Wednesday, January 17, 2018

What if the Schach wave in Western Wisconsin hits the whole state?

Finally, this state got a glimmer of hope last night that maybe the Age of Fitzwalkerstan is could be nearing its end. And it wasn’t just people in Wisconsin that noticed.

Not only did Patty Schachtner win a GOP-leaning seat in Western Wisconsin over Adam (Sean Duffy wanna-be) Jarchow, but she did so easily, by more than 10 points. So how did she do it?

First of all, fighting against Koched-up big-money corruption and GOP indecency sounds like a winner in 2018, as Schachtner noted in a post-election interview.
Jarchow, meanwhile, saw several groups come in on his behalf on radio as well as through digital ads and trying to turn out voters. That includes a radio ad from the Republican State Leadership Committee that said she was sued by her school district for lunch expenses she’d “pushed off” on taxpayers.

The State Senate Democratic Committee said Schachtner’s husband was injured, wasn’t working and the family fell behind on school lunch payments.

Schachtner said Tuesday the negative ads backfired.

“Kindness counts,” she said.
Now even though kindness and decency do count, that doesn’t mean Dems shouldn’t smash the Republicans’ faces in when it comes to pointing out their many policy failures and rampant crookedness. But it does mean that when you launch an attack IT NEEDS TO BE ACCURATE AND RELEVANT, and that coherence matters (something our governor is failing miserably at these days).

It also didn’t hurt that Schachtner had roots in the area, so the attacks against "generic Dem" by the Koch types fell flat, and she spoke about issues that related to the everyday lives of her (now) constituents.
This campaign was about investing in people and revitalizing our area, whether that is making sure every Wisconsinite has access to affordable health care, funding our public schools, technical colleges and UW campuses, or investing in good-paying jobs right here in Western Wisconsin. Tonight, voters showed that they share those priorities, and I am deeply grateful for their support.

Three months ago, I would never have imagined that I'd be running for State Senate. I feel humbled and honored to know that my neighbors in Western Wisconsin feel as I do -- that our communities are stronger when we work together towards common sense solutions. To my supporters who voted for me, and also those who didn't, I promise to fight every day to make sure your values and needs are represented in Madison.
Now that’s how you say it, folks. This is about VALUES and specific issues like health care, schools, and jobs.

I find it no coincidence that a big key to Schachtner’s win was getting 73% of Pierce County's vote (UW-River Falls) and 68% in Dunn County (UW-Stout). SD-10 was the only Wisconsin Senate district “represented” by a Republican that had 2 4-year UW campuses in it, and maybe the anti-intellectualism with today’s Wisconsin GOP is finally seeping its way into changing the voting habits of the area. It’s well past time for people to make the GOP pay price for hating on educators and the educated.

But it wasn’t just in Western Wisconsin where evidence appeared of GOP losing its grip on the state. There was an open Assembly seat in the West Bend area after Bob (“Are you giving me the finger?”) Gannon keeled over late last year. And the result was surprisingly close.

If the West Bend area is going to be 60-40 GOP, there is absolutely no way that the GOP can win statewide. Combined, these are the two swings in these districts from November 2016 to January 2018.

SD-10 Dem +27
AD-58 Dem +25

Yes, a lower-turnout election in January likely leads to more outliers, and so we can’t take these results as a guarantee of a Dem sweep in November. But even if you cut yesterday’s swings in half, (so Dem +13 as an average), Republicans are in big trouble.

Project those results statewide, use the 2014 totals as a baseline for statewide officials, and the 2016 Trump vs Clinton election results for each district in the State Legislature. Then move the margin 13 points toward the Dems, and here are the results.

Gov- Dems would beat Scott Walker by 7.3 points (more than Walker has won by in any of his elections)
AG- Josh Kahl would beat Brad Schimel by 5.9 points
Senate – 17-16 Dems, and a lot of other GOP districts get close.
Assembly- 51-48 Dems, and 7 other GOP seats are within 2 points.

You wonder why Dem legislative leaders Gordon Hintz and Jennifer Shilling were out today demanding that Walker call special elections in two districts where GOP legislators cashed in at the end of last year? They see blood in the water, and so does Scotty, which is why Gov Unintimidated is breaking state law by refusing to call that election.

And the Legislature’s differences are assuming the districts won’t be redrawn once SCOTUS rules in Wisconsin’s gerrymandering case. If those districts get drawn fairer, Dems would likely control everything at the Capitol.

Is it any surprise that Scott Walker was panic-tweeting “WAKE UP CALL” all night and today, and then tried to unleash a torrent of tweets claiming that Wisconsin is doing fine? Let’s not allow Scotty and WisGOP to whitewash their record, which has left much of the state in the mess it is in today - a mess that likely helped in getting Patty Schachtner elected last night.

Instead, let’s make Scott Walker’s nightmare come true, and make the grifter have to get his first real job after the November elections.


  1. A good sign for Dems looking forward, so let's use this as something to build upon. It's great Hintz and Shilling are demanding special elections, as they should. We need to be playing offense, not always on the defensive.

    1. And Walker's response was absurd, saying they didn't want to add costs to local givernmemts with more elections.

      Except everywhere in Wisconsin will have elections in Feb (for Supreme Court primary) and April (for SCOWIS general election. So you simply schedule those elections for that time, and there is very little (to no) extra cost.

      Dems need to keep pounding, as Scotty is clearly flailing and losing.

  2. Have to admit - I'm juiced up for this. I've been wondering for some time when the backlash was going to come and what the impetus would be. I thought we'd have to wait for the next recession, but maybe between Trump, the Fox-Con, crummy roads, and general working class stagnation the change is coming quicker.

    I know among people who pay attention to these things that Lincoln Hills reflects very poorly on the current administration; I also think they've overplayed their hand going after the elections commission, but I don't know just how much that sort of thing penetrates for the average voter.