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Wednesday, June 06, 2012


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Stan Gibilisco

Obamney, Rombama, Demopublican, Republicrat. It matters not. Our ultimate fate remains the same in every version of the Cosmic Program:


We, the widdo peeopo, get the bone. Bow-wow!


You might have noted a "lot of money" was a 7.5 to 1 spending advantage on Walker's part (over 60% of that from out-of-state donors) and NBC exit polls indicating those who voted yesterday still favor Obama over Romney by double digits. Obama would have been a fool to step into the middle of this particular fray.


A.I., would those be the same exit polls that showed about a 50-50 split in the gubernatorial race? That does not seem very reliable to me. I believe WI is in play. Even if the Republicans are unable to win it, the Democrats will have to spend money to defend it. About that "a lot of money" comment, how much do you suppose the people bussed in by the unions was worth? Even though they did not get paid, they still were there. Also, 60% out of state donors reflects a nationwide concern about what was going on in WI. And when you look at the amount raised by Walker in state, he still had more than what Barrett had combined in state and out of state by my calculations. What nobody is looking at is the amount of money spent by the unions in the other races as well. It appears that the Democrats will pick up one state senate seat in a legislature that does not meet again until 2013 unless there is a special session. Overall, it was a very bad night for the Democrats and for the public unions in particular.


You are right KB in that it was a bad night for Democrats and public unions and it certainly was not a good night for the Obama campaign either. I'm just saying it perhaps was not as bad for Obama as you imply and that Mitt Romney is not Scott Walker. Note too that this election was not just a referendum on Walker, it was a referendum on recalls in the absence of criminal or neglectful malfeasance.

Yes, unions bused people and did all the things campaigns do to build a solid ground game. But, as you note, so did the Walker campaign with money to spare for massive media buys, etc.


Lest someone think I'm deluding myself with the referendum argument in my previous post, this from the Huffington Post: "The biggest challenge to the Barrett campaign may have been the nature of the recall itself. On the exit poll, just 27 percent of the voters judged recall elections appropriate for any reason, but 60 percent said they are appropriate only for official misconduct and 10 percent said recalls are never appropriate. Walker won those in the middle category by more than a two-to-one margin."

The rest is here: http://www.huffingtonpost.com/2012/06/05/wisconsin-recall-vote_n_1572662.html

Jon S.

A.I., what you seem to be saying is the the very idea of the Walker recall was ill conceived and was a misuse, perhaps even an abuse, of the recall provision. Boy, pretty bad time to come to that conclusion if you are the unions/Democrats.

Bill Fleming

It's going to be tough for omney to sell how bad the economy is in WI after Walker just got done explaining how great it is. LOL.

Bill Fleming

Romney... (although I do kind of like 'omney' as in 'I'll say whatever...')


Bill, the question the voters will have to ask themselves is whether Walker is more responsible for the better jobs situation or Obama is responsible. Objective voters will look at the changes Walker has made in Wisconsin government and made the state more attractive for people thinking about bringing in jobs or expanding. Union voters will vote for Obama. I do not know that WI will go to Romney, but Obama will be forced to defend a state he did not believe he would have to. And how enthused do you believe Democrats will be for Obama when he was too busy to jump in his private helicopter to jump to WI when he was in MN and Chicago? I suspect Democrats are feeling betrayed. Go ahead and put WI in Obama's column, but if they ignore the state, it could easily go Romney.

Ken Blanchard

The exit polls were dead wrong on the most basic question. They predicted a nearly 50/50 split. Walker won by seven points. There is no reason to take seriously any information gleaned from the exits.

Bill: Wisconsin is a state. The United States is the whole country. The unemployment in one may not reflect the unemployment in another. Glad we cleared that up.

Stan Gibilisco

In my opinion, A.I. and Jon both make excellent points.

I doubt that this result will have much, if any, net effect in November. All I can do is cast my own vote.

larry kurtz

Barnes shows up to pile on: how conservative.

larry kurtz

Gary Johnson will prove to be Romney's spoiler with the disaffected Ron Paul/earth hater set.

Obama in a landslide.

Ken Blanchard

Should we send someone to check on Donald?

Ken Blanchard

Bill: perhaps this election is Omney vs Omney. Ask the guy who knows more about Judaism than any other President.

Donald Pay

This really wasn't decided on anyone convincing anybody about anything dealing with issues. It wasn't about courage. All but a handful of people had made up their minds months beforehand so the deciding factors were money and strategy to drive turnout.

Walker's advantage was money for media and messaging, which proved to drive up Walker's numbers everywhere that Democrats/unions failed to put together an effective grassroots effort.

Democrats focused most of their effort on Dane and Milwaukee Counties because the drop off in Democrats voting in 2010 in those counties led to Walker's victory that year. The thought was if the Democrats simply vote close to a Presidential total in those two counties, Walker would lose.

The Democrats big failure was in the Fox Valley and in several of the Mississippi River counties, where some Democrats didn't spend as much effort on issues and organizing.

Ken Blanchard

Donald: good to hear from you. I was a bit worried. I don't really disagree with anything you say here, except that Walker's courage is undeniable. Even devils, if that is what you think Walker is, can be courageous.

Your comments about the money are revealing. Yes, Walker outspent Barrett by a large factor. With President Obama spending twice as much time fundraising as his predecessor, whose fault is that?

As you point out, most people seem to have made up their minds months ago, which is one reason why the recall was ridiculous. It also means that there was not much play in the electorate for Walker's money to work on. At best, he increased his margin of victory in this second contest by one or two percent. The turnout was high and both sides were over-stimulated. The Republicans won fair and square: more of them turned out.

Walker's victory does not indicate a Romney victory in Wisconsin. Neither is it irrelevant. If Walker's money advantage means anything important, it is that it allowed the Republicans to build a GOTV system than they had before. Where voters do not register by parties (that is true of Wisconsin, isn't it?), lists of voters inclined to support your side printed in pure gold. I am skeptical that GOTV really decides matters in all but very rare cases, but this might turn out to be such a case. That is one reason why the recall was very bad move for the Democrats.

Donald Pay

Walker's "courage" amounted to talking to billionaires about how to screw the middle class and to find ways to pay them off. He still refuses to sit down with citizens who disagree with him. It's the courage we saw in other political criminals, like Richard Nixon.

Politically, he's about to come down off that righwing mountain, where his "courage" will be shown to be quite criminal, and you and others will, of course, have to explain why you were so fooled by this guy. He's stonewalled the John Doe investigation to get through the recall, but now he's facing another investigation, and some of the people that were taking the fall for him are starting to sing. He wouldn't release the emails he sent to and through the secret servers before the recall election, but those will come out at some point. Already 13 of his closest political advisers and operatives and financial backers have pled guilty or no contest or been charged. Come on, Romney, get your picture taken with the courageous Scotty now.

Ken Blanchard

Donald: what is it like to be filled with hate? I never saw the charm. As for the rest, well, if Walker is behaving like the U.S. Justice Department, maybe he does have something to hide.

Bill Fleming

I want to share a letter from a political/statistical analyst friend of mine here to maybe help put this in perspective:

"Walker raised and spent roughly 9 times the amount that Barrett put together – around $29 million. Walker utterly buried Barrett in negative TV, most of which was never replied to, not for a few days, or weeks, but for months. Walker’s TV was up and running in December. Barrett had a little on the air in April, not much more in May, and kinda came alive in the last week, all for the obvious reasons (cash).

Now a little history. Walker beat Barrett in the 2010 election by 6 points. Walker beat Barrett in last night’s election by 7 points.

In other words, $29M in rightwing cash, the largest amount ever raised and spent in a Governor’s race in the state of Wisconsin, moved the needle exactly 1 point. I would not say that this result was a union failure in any sense.

You and I both know that typically a rematch results in the prior winner widening the gap, not the loser closing the gap. That’s exactly what happened last night. And why, one might ask, would you expect any different result? The people that voted for Walker in the first place weren’t exactly union supporters. Only someone who was a borderline to clinically psychotic could believe that such a crowd was going to do an about-face, admit they made a mistake and vote for Barrett in a rematch, especially in view of no response by Barrett to the barrage of negative TV.

Anyway, that’s my thought on what happened here yesterday."

Jon S.

Bill, it is worth nothing that the unions spent $21 million in Wisconsin, not counting in-kind contributions such as phone banks and GOTV activities. The union side had plenty of money to make the case. They didn't.

Bill Fleming

The amounts spent were now where near equal by my read, Ken. My friends count is campaigns only. If you count Union money you have to count SuperPac money too, yes? Anyway, the point is, whether Walker spent $27 million or double that, it's a lot of money to spend for one percentage point.

Donald Pay

Hate? Ken, remember it was your man Walker who admitted his strategy was to "divide and conquer." To do that he had to spout hateful lies about public sector unions and the budget to stoke the hate.

If you have so much confidence that Walker is not a crook, and won't be soon indicted, you need to publicly, on this blog, demand that Mitt Romney go immediately to Wisconsin and stand arm in arm with him and praise him while the Democratic Party captures it all for a future campaign spot.

I was in Wisconsin watching all of Walker's lying ads. It was at least 7 to 1 money advantage to Walker. No one argues against that. It was plainly obvious.

Donald Pay

Just ruminate on this article, which gives you a small taste for what's going on in the John Doe investigation.


We've had FBI raids on one of Walker's staff's house in Madison, where the FBI has taken computers and other evidence. Just to make you squirm a bit more, not only is Walker likely to go down, but people here are wondering whether Reince Priebus might be caught up in this as well.

Ken Blanchard

Bill: We are perilously close to agreement in the first part of your post. Walker raised and spent tens of millions and only increased his margin of victory by about a percent. I don't know if that means that the money was wasted. It does make it hard to argue that Walker bought the election. As Jon Stewart put it, the voter's message was: "you didn't hear us the first time?"

As for your comment "I would not say that this result was a union failure in any sense", I would only add: no, except in the "we got the snot beat out of us yet again" sense. This was a terrible defeat for the unions.

Ken Blanchard

Donald: if Mitt Romney promises to stand arm in arm with Walker, can he just Tweet instead? Barack Obama promised to come and march "as President" and all he did was tweet.


I hope Walker wins. But I wonder, as a Union memebr myself, who protects us from the tyrannical administrators in the school system? There is no transparency. They have too much power and no accountability. They harass and threaten staff. On this issue our Union has been invaluable. What do we do about that?


When are the Democrats going to realize that the world they live in is not suaasintble?It works until you run out of other peoples money. Doesn't cut it any more.

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