With the presidential race getting a lot of attention in these parts, let's not forget about the Supreme Court race in Wisconsin between the Scott Walker-appointed Rebecca Bradley and JoAnne Kloppenburg. The only polling we've seen is the Marquette Law School Poll from last week that had it as follows:
While that's a slight Bradley lead, it's more telling to me that nearly 1/4 of likely voters and 1/3 of registered voters hadn't decided on a candidate. And if you dig inside of the crosstabs in that poll, it shows that much of Bradley's advantage is based on the cheerleading given her by the WisGOP spokespeople on AM radio (and the sheep that listen to that garbage) and the fact that many anti-Walker and Dem-leaning groups hadn't tuned into the race.
The first indication of this is when you slice the poll into Wisconsin's geographic regions, and you see a notable split in both polling preference, and in those who have made their minds up. The crosstabs go over the registered poll of 38-32, by the way.
Regional preference, Wisconsin Supreme Court
City of Milwaukee- Kloppenburg 28.1-27.9
Rest of Milwaukee market- Bradley 49.9-29.0
Madison market- Kloppenburg 42.7-28.3
Green Bay/Appleton- Bradley 40.3-30.3
Rest of the state- Bradley 33.4-29.6
Notice that divide between the City and the rest of the Milwaukee media market. Nearly 80% of the 'burbs had an opinion on the race, but only 56% of the city did. This seems to be an important split, because Scott Walker had an approval rating of 29% in the City of Milwaukee, and nearly 65% of city residents disapproved of his performance. You think if a Walker-disapproving city resident realizes that Rebecca Bradley basically owes her judicial career to Scott Walker's appointments, that he/she might want to vote for Kloppenburg? And why hasn't this reality been hammered continuously by liberal groups and the Kloppenburg campaign?
The same disconnect seems to apply to younger voters in that Marquette Poll. Take a look at the crosstab of voters under 30 in the Supreme Court race.
Voters age 18-29
Don't know 35.7%
In addition, 70% of voters 18-29 didn't know enough about Rebecca Bradley to have an opinion on her, by far the largest number of any age cohort in that poll. Then you look at other questions, and it seems logical that younger voters would be inclined to vote for Kloppenburg if Bradley is defined as the Republican tool of Walker.
Walker approve/disapprove 29.8-62.3
Walker favorable/unfavorable 34.1-59.6
Vote in Dem of GOP primary? Dem 65.5%, GOP 34.5%
Seems like the Kloppenburg people should be hanging out at today's Bernie Sanders rally in Madison, doesn't it?
There's also the case of 15.8% of Dems and 16.6% of liberals in the polls claiming that they would vote for Bradley. Really? 1/6 of those people would vote for the candidate who thinks birth control is "morally abhorrent" and equal to abortion, and would do nothing to block legislation from the GOP Legislature, no matter how unconstitutional or right-infringing it is? I somehow doubt this.
It is alarming that 38%-41% of Wisconsinites would even consider voting for an unqualified fool that seems better suited for being a member of the GOP's ALEC crew in the State Legislature than a sitting member on Wisconsin's highest Court. But it also appears that Rebecca Bradley's "lead" in the Marquette Law School poll was related to the casual voter not knowing who she is and what she stood for. Which likely explains Bradley's recent "duck the media" strategy. However, if Dem-leaning younger voters and voters in the City of Milwaukee tie Bradley to the unpopular Scott Walker, and vote accordingly on Election Day (where there are few "undecided" and "don't know" voters), then Kloppenburg has a good chance of winning.
And Hillary Clinton was wise to point this out at her speech to Dem Party members in Milwaukee last night, and use her platform to get the message that "there is no place at all" for a hack like Bradley to be on the Court. That message is now being dutifully reported by a media that otherwise might not tell that truth. As a Bernie guy, I wish he had done the same, much like how Bernie has called out Walker and WisGOP for suppresssing the vote in Wisconsin. But it also fall to a lot of us to get out, give the facts, and make sure the good guys vote (because the bad guys will). If we do this, we can start to get some balance back to our state on Tuesday.