Saturday, August 20, 2011

Recall votes show Walker would go down

Now that the dust has settled from the recall elections, let's see what the votes tell us. Sure, I didn't get all that I wanted out of it (I especially wanted Clark and Pasch to win), but turning the Senate to 17-16 while easily defending 3 Dem seats is nothing to ignore. And when you go inside the numbers, you'll see that there's reason for optimism on the good guys' side, and why the WisGOPs are scared.

Let's start with the J-S's Craig Gilbert's breakdown of the results. And then combine that with the official GAB canvass of the 6 Repub recalls, and let's see the changes from the 2010 guv election.

First of all, as Gilbert notes, the total votes shifted from 56-44 Walker to 51-49 Dem, a 7 point swing in itself. But it wasn't uniform, as 3 had minor pro-Dem shifts of only between 0.8-1.7% (Harsdorf and Cowles, considered the two safest, and Darling, who benefits from the 262 Sykes'-sucking Circle of Ignorance). By comparison, the races involving Olsen (who hung on by 2,200 votes vs. Clark), and Hopper and Kapanke (who both lost) all had shifts between 5.7 and 9.2%. And what'll Hopper and Kapanke's districts look like when the kids and faculty are back at UW-Oshkosh and UW-La Crosse for a school-year recall? Yeah, I'm guessing even higher.

The Dems facing recall had an even bigger shift. Sure, some of that was due to them facing a violent criminal who doesn't pay child support, a Sarah Palin wanna-be who continually failed to pay her taxes on time, and a fundie Chicago corporate lawyer who rented to a sex offender. But a double-digit shift shows that the people in GB, Kenosha and the Northwoods saw right through the out-of-state Astroturf groups who had dead people signing recall petitions. And you can bet they won't be willing to come back to the GOP for quite a while.

So let's plug in the numbers to last year's guv election (which had similar turnout numbers), and see what we get. Final score from November was Walker 52.25, Barrett 46.48. Or you can turn it into Walker 52.9- Barrett 47.1 among those who chose those two. Then turn that 52.9% down 7 points, Walker loses by more than 8 points (54.1-45.9).

To give some persepctive on this, that's a bigger win than than Jim Doyle's crushing of Mark Green in 2006, an election that had a bigger margin for Doyle than Walker's "mandate" last November. That election also flipped the state Senate to the Dems, and featured a higher turnout than 2010, buoyed in no small part by student and progressive anger from an anti-gay marriage amendment on the ballot. Think there might be a little progressive and student anger at trying to blow Walker and the GOP out of office?

The Shilling-Kapanke, Clark-Olsen, and Hopper-King races also show that Walker and the WisGOP's problems go deeper than a 14-point flip from Walker +6 to -8. Many places that decided to risk going GOP in Nov. 2010 are flipping back, and hard. So much so that the results look closer to the Governor's election of 2006 than 2010.

Dem victory (or defeat) 2006, 2010, and 2011 recall
La Crosse Co. +17.3, -0.2 (17.5 shift GOP), +13.7 (+13.9 Dem)
Vernon/Crawford Co. +18.5, +0.7 (+17.8 GOP), +6.4 (+5.7 Dem)
Sauk/Columbia/Marq. +9.0, -4.9 (+13.9 GOP), +14.5 (+19.4 Dem)
Grn Lk/Waupaca/Waush. -9.8, -22.8 (+13.0 GOP), -15.5 (+7.3 Dem)
Fond du Lac Co. -14.2, -29.7 (+15.5 GOP), -8.9 (+20.8 Dem)

Let's even include a race the GOP "dominated", the Harsdorf-Moore race. This includes the baggerific exurbs of the Twin Cities in Polk and Saint Croix Counties that lean GOP (right across the river from Michelle Bachmann's district).

Dem victory (or defeat) 2006, 2010, and 2011 recall
Polk-Saint Croix +3.1, -22.6 (+25.7 GOP), -20.1 (+2.5% Dem)
Dunn-Pierce Co. parts +17.3, -3.6 (+20.9 GOP), -1.0 (+2.6 Dem)

The Dunn-Pierce ones are worth noting, because those parts of the counties include the UW-Stout and UW-River Falls campuses, and you see the result of the anti-gay marriage amendment in those votes. Those students were mostly gone on Aug.9, and I may be going out on a limb here, but I bet they wouldn't vote for politicians who are gutting education and raising tuition like the WisGOPs. That swing probably goes up more than the 2.6% in a school-year election.

So no wonder Walker and company are trying this fake "I want to work with both sides" act. They see the writing on the wall, and that the gains they made in November are mostly gone. Their problem is, they're the ones that own the disaster that is unfolding, and no attempt to draw the Dems into it are going to win those votes back.

But this is only one part of Scotty and co's troubles. I'll throw in a second part in a day or so, and show how they're in trouble in the big counties, too.

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