Wednesday, April 18, 2018

If Dallet win in Supreme Court translates to November, GOP should be scared

Wanted to forward you to the great work by J. Miles Coleman of Decision Desk HQ, who has broken down the voting in every ward in Wisconsin from Rebecca Dallet's 12-point victory in the Wisconsin Supreme Court race earlier this month.

It was such a widespread victory that if the votes break the same way in November, Democrats would be likely in shape to control both houses of the Wisconsin Legislature. Feel free to click on these tweets to open up the pictures, which breaks down the numbers for each district.

Results like this statewide would flip 4 Senate seats and 22 (!) seats in the Assembly. Now, I don't count on all of that happening because of "Magic R" voters and other items that make a November electorate different from an April one. But it's also worth noting that Screnock won his home Assembly district (50th) by less than Dallet won hers (23rd), despite both being GOP-held, and Screnock won 6 districts by 51-49 or less, so it could have been even worse.

The geography of the win is remarkable. The Green Bay-Appleton media market had 8 GOP-Assembly held seats flip over to Dallet on April 3. 8 western Wisconsin GOP seats also went for Dallet, most being on or near the Mississippi River in an area of the state that turned hard towards Republicans and Donald Trump in 2016.

Seeing those areas of strength for Dallet is what has to scare the daylights out of Scott Walker for November. If the Fox Valley and Western Wisconsin even holds half of the shift that went from Trump to Dallet, Walker is in big trouble. Because a remarkable thing about the Supreme Court race is that the Republican WOW Counties turned out at a high clip from Screnock, while the pro-Dem City of Milwaukee took a lower share of the electorate than do in November races. That means that Walker is even MORE behind if you assume the blue-red split on the Supreme Court map resembles the field of play today.

And before people start saying "Well see, gerrymandering doesn't keep things from flipping," take a look at how much the Dem-favored candidate had to win by to get things to turn over. And this was for an open seat with candidates that likely weren't known much in most parts of the state. That's very different from trying to toss a protected GOP incumbent...unless the GOP becomes so hated by November that the casual voter says "THEY ALL MUST PAY!"

Certainly there's a long 6 1/2 months between now and November. But if you look at the strong work from Mr. Coleman pictured above, that's what the best-case scenario for Wisconsin Dems looks like, and it shows how things would look if we had an election in November that would go a long way toward eradicating the Age of Fitzwalkerstan. And that probably makes a lot of GOP legislators realize that they might have to work to keep their seat, and I bet quite a few of these doofii aren't good enough to do it, if things are made tough enough for them.

Let's make it so.


  1. Generalizing Dallet's win worries me.

    In addition to your stated concern, there is also the reality that Dallet had a very significant, evidence-based advantage over her opponent.

    In any rational calculation, it should have been a one horse race. Three years as a judge in sparsely populated Sauk County simply is not reasonable prep for a Supreme Court seat in the 21st century.

    We also should not dismiss the optics related to the campaign judo of turning the WMC's heavy investment in the sexual assault case campaign ad from a positive to a negative - and the outside money that was involved in getting that done.

    There is also the sad and simple optics of appearance. Judge Dallet is a reasonably attractive woman of her age. Judge Screnock less so.

    Judge Dallet had advantages than most Democrats won't have in November.

    Republicans will be defending Scott Walker while Democrats will be defending Tammy Baldwin, so this should be big for a mid term election. I hope the Dems can turn out the vote.

    I'd love to see them come out with some simple strong points of view on some issues. I've said this before - the have to be FOR something. The kinds of things all or at least most Dems can get behind and start looking like a unified party rather than a herd of unruly cats.

    Prior recent campaigns have been mostly "Vote for us. We're not Republicans." That's not good enough.

    Say what you want to do.

    Maybe something like this:

    Clean up the water.
    Fix the roads.
    Fix the funding for the roads.
    Make it easier to vote.
    Dump WEDC and crony capitalism.
    Stop balancing the budget on debt.

    Allow for reasonable public comment on legislative debates - no more midnight voting.

    Personally, I think the population is ready for legalizing or at least decriminalizing marijuana for recreational use, but I recognize that could be problematic in some areas. Judgment call on that one I guess.

    I'd like to say something about public schools and the UW, but I confess to being afraid that too much of the voting population is still adversarial about education as a larger idea. They're mostly supportive of their local schools, but I think the UW and public school teachers/unions are still sore spots. My opinion - those areas need more rehabilitation before strong steps are going to be broadly supported.

    More than anything, it's about attitude. If nothing else, Trump should have pounded that lesson home. Be strong, energetic and convinced.

    They've got to act like winners.

    1. True that Dallet won,the "qualifications" argument. But conversely, almost any Den should win the "stable" and "cares about me" attribute over amoral Scott (tweets 20 times a day) Walker.

      I agree that most of this is attitude and "acting like winners." Dallet took the fight 5o WMC and the NRA and turned the spotlight on them, which also made Screnock look like a puppet. Dems would be wise to do that en masse this November.

  2. But if it looks like curtains for certain, the WiGOP would never do anything like fix the election, would they? Nah.