state?


What the GOP and their Koch puppetmasters are really scared of isn’t abuse of power by the IRS, but that their money train will be revealed. It helps explain why right-wing oligarch groups have gone through such an effort to block the John Doe investigation here in Wisconsin. Because these fake charities and social welfare organizations are front groups that are being used to dodge taxes and launder money, allowing the rich a-holes who pull such shenanigans from being exposed to the public.

Mary Bottari of Madison’s Center for Media and Democracy has an excellent example in today’s Capital Times of how the CMD and Citizens for Responsibility and Ethics in Washington (CREW) discovered how this type of deception and money=laundering works. It involves Brad Schimel, and how dirty oligarch money got him elected Attorney General in 2014, under the guise of something called the “Rule of Law Project” (ROLP).
The Madison-based Center for Media and Democracy was first to link the ROLP to the Washington, D.C., law firm of Boyden Gray and Associates. A founder of the Federalist Society and former White House counsel, Gray is the chief architect of the 40-year attack on regulations protecting public health and the environment. Gray's firm represents dirty power companies in the fight against the president’s plan, which if implemented would reduce greenhouse gas pollution by up to 32 percent in 2030.

CREW alleges that ROLP violated the law when it spent nearly $200,000 on political ads but later told the IRS that it did not engage in any political activity in 2014….

CREW was not able nail down the ultimate source of the funds, but followed the fingerprints on various IRS tax filings to [Federalist Society VP Leonard] Leo’s Judicial Crisis Network and the Wellspring Committee. According to the Center for Responsive Politics, Wellspring is "little more than (a) UPS mailbox” created to hide the identity of donors, which, experience tells us, are discredited industries that want to cloak their agenda in anonymity.

The filings have other fingerprints. If dark money groups have a dark arts leader, it is Sean Noble of the Center to Protect Patient Rights. Noble was implicated in a multimillion-dollar campaign money laundering operation in California. CPPR was fined and ordered to disgorge the $15 million that was spent in the state. It was only later revealed that CPPR was largely bankrolled by the Koch brothers' Freedom Partners operation. DCI Group is a PR firm that has dirty coal and Koch’s Americans for Prosperity as clients. It was recently subpoenaed in the Exxon Mobile climate denial investigation.
And now you can see why Paul Ryan and his GOP buddies in the House wanted to keep the IRS from finding information about who donates to these “charities.” Because following the money leads to some ugly findings and inconvenient truths.

Hiding from the public seems to be quite the Wisconsin GOP habit these days, isn’t it? From Governor Walker trying every avenue possible to go around open records laws, to going through great lengths to conceal which businesses are funding their campaigns, this crew has no interest in letting the public know what’s really going on in their taxpayer-funded jobs. And they especially don’t want you to know who are giving the orders to the puppets politicians who “work” in those places.

Tuesday, June 21, 2016

WisGOP's solution four our lousy economy? LOWER PAY!

You want to know why this state continues to flail economically? Take a look at these two items released in the last 2 days.

The first came from the Bradley Foundation's lawsuit mill and stink tank, which released a report showing that Wisconsin teachers are taking home a lot less money than they were 5 years ago.
Full-time teacher salaries declined by an average of about $2,000 after Gov. Scott Walker signed Act 10 [in 2011], restricting collective bargaining rights for most public employees, according to a study from a conservative legal group.

The Wisconsin Institute for Law and Liberty report released Tuesday called the average inflation-adjusted base pay decrease "statistically significant." Over the same period, the average years of experience for state teachers dropped less than a year, to 14.2 years of experience....

The study says that the average salary and fringe benefits were $2,095 and $5,580 lower, respectively, when averaging the salary level of the three years before Act 10 and during the three years after the law passed.
That'll encourage the talent to enter the teaching profession!

Amazingly the WILL stink tank and righties are trying to use this report to imply that less classroom experience and less pay for teachers is a good thing for Wisconsin, because it allegedly saved a handful of dollars in property taxes. Or something about how it's not so bad because the state is merely mediocre and not a full-fledged disaster (yet). Nice value system, dumbasse. And you wonder why people with talent don't want to locate here?

The other absurd and telling statement comes from another Bubble-Worlder, State Sen. Duey Stroebel. Herr Stroebel went on Mike Gousha's TV show over the weekend and said that studies from the US Department of Transportation which say Wisconsin has the 3rd worst roads in America aren't worth listening to. Instead, we should trust right-wing stink tanks to give us the "facts," because they say things aren't so bad.
Stroebel opposes tax or fee increases to help pay for what some claim is a crumbling state transportation system. He said other studies show a different picture for Wisconsin's roads.

A report by the conservative Reason Foundation showed Wisconsin's highway ranking improving from 31st in 2009 to 15th in 2012.

Stroebel said that in the Reason Foundation report, the four states ranked as having the worst roads have prevailing wage laws and no right to work law. The 10 states with the best roads, he said, do not have prevailing wage and have instituted right to work.
This is quite reminiscent about how ALEC rates bankrupt, failing states like Kansas and Louisiana in their top 10, while booming states with surpluses like California and Minnesota rank in the bottom 10. Anyone who trusts a right-wing stink tank's ratings as a basis for policy is either a paid-off liar or a blubbering fool who couldn't get elected in any part of the state worth a fuck (in Stroebel's case, I'll go with the latter).

But Dewey wasn't done. He has a solution to the state's huge Trasnportation Fund deficit.
Prevailing wage sets a minimum pay level for construction workers on state projects, while right to work laws prevent workers from being required to pay union dues as a condition of employment.

"That is a place that we need to move to," Stroebel said. "We've begun to move there now with right to work and a partial repeal of prevailing wage, but we need to go all the way there. And then those are the things that are going to help us stack up better."
Yes, because rating higher with the "Reason" Foundation is a much more important thing than having stable revenues to fix roads or encouraging high quality on those repairs through better standards of pay. These people don't have a goddam clue about attracting that talent that produces a quality produce or service, do they? Nor do they seem to understand that an economy generally does better when everyday workers are paid more and are treated with respect.

With these dimwits in charge and being the "thought leaders" of today's Wisconsin GOP, is it any wonder we're dead last in the Midwest in jobs over the last 5 years?

Monday, June 20, 2016

Remember in November- Senate version

Igor Volsky has continually done a great public service over recent years, using Twitter to identify which members of Congress are bought by various special interests, and linking them to their votes. This is especially true when it comes to the gun fetishists at the NRA and the (mostly) GOP politicians they pay off. And yes, Our Dumb Senator is on this shameful list.

.@SenRonJohnson - who described gun votes as "nonsensedebates" - just voted down expanding background checks: pic.twitter.com/dQruIlJULe

— igorvolsky(@igorvolsky) June 20, 2016

In other words, Wisconsin has a Senator who values NRA cash over increasing the safety of his constituents. As if you needed another reason to remove this bum and vote in Russ Feingold to restore integrity to the Senate this November, there it is.

Here's the roster to cheer and jeer.

Senators who voted for/against expanding background checks to all gun sales. Amendment failed 44-56 pic.twitter.com/NgmA78AS7L

— igorvolsky(@igorvolsky) June 20, 2016

GOP's built in House advantage can erode quickly with Drumpf

With the presidential candidacy of Donald Trump coming up with a new absurdity by the day, it might be time to get an idea about what kind of wipeout might occur downticket. On the Senate side, a combination of favorable states for Dem pickups and a positive Dem voting year means the Dems have a strong possibility of winning the 4 seats they would need to control the Senate if the Dems also stay in the White House. However, it’s not going to be nearly as easy for them to take command of the House of Representatives.

In an interesting post from the Cook Political Report’s David Wasserman, he notes that while Dems would be likely to win back some seats in the House this Fall. But Wasserman adds that there is a tipping point where it becomes a lot more difficult for the blue team to pick up seats.
The great sort — The House is just a lot less “elastic” than it used to be. Today, the Cook Report rates just 36 of 435 districts as competitive — about 8 percent of the House. Even if Democrats were to hold all their own seats and sweep out all 26 Republicans sitting in districts Obama carried in 2012, they’d still be four seats short of a majority (and, by our tally, just five of these 26 Republicans have endorsed Trump by name so far). By contrast, if Democrats were to defeat all seven Republicans running for Senate in Obama states, they would win a 53-seat majority, assuming they hold all their own seats.
The other part that makes the Dems’ attempts to control all three parts of decision-making in DC is the gerrymandering that has been a main part of politics in the 2010s. Wasserman notes that the combination of sorting and gerrymandering means it would take a massive Dem win in November for them to take the lower chamber.
Second, Republicans’ astounding state legislative gains in the 2010 midterms — the year before the decennial redistricting cycle — allowed them to redraw four times as many congressional districts as Democrats in 2011 and 2012, stretching their geographical edge even further. As a result, in 2012, Democrats won 51 percent of all major-party votes cast for House candidates but just 47 percent of all seats. In 2014, Democrats won 47 percent of all major-party votes but just 43 percent of the seats. Amazingly, just 16 of 247 House Republicans won their races by fewer than 10 percentage points.

If Democrats’ seat share continues to lag their national vote share by about 4 percentage points in 2016, the party might need to win about 8 percent more votes than Republicans nationally just to reach the barest possible majority of 218 seats.
Interestingly, this Dem +8 standing is around where the Clinton-Trump matchups are today, which makes you wonder if that’s playing into the rumors of certain GOP delegates thinking about trying to dump Drumpf at next month’s convention.

We saw similar outcomes in Wisconsin with the 53-46 Obama win in 2012. There was no change at the Congresisonal level, as the state’s delegation stayed at 5-3 GOP in 2012, with no race being decided by less than 10 points. In addition, “great sort” theory also holds true in Wisconsin, which is why a recent study from Binghamton University on our redistricting showed that a “fair” map for the State Legislature would still have a 2-3 point advantage for Republicans.

But that same study also mentions that the 2-3 point GOP advantage was turned into 5-6 points by jiggering with the district lines, both at the state and federal levels. which in an even system would likely mean a closely divided State Assembly. Instead, Republicans held a 60-39 advantage in the Assembly after 2012. The Binghamton study says this means Dems would have to have a uniform win statewide on the order of Obama’s 56-42 win in 2008 to get a majority in the State Assembly, and if you look at this neat spreadsheet set up by Daily Kos and see how this translated in 2012. This Daily Kos page has votes for statewide office by each individual Congressional district and how all 99 State Assembly districts voted in Wisconsin.

As you'll see, 5 of the 8 Congressional districts voted for Romney in 2012, but a uniform swing of 4 points in each of those districts (the equivalent of going from 53-46 Dem to 57-42 Dem) gives Dem majorities to 7 out of Wisconsin 8 districts. Likewise, 57 Assembly districts voted for Mitt Romney over Obama in 2012, with the median seat being 51-48 GOP (Hi, David Steffen!). But a 3 point uniform swing to the Dems vs 2012 turns 11 of those Assembly seats into Dem majorities, resulting in a 53-46 lead in Assembly districts.

Interestingly, Wasserman points out that even if the GOP did keep the House after November, that might not work out so well for them. In fact, his analysis points out that perhaps a 15-seat House win for Dems (keeping them in the minority) might be better than a 35-seat win (giving Dems a slight majority), and that a small GOP majority could especially be damaging to a certain Wisconsinite.
….Back in October, we predicted that Paul Ryan wouldn’t have it any easier than John Boehner did when it comes to fundamental spending and debt votes, thanks to rebellions from the very conservative House Freedom Caucus.

If Ryan were to lose half his 30-seat majority, he could be the last backstop against a Democratic White House and Senate. But Ryan would also likely be forced to reach across the aisle for Democratic votes even more often than Boehner did, giving the minority more leverage and possibly branding him as the GOP’s RINO-in-chief for good.
And making Purty Mouth Pau-LIE look like an even bigger waffling buffoon than he does today, whether Pau-LIE is discussing the candidacy of Donald Trump, or bouncing back and forth between “positive ideas” in one sentence, then doing typical GOP dog-whistles and fear-mongering in the next.

And with the Dem advantage for president expanding quite a bit in the last week, you can see where it’s possible that a whole lot of new seats are going to be in play if a fool like Drumpf is heading up the GOP ticket, or fracturing it in a third-party run. Yes, it's an uphill climb for Dems to take control of the lower House, both at the state and congressional levels, but it's also not impossible. Long way to go, but keep these “tipping point” numbers in mind both at the state and federal levels if you’re trying to set expectations for November’s outcomes.


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