In what continues to be an infuriating trend, once again we saw a Wisconsin recall poll come out, and once again it oversampled voters favorable to Scott Walker, resulting in a Walker lead. This time it's the Wisconsin Public Radio/ St. Norbert College poll, which has a topline of Walker 50, Barrett 45. However, once you go inside the numbers, it's pretty obvious why Walker leads.
Who did you vote for in the 2010 election? St. Norbert poll
2010 Governor's race results
Well no kidding Walker leads if you have a sample that voted +14 for Walker in 2010 while the real Wisconsin voted Walker +5.77. In fact, that should make Walker backers worry, because if Walker gets an 8 point advantage in the sample and he's only up 5, isn't it logical to say if we get a similar turnout to 2010 that this race becomes Barrett +3? And Dems and lefty voters are a whole lot more fired up than we were in 2010.
That being said, when you get into the "attitudes" questions, they're very enlightening, as it shows that the respondents have serious problems with Walker's character, and think Barrett's best attributes are his ability to unify people and his integrity. The poll also shows that a majority of this pro-Walker sample of Wisconsinites favor collective bargaining rights and they see Walker's moves as one to hurt unions over helping the budget, so a combination of negative ads on Walker's character and positive ads on Barrett's decency and desire to restore collective bargaining rights to public employees seems like a winning strategy to me.
St. Norbert's not the only poll that has oversampled GOPs in the last 10 days. The faulty polls from last week set a incorrect media narrative of "Walker ahead" into motion. It's tough enough to battle against talk radio and Walker ad propaganda, we don't need the rest of the media working against the good guys as well.
Now another poll that blunted that agenda was the We Are Wisconsin internal poll from the weekend, which showed Barrett within the margin of error, basically a toss-up. However, we should also be skeptical of this poll, not just because We Are Wisconsin has an obvious leaning, but because there are few cross-tabs released with the poll. However, the cross tab that was released was intriguing.
We Are Wisconsin poll, by party ID
Democrat- Barrett 93-7
Independent- Barrett 50-44
Republican- Walker 96-3
So if you assumed each group was 1/3 of the population, you'd come up with it dead even, 49-49. That indicates the sample was probably GOP +1 or +2, and while that's not the GOP +7 absurdity that we saw in the PPP poll last week, it still goes against the 2010 CBS exit poll from Wisconsin, which was Dem +1.
Bottom line, it's a turnout game right now, and if Dem voters turn out in Wisconsin (where they are the majority), Barrett would win. But this thing is far from being in the barn either way. I just wish the pollsters would recognize that reality and make their samples match Wisconsin's voting population.