Then I noted a comment by Marquette Law School’s Charles Franklin, and it set off my BS detectors
Much of gov's race changes from Aug to Sept due to increased Republican enthusiasm, poll director Charles Franklin says. #mulawpoll— MULawPoll (@MULawPoll) September 17, 2014
That comment about "increased enthusiasm" made me want to look inside the numbers at the crosstabs, to see what he meant by that. And when I did, the answers behind Walker’s “improvement” became obvious. The poll sample added a ton of Republicans to the mix.
Take a look at the question of “Are you a Democrat, Republican, or Independent?” in the September Marquette Poll, and then compare it with the answers to the same question in August.
Dem, Republican, or Indy? Reg. voters
Aug 2014 Marq. Law Poll- 30.9 D, 27.0 R, 37.9 I
Sept. 2014 Marq. Law Poll- 27.9 D, 28.8 R, 40.7 I
So that sample went from D +3.9 to R +0.9. Yet at the same time, Burke IMPROVED by 3 points among registered voters, from -3 to a tie. The "likely voter" poll was even more GOP-leaning, at R +3.7 vs D +6 in August- no wonder why Burke lost 5 points. So there's a lot of your change right there- it's not Walker gaining support. And to pollster Charles Franklin's credit, he admits this party ID stat is a huge factor.
“It is unusual to see a 5-point net shift in partisan composition,” Franklin said. “People should be appropriately skeptical since it is always possible this sample is simply an outlier. However, the shift to more Republicans and fewer Democrats occurred across all regions of the state and most demographic groups, demonstrating that it was not a localized difference in response rates.”
In fact, if anything, Walker is losing some of his core backing. Previously, polls had had the Dem and GOP vote going around 90-5 for each party’s candidate, and Walker slightly favored among Independents (because a sizable amount of them are TeaBaggers). Well, there was a slight change in this breakdown for the September poll.
Sept. 2014 Marq. Law Poll by party
Democrats- Burke 93.2-3.4
Republicans- Walker 88.8-8.0
“Indys”- Walker 44.1-43.0
Scotty then got about an extra 1% from a scattering group, so that’s where you get the 46-46 Registered Voters result from. It shows a bit of erosion from Scotty’s own GOP. I think that's a result of some of them seeing the light, and realizing a crony capitalist that blows a gigantic hole in Wisconsin’s budget is no old-school, good government conservative.
Now with this in mind, let’s use those same Dem-GOP-Indy responses, and plug it into the August sample of registered voters in the Marquette Poll. The result? Burke leads by 4.6 points, 47.3- 42.7.
I understand that sometimes party IDs do switch and reflect people latching onto certain “teams” as they get more fired up for an election. It also reflects who is more or less likely to vote in a certain election (the voters more likely to drop out at a midterm are generally young, single, and/or minority- all three of which lean Dem). But let’s take a look at the gov exit polls from 2010 and the recall election of 2012 along with the 2012 presidential exit poll , and see what’s more likely to be the electorate in Wisconsin in November 2014.
Party ID, Wisconsin exit polls
2010 Gov- Dem 37, GOP 36 (D+1)
2012 recall- Dem 34, GOP 35 (R+1)
2012 presidential- Dem 37, GOP 32 (D+5)
And casual Dems are likely more fired up in 2014 than they were in 2010, or even 2012, as some wussed out on the idea of a recall (how’d that idea work out for you?). At the same time, the September Marquette Poll shows some GOPs probably aren’t as likely to “Stand with Walker.” So a D+4 electorate (as was done in the August Marquette Poll) seems to be a more likely outcome in November than an R+1 electorate (which was in the September poll). which would give the advantage to Burke.
That being said, maybe the Marquette Law Poll is closer to right this time and was off the last. Their record in 2012 was pretty good when their final polls came out for the recall and presidential election. And I’m also aware that this sounds pretty close to the “unskewing” phenomenom that GOPs fell victim to in 2012, where those dingbats beLIEved that Romney was going to win, all the way to Election Night (which made their crash all the more hilarious).
But these figures are striking, and help explain why Walker and his supporters are trying to so hard to suppress the vote with the increasingly insane ramifications from an all-GOP Appeals Court panel’s decision to reinstate voter ID for the November election. Walker and WisGOP can’t win a statewide election unless the Democratic electorate is shrunken or discouraged to the point that it’s near even on Election Day. If it’s a strong Dem turnout- Walker’s done.
Which is what makes it all the more important to educate and assist Wisconsinites with getting that ID (at least until the ruling is tossed due to not being workable), and in making them know that it’s the Republicans that don’t want them to vote. And that anger and outreach effort is why the voter ID decision could prove not to be a boon to Republicans (like the suburban slimeballs think it will be), but instead could be one of the final blows to their chances in the Fall.
So instead of despair, today’s Marquette Law Poll tells me IF WE GET OUT TO VOTE IN NOVEMBER,WE WILL WIN IN WISCONSIN. Period. So make it happen!