Scott Walker Continues To Lead Wisconsin Recall Polling

Barring an upset, Scott Walker looks likely to survive his recall election tomorrow.

With one day of campaigning left, Governor Scott Walker continues to lead in the polls, but the final outcome is likely to depend on which side has the better get-out-the-vote operation:

A new poll finds Republican Wisconsin Gov. Scott Walker with a narrowed lead over Democratic challenger Tom Barrett ahead of Tuesday’s recall vote.

Public Policy Polling survey released Monday shows Walker with the support of 50 percent of likely voters, ahead of Milwaukee Mayor Barrett at 47 percent.

But Walker’s support is down from a 50-to-45 percent edge in the same poll conducted three weeks ago and down from the 7-point 52-45 lead Walker held in a Marquette Law poll released last week.

Barrett leads Walker, however, among independent voters, with 48 percent support to 46.

Walker holds a net positive approval rating at 51 percent favorable to 47 unfavorable, topping Barrett, who posts 46 percent favorable and unfavorable numbers.

Tuesday’s vote could come down to which side can better turn out supporters.

“What’s going to determine Tuesday’s outcome is pretty simple,” Dean Debnam, president of Public Policy Polling, said in a statement. ”If Democrats turn out in the same numbers that they did in 2008, Tom Barrett will win a surprise victory. And if they don’t, Scott Walker will survive.”

While the slight up-tick in Barrett’s support in this PPP poll compared to the one three weeks ago is of interest, it’s invalid to compare this poll to one conducted by a different polling organization, something that PPP itself does in the blog post announcing the poll’s release. As a matter of proper poll analysis, it simply isn’t valid to compare poll results from two different pollsters because you’re dealing with two different polling methodologies and two different samples based on two different projections of what likely voter turnout will be on the day of the election. For that matter, it’s pretty clear that PPP is over playing the difference between the poll released last night and the one taken three weeks ago. A two point bump for Barrett is well within the margin of error and likely can be disregarded. More importantly, there’s been no real change in the poll internals:

Walker has a 51/47 approval rating. He’s up with men (55-42), whites (52-46), seniors (58-39), and especially voters in the Milwaukee suburbs (70/29).

Barrett has a 46/46 favorability rating, improved from 43/46 on our first poll after the  primary. He’s winning with women (52/46), minorities (58-36), youngvoters (53-39),  those in Milwaukee County (61-35), and ones in greater Madison (59-37).

This is a close race, closer than it was a couple weeks ago. Scott Walker’s still the  favorite but Barrett’s prospects for an upset look better than they have in a long time

If by “better than they have in a long time,” PPP means “marginally improved,” then they have a point. If they mean that this poll shows an upset in the making, they’re simply wrong. Dean Debnam is right in the quote above that turnout is what will be driving this election, and it is entirely possible that Democratic turnout will be marginally higher enough that Barrett will be able to eke out a victory. However the optimistic scenario that PPP posits, that turnout tomorrow will be similar to what Wisconsin saw in 2008, seems to be wildly off base if only because it is generally a universal truism that off-year and special elections have lower turnout than General Election Day in Presidential years.

The slightly ironic thing about this entire recall campaign has been the fact that the issue that supposedly animated all of the political turmoil in the Badger State, the bargaining rights of public employee unions and Walker’s reform legislation, has barely been an issue at all. Partly, this is because the Democrats ended up nominating the candidate least identified with the Labor Union’s complaints against Walker, much to the chagrin of many labor activists. This came after several big-name Democrats, including former Senator Russ Feingold and Congressman David Obey, declined to take Walker on, and it’s been followed up by national Democrats largely staying away from the race, or arguing that a Barrett loss would have no national implications, as it has become clear that Walker isn’t nearly as vulnerable as first appeared.

For proof of that, take a look at the RealClearPolitics chart of the polling in Wisconsin, there hasn’t been much of it but the pattern is clear:

Barrett hasn’t really been close to Walker from the start, so if he does win here it’s going to cause all the pollsters to re-evaluate their poling models for Wisconsin. More importantly, Walker has a +6.4 lead in the RCP average. Unless pretty much every single pollster is wrong, it strikes me that the signs all point to a Walker victory tomorrow night.

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FILED UNDER: Campaign 2012, Labor Unions, Public Opinion Polls, US Politics, ,
Doug Mataconis
About Doug Mataconis
Doug holds a B.A. in Political Science from Rutgers University and J.D. from George Mason University School of Law. He joined the staff of OTB in May 2010. Before joining OTB, he wrote at Below The BeltwayThe Liberty Papers, and United Liberty Follow Doug on Twitter | Facebook

Comments

  1. Loviatar says:

    Forgive me for noting that conservatives seem to believe that the rich will work harder if we give them more, and the poor will work harder if we give them less.

    E.J. Dionne

  2. Hey Norm says:

    The margin of error is +/- 2.8%…and the trend is to Barrett.
    I’d say it’s neck and neck.
    But…as you say…it’ll all come down to turnout.

  3. PD Shaw says:

    I wonder why PPP didn’t ask the voters to name the Presidential candidate they intended to vote for in November?

    The same polls showing Walker ahead by almost 6 points, have Obama ahead by 7 points on average.

  4. jan says:

    Here’s another poll which was done May 30-June2 among 507 “decided” voters.

    GOVERNOR – WISCONSIN (Angus Reid)
    Scott Walker (R-inc) 53%
    Tom Barrett (D) 47%

    I’m taking nothing for granted about this recall election. Dems are pulling out the stops, including releasing a last minute ‘love-child’ story about Walker, when he was in college. It was quickly debunked. But, like any inflammatory gossip, I’m sure it had some kind of impact.

    Yes, I’m backing Walker, and have sent donations to his campaign, vicariously living through this contest, because here in CA, we probably will never have the chance to challenge Unions like WI has, with a governor who has been able to go through the gauntlet of criticism Walker has, and continue fighting.

    In the meantime, Wi, seems to be coming out of it’s fiscal slump, despite the Union nails thrown in it’s path. In fact Steven Greenhut has written a forthright piece saying, real progressives should support Scott Walker.

    Progressives used to pride themselves on their desire to help the poor, but in Wisconsin these days they’d rather throw the poor under the bus—a public bus, of course, with a union driver—to protect the relatively wealthy class of workers who administer government programs. So we’ve watched the antics—legislative Democrats heading to Illinois to deny the governor a quorum for his budget vote; truckloads of union activists and boatloads of union money pouring into the state capital; attempts to portray Walker as someone who is destroying the state.

    But a funny thing happened on the way to the recall. Wisconsin’s economy is rebounding, its debt receding. The state is gaining jobs everywhere except in downtrodden Milwaukee, where Democratic gubernatorial candidate Tom Barrett serves as mayor, and where union control has its tightest grip.

    Despite all the money being invested in this election by people like the evil Koch Brothers, Crossroads PAC, etc., you have the considerable power/money of the unions, on the other side. So, instead of being a David (Walker) versus Goliath (Unions) contest, it will be more of a Goliath versus Goliath match, with hopefully the “working man,’ as represented by Walker, being emboldened enough by a win to continue with the reforms already in place.

  5. Tlaloc says:

    In the meantime, Wi, seems to be coming out of it’s fiscal slump, despite the Union nails thrown in it’s path.

    Actually WI has experienced almost exactly the same recovery as the rest of the US on average. Consequently, where’s the supposed pay off for eviscerating worker protections?

  6. Xerxes says:

    HAHAHAHAHAHA, This PPP poll “forgot” about the independent candidate running. They polled this race 2 weeks ago and it was:

    Walker 50%
    Barrett 45%
    Trivedi 2%
    Undecided 3%

    Now, they poll the race and it is:

    Walker 50%
    Barrett 47%
    Undecided 3%

    Hmmm, what is missing? LOL!!!

  7. jan says:

    @Tlaloc:

    “Consequently, where’s the supposed pay off for eviscerating worker protections?”

    If “eviscerated” means being brought into line with private sector contributions, allowing HC coverage to be competively priced out a third lower than the union mandated coverage, or having workers given a choice to pay union dues, rather than have them arbitrarily taken out of their paychecks, then carry on with your hyperbole.

    BTW:

    Yet another poll. This one done June 3rd among 1570 likely voters:

    GOVERNOR – WISCONSIN (WAA)
    Scott Walker (R-inc) 54%
    Tom Barrett (D) 42%

  8. al-Ameda says:

    @jan:

    Yet another poll. This one done June 3rd among 1570 likely voters:

    GOVERNOR – WISCONSIN (WAA)
    Scott Walker (R-inc) 54%
    Tom Barrett (D) 42%

    Who sponsored that Poll, the Koch brothers?

  9. Josh Biggs says:

    If Walker loses the recall election i will NEVER purchase another Wisconsin product.

  10. slimslowslider says:

    Althouse Brand Box Wine cries at you, Josh Biggs

  11. al-Ameda says:

    @Josh Biggs:

    If Walker loses the recall election i will NEVER purchase another Wisconsin product.

    Why? Is democracy that disturbing?

  12. Josh Biggs says:

    @al-Ameda: Democracy??? hardly!!! I will not support the Fascism of the progressive movement or its union henchmen.

  13. Josh Biggs says:

    Any real american already boycotts the union label for the good of the nation

  14. slimslowslider says:

    Josh Biggs, are you trying to steal Jan from me?

  15. Josh Biggs says:

    @al-Ameda: are you gay??? what is your fascination with Koch all of a sudden. I notice that you have no problem taking money from the admitted Nazi collaborator Geroge Soros though.

  16. jan says:

    @al-Ameda:

    Who sponsored that Poll, the Koch brothers?

    It matter less who sponsors a poll, than how objective and accurate a poll is constructed and implemented.

    A site for We Ask American (WAA), describing who they are.

  17. Anne Rogers says:

    Unions are for life’s losers. They are only needed by those that do not have the intelligence or the talent to succeed on their own merits.

  18. bk says:

    @jan: You link an article in REASON MAGAZINE to show why progressives should support Walker? We have truly gone through the looking glass.

  19. al-Ameda says:

    @Josh Biggs:

    Democracy??? hardly!!! I will not support the Fascism of the progressive movement or its union henchmen.

    Fascism? You don’t get out much do you? In 2003 in California, a conservative effort, funded by multi-millionaire Congressman Darrell Issa (R), successfully recalled Democratic Governor Gray Davis. I do not remember Democrats referring to those Republicans as “fascists” or “henchmen” either.

    Interesting how when Republicans initiate a recall it is good, when Republicans are the subject of a recall, it’s bad.

  20. Scott O. says:

    @slimslowslider: Althouse’s canned whine is also popular with some people though I find it to be rather unappealing.

  21. al-Ameda says:

    @Josh Biggs:

    @al-Ameda: are you gay???

    Why are you obsessed with homosexuality?
    Get help, Marcus Bachmann will counsel you.

  22. al-Ameda says:

    @jan:

    @al-Ameda:
    Who sponsored that Poll, the Koch brothers?
    It matter less who sponsors a poll, than how objective and accurate a poll is constructed and implemented.
    A site for We Ask American (WAA), describing who they are.

    I was being snarky, but you knew that.
    The results of that poll are so far from mainstream polling that you have to wonder about the methodology there.

  23. Josh Biggs says:

    @al-Ameda: FYI Hitler was a progressive… deal with it!

  24. Josh Biggs says:

    @al-Ameda: You’re the one asking to see everybodies Koch’s pal… not me!

  25. al-Ameda says:

    @Josh Biggs:
    Josh, recess is over, take a nap, get well.

  26. al-Ameda says:

    @Josh Biggs:

    @al-Ameda: You’re the one asking to see everybodies Koch’s pal… not me!

    Soros is Koch’s pal? Get help.

  27. Josh Biggs says:

    @al-Ameda: Is that the best you have al-ahmadenajad? DOn’t you have a bus to blow up or something?

  28. Josh,

    Your last comment to Al-Ameda is in violation of our comment policy. Personal attacks on other commentators are not allowed. Consider this your warning.

  29. slimslowslider says:

    “Bigg” ups to new comment guy, Josh! Dude is killing.

  30. al-Ameda says:

    @Josh Biggs:

    @al-Ameda: Is that the best you have al-ahmadenajad? DOn’t you have a bus to blow up or something?

    Josh, I know you were really trying hard to be clever, but … my “name” – ‘al-Ameda’ just happens to be the name of the street I grew up on – Alameda, that’s all.

    As for Ahmadinejad? Well, you just learned the correct spelling of that name.

  31. jan says:

    @al-Ameda:

    The results of that poll are so far from mainstream polling that you have to wonder about the methodology there.

    The 12 pt. difference I would call an outier, for sure. Although there has been one other poll showing a double digit lead by Walker, most others have been closer, in the 3 to 7 point range. I, for one, do not think Walker has this thing wrapped up. Anything can happen. It’s all going to depend on the ground game, as they say. Obiously, I’m hopeful, even enthusiastic, about positive polling resuts for Walker. But, won’t be popping any champagne corks until it is all over.

  32. al-Ameda says:

    @jan:
    Thanks Jan.
    I do happen to think that as the economy has improved slightly, that Walker will benefit from that and he will win.

  33. Dustin says:

    The slightly ironic thing about this entire recall campaign has been the fact that the issue that supposedly animated all of the political turmoil in the Badger State, the bargaining rights of public employee unions and Walker’s reform legislation, has barely been an issue at all.

    There’s nothing “supposed” about it, Act 10 started the recall fight, but it certainly isn’t the only reason people are divided and upset with the Republican leadership in Wisconsin. The fact that it’s not the central campaign issue shouldn’t be surprising.

    Frankly, I thought it was a mistake for Falk to run on the notion that she would veto any budget that didn’t restore collective bargaining. As it stands, the Democrats don’t have the majority in the assembly or state senate, so promishing that guarantees further turmoil, the Republicans weren’t just going to hand that back over. Barrett made the smarter play in saying he’d try to restore it with a special session.

  34. I thought it was a mistake for Falk to run on the notion that she would veto any budget that didn’t restore collective bargaining.

    That promise was the price the unions demanded for an endorsement. Falk agreed to it, Barrett would not.

  35. GEOMASTER says:

    Who’s Really Buying American Democracy?
    Mike Cornelison
    May 6, 2012

    Cumulative Donations
    Unions vs. Koch Industries from 1989-2012

    Unions

    American Federation of State, County & Municipal Employees

    $47,869,048

    Service Employees International Union

    $38,819,196

    National Education Association

    $38,284,919

    International Brotherhood of Electrical Workers

    $34,928,253

    American Federation of Teachers

    $32,850,516

    Teamsters Union

    $32,657,878

    Laborers Union

    $32,629,200

    Carpenters & Joiners Union

    $31,622,758

    Communications Workers of America

    $31,271,197

    United Food & Commercial Workers Union

    $27,981,755

    United Auto Workers

    $27,926,225

    Machinists & Aerospace Workers Union

    $27,379,727

    National Association of Letter Carriers

    $22,699,084

    AFL-CIO

    $22,263,800

    Sheet Metal Workers Union

    $19,737,520

    International Association of Fire Fighters

    $19,154,293

    Plumbers & Pipefitters Union

    $19,010,856

    Operating Engineers Union

    $18,232,474

    Airline Pilots Association

    $17,281,597

    United Transportation Union

    $15,263,410

    United Steelworkers

    $15,123,146

    Ironworkers Union

    $15,074,374

    American Postal Workers Union

    $14,046,823

    Total $602,108,049

    The Koch Brothers

    Total $12,687,199

  36. Jeremy says:

    @GEOMASTER: I really want to see a link for that, just to check it and verify myself, though it seems pretty accurate.

  37. bk says:

    A more accurate comparison would track the period from 2008-2012.

  38. bk says:

    Here is the “source”, which shows (a) that the data is cut off as of April 2011, and is not through 2012; and (b) that Koch ramped up its contributions after Obama was elected. Unfortunately, this doesn’t comport with Geomaster’s agenda.

    http://www.opensecrets.org/orgs/summary.php?id=D000000186

  39. brad says:

    Koch represents TWO men, all those unions represent MILLIONS OF WORKERS.

    @GEOMASTER:

  40. al-Ameda says:

    @GEOMASTER:
    Were the Koch brothers contributing their money to
    campaigns throughout the 1989-2012 period?

  41. jan says:

    I didn’t notice the significance of Xerxes’s post above comparing and contrasting PPP’s two polls, done a little over 2 weeks apart. Now I do.

    According to this analysis, of yesterday’s Poll, PPP arbitrarily dropped out the independent, Hari Triveda, from their numbers, assuming the 2% voting for him on May 15th would switch and vote for Barrett. However, Triveda has not dropped out, and is still on the ballot. So, I think that PPP’s numbers might be skewed.

    Oh well, tomorrow will be the truth-teller, no matter what the polls are saying today.

  42. Tsar Nicholas says:

    Imagine the following scenario and its inherent layers of irony and the laws of unintended consequences embodied therein: Walker holds on 51-49; Walker’s winning margin in the recall is driven by white working class private union members who’ve been priced out of gainful employment by their unions and who backlash against the SEIU/AFSCME cabal, along with older voters disgusted by the unions’ scorched earth campaign; Romney wins the Electoral College by one state; that one state just so happens to be Wisconsin; Romney’s margin in Wisconsin also happens to come in at 51-49.

    What’s eerily bizarre is that that actually could happen.

  43. Jenos Idanian says:

    @brad: Then why has union membership dropped since Wisconsin made membership voluntary?

  44. Loviatar says:

    @Tsar Nicholas:

    The irony would be seeing the white middle class yet again voting against their best interest.

  45. al jones says:

    @Loviatar:

    Loviatar says:
    Monday, June 4, 2012 at 10:36
    “Forgive me for noting that conservatives seem to believe that the rich will work harder if we give them more, and the poor will work harder if we give them less”.

    This comment above is pure nonsense!!!!! First of all who is WE ? And give the rich what? Seems like you advocate redistribution of wealth. People who work hard get what they get. Some rich people work hard. Some poor people work hard. There are no guarantees in life on who gets what from hard work. Some people work smarter, some harder. Some get lucky, some not. The government should have no say. As far as who pays what. The rich pay their fair share of taxes. We currently have a progressive tax rate with those earning more paying more in taxes.

    I live in liberal NY. If you live here and earn 250K or more you pay 40% or more of your income to federal and state governments. Few tax deductions allowed. No dependant deductions, no property tax deductions. Conservatives ask for nothing except to be left alone. We want fiscal responsibility, less waste, less debt, and less taxes for all. But keep in mind that 47 – 50% of Americans pay NO federal taxes at all. So your so called rich are already paying a considerable share.

  46. grumpy realist says:

    @al jones: Yes, you claim to be want to be left alone, but then you demand roads, a court system, defense, clean air and waters, electricity, peanut butter without rat turds in it…..

    Who do you think provides all these things, the Infrastructure Fairy?

    (I also notice that very few so-called conservatives man up and actually go off into the wild blue yonder with their panels of solar cells and herds of goats. It looks like it’s easier for them to stay in the “blue” urban areas and bitch about how Horrible Socialism Is over the internet. You can’t fool me. you want the bennies, but don’t want to pay for them—-just like every teenager. Wants his own car but wants his parents to pay for it and the gas and the car insurance whine whine whine.)

    If you guys want to Go Galt so bad, please shut up and just do it already!

  47. Robert Levine says:

    Then why has union membership dropped since Wisconsin made membership voluntary?

    Technically, of course, union membership has been voluntary for many years. Paying that portion of union dues which goes to negotiation and contract adminstration is only voluntary to right-to-be-fired-without-any-due-process states.

    Walker’s “reforms” did far more than make public sector union membership “voluntary.” Essentially they eliminated the ability of public sector unions (with the exception, of course, of public safety unions) to negotiate anything. Would be it a surprise if subscriptions to the Wall Street Journal fell off if the WSJ was barred from actually publishing a newspaper?

  48. John Anderson says:

    @Tlaloc:

    If WI is experiencing about the same economic recovery as the rest of the U.S., but is ahead on unemployment, and lowering the budget deficits, isn’t that a net win? Also, I hardly think making public employees pay for the exact same thing private sector employees pay for regularly is ‘eviscerating’ anything, just moving the model of employment closer to reality.

  49. John Anderson says:

    @Tlaloc:

    Oh, and something else about your comment caught my eye, but it took me a little while to put my finger on it. That is that average means nothing in this context. If one union controlled states is doing very poorly while two right-to-work states are very well, and WI is on the average of this model, than WI is doing quite well, even though it’s only ‘average’,

    What would be more enlightening to see if WI is above the median of the data set for economic growth. Then compare the economic growth data set to another which describes policies toward public sector unions. Most of the states do not allow public sector unions, or have not codified collective bargaining privileges for unions. So basically, if WI is economically above the states with are controlled by union power, but below states which have restraints on union power, than these policies are a win for WI.

    Not doing the math, but just glancing at the SPI data from the BEA, it appears that the states with the quickest growth in personal income, with the exception of California and possibly Colorado are right to work states in flyover country. I’m not entirely sure if Colorado is a right-to-work state, which is why I listed it as a possibility. Wisconsin is one bracket below these states in status, but other heavily unionized states are two or three quintiles below the position WI is in. All in all, this data reveals that workers are making more money in states that are not heavily unionized, with California as an exception. However, I’m not sure California can count as a heavily unionized state. California is a huge, with many industries from technology, to agriculture, to Hollywood. I’m not sure if unionized industry outweighs non-unionized industries in California, as it’s products are extremely diverse.

  50. GEOMASTER says:
  51. GEOMASTER says:

    Koch represents TWO men, all those unions represent MILLIONS OF WORKERSUNION BOSSES AND THE DEMOCRATES THAT THEY GET ELECTED.

    Fixed for the love of reality.

  52. GEOMASTER says:

    Why I’m voting for Walker and you should too!.

    by Drew Lawrence on Monday, June 4, 2012 at 10:41pm ·
    .

    I’ve made no secret of my politics so this probably comes as no surprise to most of you, but I will definitely be recasting my vote for Governor Walker and Rebecca Kleefisch. One of the most compelling reasons would be his integrity. He has done exactly what he campaigned on and delivered. He came into office with a deficit of over 3 billion dollars. He was faced with a choice of 1. Cut services, lay off workers, and cut programs; 2. Raise taxes in an economy where most families and businesses are barely making it as it is or; 3. Find waste and eliminate it, eliminate fraud in existing programs and ask the public service unions to finally bear a bit of the economic reality we all face. He chose the latter. He didn’t just set out to bust unions. He tried repeatedly to negotiate. From the time he was governor elect and the lame duck session preceding him tried to rush through contracts, up to the point that the unions refused the 3rd compromise offered while 14 WI lawmakers hid out of state. The one sticking point the unions wouldn’t budge on? Forced membership for government workers with money automatically withdrawn from their paychecks by the state. The Governor was asking these workers to finally kick in towards their own pension and benefits. True, it was a much smaller amount than those in the private sector and smaller than most other States’ public sector unions, but he wasn’t going to do this without giving those affected the choice to be a member of the union or maybe offset these costs by choosing to stand on their own. This was a bridge too far for big labor and we’ve all seen the results. Thousands of activists have flooded the state. They’ve occupied and vandalized the capitol causing $250,000 in damage. There have been death threats, mobs chasing lawmakers and others actually being physically assaulted. They have turned this state into a circus! I’ve seen protesters dressing like zombies and ruining the Special Olympics ceremony. Opening festivities at the state fair, the Veterans welcome home ceremony. and visits to schools and employers have all been subject to interruption and vandalism. There has not been an event, political or non political, where the Governor has been allowed to speak without drums banging, horns blowing, chanting and signs with vile sayings. They have also pumped in tens of millions of dollars to recalling lawmakers that have done nothing wrong! Recalls are supposed to be for malfeasance in office – not for simply passing laws a certain special interest group doesn’t agree with. And the tantrums and boorish behavior should not be rewarded. Another reason is to look at the alternative. We have a candidate running against him that has been an abysmal failure at his present job. Milwaukee is fast on its way to becoming the next Detroit. He’s raised taxes 48% since in office and unemployment has risen 28%. Businesses are leaving in droves and his solution? Build a trolley at a cost of 100 million that runs in a circle less than three miles long to nowhere! This would require moving utility lines under the street, losing a lane of traffic, and would help no one get to any job. There is also the problem of weather. It snows quite a bit in WI. How do you keep the tracks clear and where do you put the snow now that you’ve removed one side of the street to put in tracks? This man has never accomplished anything and hasn’t kept one campaign promise. He got his job promising to fix the problem of MMSD dumping raw sewage into Lake Michigan. 8 years and millions of gallons later and he hasn’t done one thing to fix the situation. His platform now sounds like Mister Mackie from South Park talking about drugs! MMM Scott Walkers bad mkay? I’m going to unify, mkay? He’s got a John Doe, mmkay? He has no plan whatsoever! When asked repeatedly what his plans are, or even one thing specific he would do better, he deflects. He continues to make claims that are proven untrue and goes to his ace in the hole, the John Doe investigation. This John Doe investigation was called for by Scott Walker himself! When they noticed some accounting discrepancies, he had enough integrity to ask someone from across the aisle to come and investigate everything about his administration. This investigation did uncover one very bad actor within his administration and two of his accomplices who had nothing to do with Walker. The other big criminal was an assistant who defended her boss on a blog post while on lunch using a government computer! This qualifies as campaigning at government expense. I will point out that a recent open records request shows Tom Barrett’s wife has done actual campaigning multiple times from her government computer. I won’t hold my breath waiting for charges though. But what have Barrett’s ads been about lately? “Show us the emails”. He’s a lawyer and knows damn well you can’t discuss or release evidence involved in an active investigation. I’m sure he’s never even made an open records request. He also knows that Walker is not the target of this investigation. He shouldn’t know this, but Chisolm is a democrat and the lead investigator who has a recall sign in his yard. This “secret” investigation has had more leaks than the Titanic. After over two years of being able to investigate anything they wanted, if there was anything they could possibly charge the governor with, it would have been done or leaked by now. I used to have a modicum of respect for Barrett after the State Fair incident, but no longer. Then there is Mahlon Mitchell running against Rebecca Kleefisch. This man actually sent threatening letters to WI businesses telling them to put a pro union sign in their window or face a boycott! Do we really want a thug extortionist as our lieutenant governor? It seems to me the only thing he cares about is special interest power and not the small businessman or families of this State. The main reason is the Governor’s reforms are working! He balanced the budget. He paid back the money stolen from other funds, paid back our debts to other states, and now has a surplus instead of a deficit. After three years of steady job losses, over 150,000, he has actually added over 30,000 since in office. Even with the democrats doing everything they could to prevent it like blocking the thousands of jobs the most environmentally friendly iron mine on the planet would have brought to our state. Unemployment is down from 7.7% to 6.7%. The median income has risen, as well as tax revenues without raising taxes! Many business’s are waiting the outcome of this election before making any expansions or hiring on more employees. They want to be sure that the reforms and attitudes of this Governor are going to stay in place. Wisconsin is on the rise lets keep it that way. One only has to look across our southern border to see the alternative.

    H/T Walker Backers Watching Walker Stalkers, on FaceBook.

  53. Keith Anderson says:

    @Loviatar: No, we don’t GIVE the rich anything. They WORK for what they’ve got. And if the poor don’t want to be poor anymore, they need to stop asking for handouts and get off their collective butts!

  54. Rob in CT says:

    if the poor don’t want to be poor anymore, they need to stop asking for handouts and get off their collective butts!

    The mythology is strong. Everyone who has a big paycheck earned it and everyone who doesn’t must have screwed up.

    Reality is a little more complicated. We do not live in a perfect meritocracy, and we never will (I think it’s obvious that really attempting to create a pure meritopia would result in dystopia). Lots of people work hard, play by the rules and still struggle financially. Some others game the system and get rich without doing much useful work (admittedly, that’s subjective). And everyone – everyone – is building off the foundation they inherit from their parents, for good or ill. Sometimes that helps. Sometimes it hurts. Either way, it says nothing about the character of the person in question. You don’t choose your parents, but who they are, how much money they have, etc matters a great deal. If I recall correctly, the single thing that is most predictive of your financial success in life is your parent’s wealth. Standing on the shoulders of giants and all that (or not, as the case may be).

    Income inequality hit 1929 levels right before the 2008 financial panic and I don’t think that’s a coincidence. I think this is unhealthy for us all. If someone can dream up a way of checking this worrisome trend without using the blunt instrument of government, I’m interested. Mostly what I’m hearing from Conservatives, though, is denial that it’s a problem at all.

    Anyway, as to the intial topic… the power of unions has been waning for decades, and I think it’s mostly due to globalization (private sector unions, that is. Leaving the public sector as the remaining bastion of unionization… and making it easier to divide and conquer). I don’t think unions are going to make a comeback anytime soon. Partly because they’ve been undercut by cheap labor overseas, and partly because the abuses they initially combatted – the really egregious stuff – is outside of the vast majority of Americans’ experience. It’s something you read about in books. If the extremist wing of the GOP actually succeeds in rolling back worker protections far enough, that might change. Until then, though, I suspect unions will struggle to gain traction.

    It’s easy to demonize (or lionize) unions, but in the end they exist to benefit their members. Like lobbyists, but for workers (particular groups of workers, more accurately). I’d love it if there was a better way to empower workers, because unions have their problems. But I suspect that’s a lot like wishing for a better breed of human – wishing for a magic pony.

  55. al-Ameda says:

    @Rob in CT:

    Income inequality hit 1929 levels right before the 2008 financial panic and I don’t think that’s a coincidence. I think this is unhealthy for us all. If someone can dream up a way of checking this worrisome trend without using the blunt instrument of government, I’m interested. Mostly what I’m hearing from Conservatives, though, is denial that it’s a problem at all.

    Republicans and conservatives don’t believe it’s problem because they believe that everyone has an equal opportunity to win the lottery or cash in on an IPO.