Wednesday, August 10, 2016

Wisconsin poll shows big Dem leads, with gender, geographic gaps

A few thoughts from today’s blowout Marquette Poll showing Hillary Clinton up YUGE on Donald Trump and Russ Feingold being up on Ron Johnson by 6 to 11 points (depending on how you slice the sample and if you include 3rd party candidates). In addition, Scott Walker continues to be in the doldrums, with his approval rating staying at 38%, and his disapproval bumping up to 59% among all registered voters.

As usual, the best breakdown can be used by going into the crosstabs, and I’ll use that registered voter sample which has Walker at 38%, Russ up 6 vs Ron Johnson in a 2-way race (Russ is up 9 if you include the Libertarian), and Hillary up 10 head-to-head with Drumpf.

1.There’s an odd difference between those who say they will vote (the “likely voters” figures) and all of the registered voters in the sample.

Clinton vs. Trump
Certain to vote- 51-37 Clinton
Very Likely/50-50- 42-27 Trump
Will Not Vote- 38-3 Clinton

Feingold vs. Johnson
Certain to vote- 50-39 Feingold
Very likely/50-50- Johnson 41-35
Will Not Vote- Feingold 46-14

This is an interesting matrix, where those who know they’ll vote are even more pro-Dem than all the people sampled (rare in itself), and the casual dope who might vote is the one area that is trending Republican. Then add in the non-voters, who heavily lean Democrat (albeit a very small sample size), and this tells you that the Republicans are in quite the squeeze play. Because if the race tightens, some of those non-voters may have their interest grabbed want to jump in (likely to stop Drumpf). But if it looks like a blowout, then that’ll likely dispirit those pro-GOP group that is deciding whether or not to vote at all.

And note that the less-likely voters have a lot more in the “undecided/not voting for either” categories. I guess not surprising, but it also shows they might be a lot more persuadable.

2.There is a massive gender gap that swings 25-30 points, with Wisconsin women are overwhelmingly favoring the Dems and hating Republicans.

Male- Trump 43-37
Female- Clinton 54-30

Male- Johnson 50-42
Female- Feingold 55-37

Walker approval
Men- Disapprove 52-43
Female- Disapprove 65-33

3.Maybe it’s this particular sample, but there are even bigger geographic differences than normal, with the state’s east-west split in voting being even larger than normal. There’s also an odd split between north and south, as Clinton is doing better than Feingold in Madison and Milwaukee, but that Russ does better in the rest of the state than Hillary.

Clinton vs. Trump
City of Milwaukee- Clinton 68-17
Rest of MKE market- Clinton 42-40
Madison market- Clinton 60-21
GB/Appleton market- Trump 47-33
Rest of state- Clinton 43-42

Feingold vs. Johnson
City of Milwaukee- Feingold 60-31
Rest of MKE market- Johnson 52-44
Madison market- Feingold 65-31
GB/Appleton market- Johnson 50-39
Rest of state- Feingold 46-40

Walker approval
City of Milwaukee- Disapprove 68-20
Rest of MKE market- 50-50
Madison market- Disapprove 79-19
GB/Appleton market- Disapprove 50-46
Rest of state- Disapprove 59-38

Walker being underwater everywhere but the 262 (and despised in the 414, 608, and 715) indicates to me that things may look very good for Dem candidates trying to flip outstate seats held by Republicans in the State Legislature, as they can run as a “check on Walker.” There are clearly a lot of Trump and Johnson voters who are not happy with Walker at this point, and most Legislative GOPs have fallen in line with Walker’s agenda over the last 5 years, so they can’t play the “I’m not like him” card.

On the flip side, the unpopularity of Clinton in NE Wisconsin may mean it could be a bit more difficult for Tom Nelson to win the open Congressional seat in that area. That is, unless Nelson differentiates himself from Hillary and runs a strong, localized pro-worker campaign (his most recent campaign ad arguing against TPP is a great start). Smart Wisconsinites already count on Russ being an independent voice, and I’m thinking Russ, Nelson and Bernie Sanders appearing in and around Highways 29 and 41 might not be a bad plan at all.

Lots more to dig into, but those 3 big crosstabs give a good indication why the Dems are up as much as they are. And if Dems do indeed statewide by double digits, that gives them a real chance to win a couple of House seats (Sarah Lloyd picking off Glenn Grothman could well be in play, if the Dems work it). More importantly, if the state goes 55-45 or 56-44 Dem, the State Senate will almost certainly flip, and it's very possible the Assembly will too. Even if the Assembly were not go Dem, it would be such a slim majority that it would give Robbin’ Vos nightmares trying to keep all those goobers on board.

Bottom line- this is no time for Dems to let off, but instead they should SLAM THE HAMMER DOWN and go for the landslide that is needed to start recovering from the disastrous Age of Fitzwalkerstan. The Marquette Poll shows that the door is wide open, and the tipping points of a wave are in range.


  1. One of the biggest problems in all this is that while we have many quality assembly candidates running this year, most of them are completely unknown to most voters.

    It's a very frustrating problem, and I don't know what the solution is. Most of these candidates can't afford TV or radio buys of any significance. A candidate can only knock on so many doors in a given day.

    1. This is why I differ from lots of the "experts"- I think yard signs and billboards help here. It lets people know that THERE IS AN ALTERNATIVE and that in itself is a big barrier in a lot of these areas. Especially rural ones where there isn't much point in going door-to-door

      Having a state party that cared about more than a few marginal districts would help too. Play the long game and at least throw some money into some people just to get the message out. Things are more wide open this year than normal, time to push it.

      Also, give individually to good candidates, no matter where they are. The DPW officials will notice

    2. I agree on yard signs. I know some "experts" say they don't matter, but Russ and Hillary sure seem to be getting plenty out there. The Republicans don't shy away from using them either.

      Walker's campaign, during his race against Burke, was paying people to have yard signs in prime locations. They were renting empty downtown store fronts to put huge Walker signs on display.

      If the other side thinks they are that valuable, we probably should, too.

  2. To truly make a difference wouldn't we need a 2/3ds majority in each house of the legislature as a veto-proof majority to keep Walker from preventing any forward motion in our state?

    With the line item veto that Walker has he could still do more damage to the state by bastardizing good legislation if there is not a veto-proof majority. And I wouldn't count on one republican legislator to actually have a conscience.

    1. Some of that is true. But Dem control of at least one house means bad ideas in Walker's budget can be shot down before the document is passed. And regardless of what his veto pen does, the budget will still have to balance by law, and GOPs would have to sign off any gimmick that Walker would try to do so.

      If Dems run the Senate, it also could be a check on bad appointments for Cabinet positions and other items that require approval. And they can call hearings that have actual experts speaking honestly, instead of a parade of right-wing hacks giving GOPperganda.

      Bottom line, winning in the Legislature will go a long way toward stopping the bleeding. And then getting a Dem Guv after 2018 would get things turned back in the right direction.