Keep Your Eyes On Wisconsin

Filed in National by on August 3, 2011

The six recall elections for Republican state senators is less than one week away and things are looking good for Democrats. (There are 2 recall elections for Democratic senators on August 16 still.)

On a conference call with reporters just now, Wisconsin Democratic Party chairman Mike Tate made a very bold claim: He said party polling shows that Dems are leading or in a dead heat in all six of the races to recall Wisconsin GOP state senators.

If this is an accurate depiction of the state of play, then Wisconsin Dems may be on the verge of taking back the state senate. Putting that outcome aside, though, Tate shared some new numbers about the level of grassroots energy in the state that are eye-opening in their own right, and suggest that labor and Dems have already accomplished something historic.

Tate insisted that party polling shows that Dems are leading in the races to recall GOP senators Randy Hopper, Luther Olsen, and Dan Kapanke, and that they are in dead heats in the remaining races.

“I don’t know that I would say that we are going to sweep all six races, but our polling tells that we have leads in three of these races an we are dead tied in three,” Tate said. “Independents are moving towards the Democratic candidates in strong numbers.” Every race, he said, is “emminently winnable.”

Democrats only need to flip 3 of these races to take control of the state senate but it sounds like they could win all six. It will all depend on the GOTV effort. Republicans allies have dropped a lot of money on these races ($1.5M according the last numbers I saw) so this really is a proxy battle for future labor battles. Moreover, winning in Wisconsin will give Democrats a much-needed boost.

Tags: , , ,

About the Author ()

Opinionated chemist, troublemaker, blogger on national and Delaware politics.

Comments (13)

Trackback URL | Comments RSS Feed

Sites That Link to this Post

  1. On Wisconsin : Delaware Liberal | August 4, 2011
  1. cassandra m says:

    Thank goodness *these* people didn’t take to their fainting couches!

    For the folks interested in actually helping these really great people change their government, you can signup here to be part of the GOTV from the comfort of your own home (look Ma! I’m not marching in the streets!)

    And you can still contribute money, I think, to the effort there via this ActBlue link.

    Go Wisconsin!

  2. Geezer says:

    No, they didn’t. When their own asses were on the line, they took to the streets (or in this case the capitol building). Not before. And, you’ll notice, THEY DIDN’T VOTE FOR DEMOCRATS IN THE FIRST PLACE!

    They wound up with a Republican legislature BECAUSE THEY DIDN’T VOTE!

    My point is demonstrated in Wisconsin: People don’t march for other people. They march for themselves.

  3. puck says:

    “They wound up with a Republican legislature BECAUSE THEY DIDN’T VOTE!”

    For that you can thank Barack Obama, the father of the enthusiasm gap, who just gave birth to another even bigger one.

    I think Wisconsin knows better now though. They got their own personal lessons when Republican plans started affecting them personally. The rest of the nation will get its lesson when Medicare cuts start to take effect. Plus all the other downstream effects of caving to Republicans, which have not yet hit the kitchen tables, but will.

  4. cassandra m says:

    Look Ma! I’m *still* not talking about marching in the streets! :roll:

    What I *am* talking about is the most effective thing these people could do — the work of taking their government back. Because marching in the streets is one thing, but getting organized to get the recall done, getting the signatures, getting candidates, funding those candidates, getting a GOTV operation going in the space of a few months takes serious blood, sweat and tears. In other words, these people are taking advantage of the tools that representative democracy gives them to to actually get — you know — representative democracy.

    Having a Republican legislature because they didn’t vote is only a part of the story. The other part of the story is that the Republicans running clearly lied their asses off. Some of this energy (the Police Union endorsing these people, anyone?) is because they bought a pig in a poke.

  5. Geezer says:

    Again, that works at the local (in this case state) level. But the tools you speak of are not universally available. Delaware, for example, has no recall provisions.

    BTW, if the people had bothered to vote in the first place, they wouldn’t have to do all that other work now. In the case of Obama voters, we DID vote, expecting to avoid a Wisconsin-like result. But we bought a pig in a poke, too.

    I’m happy to see you finally admit this. That, not the unwillingness to get our hands dirty, is what this is about — at least from the point of the Obama critics in the crowd.

    You, on the other hand, want me to believe you voted for Obama in the full knowledge that you would have to watch him like a hawk to prevent him from going over to the dark side. I am saying that if that had been advertised as the case, I wouldn’t have voted for him at all.

  6. Jason330 says:

    In her heart she knows that Puck is right about the enthusiasm gap. That’s where all the condescension comes from.

  7. puck says:

    The thing is, during the debt debate, Obama WAS being watched like a hawk for a cave-in. We got burned by trusting him on the public option and tax cut extension, so we watched him carefully. And he was saying all the right things, still holding out for revenue right up until the moment he caved.

    Cassandra, I can’t swear it was you, but I remember being told “Don’t worry, Republicans are in a bad spot. The business community will call Republicans and tell them to cave.”

    Well, the business community called, but Obama picked up the phone.

  8. puck says:

    Oops sorry, this is a Wisconsin thread. Didn’t intend to hijack with Obama stuff, although the enthusiasm gap is on topic for Wisconsin.

  9. cassandra m says:

    But the tools you speak of are not universally available. Delaware, for example, has no recall provisions.

    I’m pretending that you do know that the tools of representative democracy are quite abit broader than this. Although the fact that you would take my example as a specific prescription makes that kind of generosity really hard. But then, it isn’t as though you’ve been much of a generous listener in the first place.

    BTW, if the people had bothered to vote in the first place, they wouldn’t have to do all that other work now.

    Which presumes that everyone would have voted for Democrats. Go back and look at the union endorsements for Republicans in WI — this was no where near a done deal in a state that has been trending purple.

    I’m happy to see you finally admit this.

    Admit what, exactly? That Obama is a pig in a poke? I’ve made no such assertion and you will need to remind me where I’ve said it. But this is emblematic of the problem with this conversation. Apparently, the price of admission is Obama bashing. Because every bit of the work you guys keep doing here is about trying to make the conservation about THAT. And my comments have little to do with that.

    You, on the other hand, want me to believe you voted for Obama in the full knowledge that you would have to watch him like a hawk to prevent him from going over to the dark side.

    I voted for Obama with the full knowledge that he was a politician (running for an office in a government with multiple veto points and decision levers) — with most of the baggage that implies. I did NOT vote for the Magic Negro, as apparently you did. But much like the lobbyists bearing checks, I do know that the people in office need plenty of reminders of the risks of not supporting various interests. Yes, I know, this is not part of your narrative UNTIL lobbyists actually prevail. Then we’re back to the fainting couches.

  10. cassandra m says:

    In her heart she knows that Puck is right about the enthusiasm gap. That’s where all the condescension comes from.

    Hey — you can’t even be bothered to understand the point that I’m trying to make here, so let’s not pretend that you know a damn thing about where my heart is.

    And *that’s* where the condescension comes from. Not that you asked me or anything.

  11. Geezer says:

    “I do know that the people in office need plenty of reminders of the risks of not supporting various interests.”

    Once again, I don’t know when you first got into politics, but this was NOT the situation before Clinton. When you voted for a Democrat, you got someone who stood AGAINST corporate influence.

    Once again, please clarify what point you’re trying to make here. I’m hopelessly confused at this point. It’s apparently NOT about rallying in the streets or Obama. What IS it about? Spell it out, because it’s currently clear as mud to me.

  12. Geezer says:

    That last graf is in earnest, Cass. I’m not even sure what we’re arguing about, beyond the fact that you think I have a fainting couch and am unwilling to “get my hands dirty.” (If by that you mean I’m unwilling to work for the Democratic Party, then you’re absolutely right.)

Switch to our mobile site