Saturday, August 29, 2015

Marquette Poll Pt. 2- Is WisGOP in even worse shape than we think?

There are also two crosstabs that seem to indicate that the Republican candidates are in even bigger trouble than the Marquette toplines would indicate. The first involves the ideological breakdown of the poll respondents.

Ideology, Marquette Law, Aug 2015.
Conservative/Storngly conservative 43.1%
Moderate 29.7%
Liberal/Strongly liberal 24.0%
Don’t know/refused 3.2%

This is quite a difference from the ideological makeup of the 2012 presidential electorate in Wisconsin, based on exit polls. Those numbers indicate more moderates and fewer conservatives than what made up the Marquette Poll.

Ideology, 2012 presidential exit poll
Liberal 24%
Moderate 40%
Conservative 35%

And this is important because Republicans and especially Scott Walker are dead in the water with moderates, and Democrats have an overwhelming advantage with this group.

Moderates, Marquette Poll Aug 2015
Walker approve/disapprove 22.4-74.1
Johnson favorability 16.8-41.1
Feingold favorability 51.0-21.4
Clinton favorability 47.1-42.2
Sanders favorability 41.5-9.1 (!)
Walker vs. Clinton Clinton 65.7-25.4
Feingold vs. Johnson Feingold 64.5-25.0

So logic tells you that if the electorate has a higher number of moderates and a lower number of conservatives in November 2016, the Dems will do better, and Feingold and Clinton would have even bigger leads in their races.

The last crosstab I’ll discuss is in regards to the Hispanic vote. This demographic is relatively small when it comes to the electorate (estimated at 4% in the last presidential election in Wisconsin, and they were 2.8% of the Marquette Poll), but they overwhelmingly favored President Obama by more than 2-1, which extended Obama’s lead by about 1.5 points over Mitt Romney- not a small number when you consider Obama won the state overall by about 7%.

And with the Republican Party taking a nasty, nativist turn in recent weeks with the rise of Donald Trump, including large-scale scapegoating of Hispanics for economic troubles and threats to depart millions of immigrants, many of which would be of Latino descent. Gov Walker got into this race-baiting act by threatening to remove the 14th Amendment’s guarantee of birthright citizenship, before coming up with "modifications" of that stance, which led to this awesome CNN article titled: "Scott Walker on birthright citizenship: 3 positions, 7 days."

With that in mind, and the fact that the Democratic nominee for president won Hispanics by 35 points in 2012, do these crosstabs ring true to you?

Marquette Law Poll, Aug 2015 Hispanics
Walker approve/disapprove 54.5-45.5
Walker favorable/unfavorable 58.1-38.5
Clinton favorable/unfavorable 24.0-66.2
Clinton vs. Walker- Walker 52.5-44.2
Feingold vs Johnson – Johnson 69.0-21.6

Which Hispanics did Marquette Law talk to? Seems like the only ones they got on the phone were Scott Jensen’s voucher puppets at the Rodriguez clan, because those numbers don’t come close to anything that would match up with the historical Hispanic vote in Wisconsin. This is especially true after the racist garbage Walker, Trump and the rest of the GOP presidential candidates have been peddling in recent weeks.

If you turn those Hispanic figures toward the 2012 outcomes of 2-1 Democrat, that would drop Walker’s approval rating another 1-2 points, give Clinton another 1-2 points of advantage, and Feingold another 2-3 points. In particular, a normal advantage among Hispanics for Feingold over Johnson means that Russ goes up 8 points instead of 5, and this race is not perceived as close at all.

Sure, you can say I’m “unskewing” with this breakdown, but when I see numbers that run counter to recent history, don’t I at least have to flag it? If I’m right, then the Marquette Poll is masking what is an even worse situation for the Republicans in Wisconsin, and one that the Democratic Party of Wisconsin should jump all over during the next 14 ½ months.


  1. So you're saying it's a GOP landslide in our gerrymandered paradise.

    1. I get the joke, but there's a flip side to gerrymandering- many of those districts are something like 57-43 in favor of the GOP, or less. Which means in a wave Dem year, a lot of those districts are susceptible to flipping.

      Especially if Dems are smart enough to say "The only way things change is if you put Dems in charge to put a check on the Governor."

    2. Jake, I cannot tell you how much I hope you are right.

  2. Any one believing that any Republican is within 20 points of a generic Democrat ought take a gander at Assembly District Eight in Milwaukee, dominated by Latinos.

    The Marquette numbers are ludicrous and they suggest that Republicans are in much worse shape than this poll would indicate, as you point out.

    1. MAL- Great point, I ran the numbers on AD-8, and Burke got 76.6% of the vote in 2014. Granted, it's in pro-Dem Milwaukee, but it's also a lower midterm turnout vs presidential turnout.

      And that was when Scott Walker was making noise about having a Mexican consulate in Wisconsin, instead of arguing against birthright citizenship. So yes, it's safe to say those Hispanic numbers in the Marquette Poll do not come close to what we'd see in an actual election.