Scott Walker Surges In Iowa, But How Much Does Iowa Really Matter?

Scott Walker surged to the top of a new poll of Iowa Republicans, but Iowa is not a very good predictor of success in the race for the GOP nomination.

iowa

In the wake of Mitt Romney’s announcement that he would not be seeking the Republican nomination for President, a new poll out of Iowa shows Wisconsin Governor Scott Walker surging to a narrow lead ahead of other potential 2016 Republican in the state that will hold the first contest in the nation:

Presidential stage newcomer Scott Walker, the conservative reform pit bull who inspired death threats from the left, has become the one to watch in the race for the Republican nomination a year out from the Iowa caucuses.

At 15 percentage points, he leads a big, tightly packed field of potential contenders in a new Des Moines Register/Bloomberg Politics Iowa Poll of likely Republican caucusgoers. The caucuses are scheduled for Feb. 1, 2016.

The Wisconsin governor is also the No. 2 most popular choice for likely caucusgoers who want an establishment candidate, and he’s the No. 2 for those who want an anti-establishment candidate, the poll shows.

“He’s in a sweet spot,” pollster J. Ann Selzer said. “People who don’t want an ultra-conservative think he’s OK. People who don’t want a moderate think he’s OK.”

Just one point behind is Rand Paul, a U.S. senator from Kentucky and the son of three-time presidential candidate Ron Paul, a hero to dissidents who want to shake up government. Paul draws support from the same anti-establishment well.

Rounding out the top tier are Mitt Romney, the GOP’s 2012 presidential nominee; Mike Huckabee, the 2008 winner of the Iowa caucuses; Ben Carson, a best-selling author and famed brain surgeon; and Jeb Bush, a relative to two past presidents.

The day after polling wrapped up, Romney announced he’s out of the competition. When the numbers in this poll are shuffled — by giving Romney’s votes to the contenders his supporters named as their second-choice pick — the five others in the top tier gain support.

Huckabee, a former TV commentator and two-term Arkansas governor, benefits the most, picking up 3 percentage points. The pecking order doesn’t shift, though.

For the bottom tier, the horse race ranking shifts slightly without Romney in the mix. New Jersey Gov. Chris Christie moves up a notch to tie with Texas U.S. Sen. Ted Cruz for sixth place. Former U.S. Sen. Rick Santorum of Pennsylvania stays in eighth. Florida U.S. Sen. Marco Rubio climbs one spot into ninth, followed by former Texas Gov. Rick Perry.

Louisiana Gov. Bobby Jindal is next, followed by a three-way tie among TV star and real estate developer Donald Trump, former computer company CEO Carly Fiorina and Ohio Gov. John Kasich. Indiana Gov. Mike Pence doesn’t register on poll respondents’ radar.

Sophisticated campaign operatives will now decide which candidate they have to topple for their candidate to rise — and begin targeting them with negative information, said Katie Packer Gage, a Washington, D.C.-based strategist who was deputy campaign manager for Romney in 2012.

“This is where campaigns start to matter,” Gage said. “Huckabee will go hard after Santorum. Jeb and Christie will go to war. Cruz and Paul will figure out that they have to take Carson down, then each other.”

The poll of 402 likely Republican caucusgoers was conducted Jan. 26-29 by Selzer & Co. of Des Moines. The margin of error is plus or minus 4.9 percentage points.

Here are the numbers both with and without Romney factored in:

Iowa Poll

Walker’s apparent surge comes just about a week after his appearance at a conservative forum that received widely positive reviews on the right. In addition, of course, Walker generally has wide approval from conservatives going back several years now due largely to the fact that he has managed to survive a fairly strong onslaught from nationwide Democrats and activists in the wake of his efforts to scale back the powers of public employee unions. The additional fact that he has managed to win three statewide elections over the course of four years, his initial election in 2010, a recall election in 2012, and then re-election last November, by increasing margins in a state that has gone Democratic in every Presidential election since 1988, while also managing to maintaining a Republican majority in the state legislature, has but him at the top of the list of mid-western Governors that many have pointed to as potential 2016 candidates should the “establishment” trio of Romney, Bush, or Christie end up failing. Indeed, one of the advantages that Walker seems to have at this point is that he seems to be attracting support from establishment figures and from conservatives. If he manages to survive the inevitable onslaught and things play out in just the right way, Walker could find himself well positioned to pull off a win in Iowa that could propel him into the top tier of 2016 contenders.

That being said, it’s worth noting something about the Iowa Caucuses when it comes to the Republican Party. Unlike the Democrats, where the winner in Iowa has frequently gone on to win the party nomination and, in three cases the Presidency itself, the Hawkeye State has not been a very good predictor for Republicans. Only three of the candidates who won the caucuses in years where they were contested went on to win the party’s nomination, and only one of those three George W. Bush in 2000 went on to win the Presidency. If you’re looking for states that are predictors of how the race for the Republican nomination might turn out, it’s better to look to New Hampshire and South Carolina, both of which have done a fairly good job over the years of tracking the ultimately winner of the Republican nomination. Given that, it’s arguably not very important how Walker does in Iowa unless he’s able to translate that into support in the states that follow it on the calendar. Assuming that he enters the race, which seems more and more likely every day, his ability to carry this momentum forward will be the biggest question surrounding a Walker campaign. In the end, he will either be a George W. Bush who manages to win in Iowa and then translate that into support across the country, or he’ll be another Huckabee or Santorum who finds himself unable to translate a Hawkeye State win into anything of substance.

FILED UNDER: *FEATURED, Campaign 2016, 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 and contributed a staggering 16,483 posts before his retirement in January 2020.

Comments

  1. C. Clavin says:

    Walker’s apparent surge comes just about a week after his appearance at a conservative forum that received widely positive reviews on the right.

    I guess Republicans continue to aspire to be The Party of Stupid. Walkers speech was chock full of nonsense.
    Defund Planned Parenthood, just say no to Obamacare, stop “frivolous” lawsuits, and crack down on non-existent voter “fraud”, and bust the unions…none of which begins to address any of the problems that…you know…we actually have.
    Meanwhile, back in the real world, Wisconsin under the Republican economic agenda kinda sucks. The state’s job growth has been well below the national average and ranks ninth among 12 Midwestern states. Wisconsin hasn’t regained all the jobs lost in the Bush Contraction of ’07 – ’08. Walker promised that chasing Republican economic wet-dreams would create 250,000 jobs. Not even close.
    The Republican Economic Agenda has proven to be a complete failure in Kansas, Minnesota, New Jersy and, yes, Wisconsin. Everywhere it is tried, really.
    Vote Conservative – vote Democratic.

  2. HarvardLaw92 says:

    The operative factor really isn’t so much which Republican candidate eventually secures the nomination as it is how far the primary season forces that nominee to travel to the far right in order to obtain it.

    Short version: If Walker were somehow to secure the nomination, which I do have my doubts about, the nominee Walker which emerges from the gauntlet of the Republican primaries will look very different (i.e. quite a bit more far right-wing) from the candidate Walker which began the race.

    That necessity of having to pander to the extremes of their own party even to get nominated, more than the ideological positions the candidates would otherwise occupy, will be what determines the party’s chances of success in 2016.

    Despite Priebus’s attempt to reign in and corral the crazy (which I believe will not be altogether effective, if at all), I think we’re looking at another clown car primary season for the GOP – which honestly is a shame. We could do worse than having 2 adult parties show up for an election. It’d certainly be a novelty anyway.

  3. Dave D says:

    @C. Clavin: Minnesota went blue and is doing much better economically than Wisconsin as they chose to raise taxes on the rich. As I sit here in Milwaukee typing this the latest news out of Wisconsin is the 2.2 Billion budget shortfall that matches almost perfectly the 2 Billion property tax cut which the average citizen saved 110 dollars. Now he is talking about cleaving off the UW system from the state. There is going to be gas tax increases and other tax increases to cover the 750 million dollar deficit in the transportation fund. Yet he is somehow promising 220 million to help raise money for a new arena for the Bucks to get a new stadium he claims will cost nothing to the taxpayers because he is raising taxes on athletes (and a sales tax increase.) Him and Paul Ryan must have learned the same math because neither of their economic proposals seem to add up. Hopefully the roads are good enough for me to drive back to Des Moines this afternoon. It just wouldn’t feel like home if the people around didn’t think this dummy was electable. Thanks Iowa.

  4. humanoid.panda says:

    Short version: If Walker were somehow to secure the nomination, which I do have my doubts about, the nominee Walker which emerges from the gauntlet of the Republican primaries will look very different (i.e. quite a bit more far right-wing) from the candidate Walker which began the race.

    Hard to be anymore far right wing than Walker already is..

  5. C. Clavin says:

    @Dave D:

    Minnesota went blue and is doing much better economically than Wisconsin as they chose to raise taxes on the rich.

    Yes, true…I was actually referring to the damage Pawlenty did…which Minnesota has worked it’s way out of since electing Mark Dayton of the Democratic-Farmer-Labor Party in 2010.

  6. Dave D says:

    @C. Clavin: This article and a trove of others do a great job demonstrating just how bad republican economic policies are. But even worse than that and I wish I could find the article, but some state GOP operative had an editorial in 2010 lamenting how MN went blue and how it would be a disaster for their state. It must be truly disastrous having a 1.2 Billion dollar surplus rather than a 2.2 Billion dollar deficit, because as Cheney told us deficits don’t matter.

  7. gVOR08 says:

    @C. Clavin: Numbers, numbers, numbers. We don’t need no stinking numbers. If Republican primary voters cared about numbers they’d be…well, Democrats.

  8. Jenos Idanian #13 says:

    Walker generally has wide approval from conservatives going back several years now due largely to the fact that he has managed to survive a fairly strong onslaught from nationwide Democrats and activists in the wake of his efforts to scale back the powers of public employee unions.

    Walker didn’t just “manage to survive.” He took on the worst the Democrats could throw at him — a lot of it unethical and just plan illegal — and beat them like a red-headed stepchild. And he did it time and time again.

    Which means it’s about time for him to get the full proctological treatment on the national stage. I’m waiting for the accusations that he ate paste and told girls they had cooties when he was in the 4th grade.

  9. al-Ameda says:

    Right now, the main thing Walker has going for him is he hates non-police Public Employee Unions (PEU) – that’s a red meat staple for Republicans. He busted Wisconsin’s PEU, except for the police and public safety guys (tend to be Republican voters).

    As long as the Koch’s are willing to bankroll him, he’s on. Wouldn’t be surprised if he goes all the way – either as the nominee or as a VP selection. All of this depends on whether or not he can avoid becoming a clown-act, but really, compared to Bachmann, Gingrich, Palin, West, Trump and that posse, Walker is probably in the game.

  10. Scott says:

    So Walker gains after a beauty pageant and everybody is all a twitter. Bear in mind that Ben Carson is not far behind. This is not a serious poll taken of serious people.

    This will change quite quickly.

  11. C. Clavin says:

    @Jenos Idanian #13:
    So much emotion; hatred and fear…so little fact.

  12. Argon says:

    @HarvardLaw92: If Walker were somehow to secure the nomination, which I do have my doubts about, the nominee Walker which emerges from the gauntlet of the Republican primaries will look very different (i.e. quite a bit more far right-wing) from the candidate Walker which began the race.

    I agree with your comments about the need for GOP candidates to stay rightward for the primaries but I’m not convinced Walker has far to bend, if at all. The trick for him will be to bend far enough to the center or left if he gets to the general election. The “tack-right” is problem is largely confined to people like Romney, Bush or Christie, not Walker.

    (I see humanoid.panda had the same comments…)

  13. superdestroyer says:

    Who cares about the Republican primary season in 2016. There is no way that any of the Republicans are going to win in the general election in 2016. So why go through the totally irrelevant process of analyzing each candidate.

    Also, when comparing states, it makes the most sense to normalize the statistics. It does not make much sense to compare overall unemployment rate across states because the demographics of the states are so different. It would make more sense to normalize to something like college educated whites and then compare unemployment rates across the different states or administrations.

  14. C. Clavin says:

    @superdestroyer:

    It would make more sense to normalize to something like college educated whites

    Well…at least it makes sense that this would come from you…

  15. superdestroyer says:

    @C. Clavin:

    First, I hope you realize that the unemployment rate for blacks is higher than the unemployment rate for whites in all 50 states. An example being that the unemployment rate for whites in California (reported in November 2014) was 5.9% while the unemployment rate for blacks in California was 14.7%. So while the unemployment rate for whites in California is about 10% higher than the national average for whites, the unemployment rate for blacks in California is around 40% higher than the national average for blacks.

    If you normalize for race, gender, and education, then the real effects of a states economic policies can be shown versus just comparing states with large number of blacks or Latinos with states with few blacks or Latinos. Normalization is a standard practice is statistical comparisons instead of confusing confounders with causation.

  16. Stan says:

    @Jenos Idanian #13: Actually, the allegations are that he was thrown out of Marquette University for cheating and that his tenure as chief executive of Milwaukee County was shady in a Chris Christie kind of way. Having said that, I wouldn’t be surprised if he won the nomination. I followed the online comments in the Milwaukee Journal-Sentinel during his successful struggle to bust Wisconsin public employee unions and I was surprised to find the depth of animosity to public school teachers in what I assume was a cross-section of the Republican electorate. I thought Republicans only hated pointy-headed intellectuals, non-Cuban Hispanics, and the poor, but apparently Our Miss Brooks is right up there with BHO and Saul Alinsky. If Walker uses the same arguments he did in Wisconsin, he stands a good chance of at least getting on the national ticket.

  17. grumpy realist says:

    Well, it’s too bad if Wisconsin decides they want to get rid of the intellectual powerhouse of universities that led to the strong biotech industry Wisconsin has. If they want to trash it, I’m sure we’ll be very glad to accept them down here in Illinois. Or Singapore or Korea–they’re also strong in biotech.

  18. Jewelbomb says:

    @superdestroyer: Please just stop. How about you quit making the same insufferable comment in every last comment thread? Save yourself some time since everyone already understands your one-note opinion.

  19. Jenos Idanian #13 says:

    @Stan: I followed the online comments in the Milwaukee Journal-Sentinel during his successful struggle to bust Wisconsin public employee unions and I was surprised to find the depth of animosity to public school teachers in what I assume was a cross-section of the Republican electorate.

    So, how have things gone in the public sector since Walker took on the unions? I’m not talking for the unions, or even the teachers — I’m talking about in the schools.

    BTW, this article says that a lot of unions have had a huge drop in revenues since the reforms. Which means, in plain English, now that the unions can no longer simply take dues from people and people have the choice of whether or not to belong to the unions, they are saying no. Which I see as a plus — people now have a choice, and are exercising their right to choose. And they’re saying no to the unions.

  20. anjin-san says:

    @C. Clavin:

    Walker is itching to send our boys off to die fighting brown people. That alone is enough for Jenos to develop a serious crush on him.

  21. PJ says:

    @Doug Mataconis:

    …shows Wisconsin Governor Scott Walker surging to a narrow lead ahead of other potential 2016 Republican in the state that will hold the first contest in the nation:

    Scott Walker doesn’t have a narrow lead, the margin of error is 4.9 percentage points.

    Walker,Paul, Romney, Huckabee, Carson, and Bush (and maybe even Cruz) may potentially be in the lead, thanks to the size of the margin of error and tiny difference between their numbers.

    ——–

    Walker had 4% in the October poll, so his change is just outside of the margin of error, but I would be careful labeling it a surge.

  22. C. Clavin says:

    @Jenos Idanian #13:

    Which means, in plain English, now that the unions can no longer simply take dues from people and people have the choice of whether or not to belong to the unions, they are saying no.

    Can you provide a link that verifies this? I am sure some don’t pay their dues…just like you welch on your medical bills. But to claim that as the sole cause of Union dues being off is just plain wrong. Walker slashed spending on Education more than almost any other Governor…almost 16% since the beginning of the Bush Contraction…which means a lot fewer teachers are paying dues…some 2100 fewer teachers…but not for the reason you claim.
    Of course the draconian cuts to education were to pay for a tax cut for the wealthy. Those tax cuts have left Wisconsin with a $2B budget shortfall.
    Republican economic policies fail wherever they are enacted.
    Vote Conservative…vote Democratic.

  23. Kylopod says:

    Only three of the candidates who won the caucuses in years where they were contested went on to win the party’s nomination, and only one of those three George W. Bush in 2000 went on to win the Presidency.

    One thing a lot of people fail to understand about the early states is that who comes out in first place is far less important than who beats the expectations game. For example, in 2008 the eventual nominee, John McCain, came out in 4th place, while the 1st-place winner was Huckabee, whose campaign proceeded to go nowhere. So you might be tempted to conclude (as a lot of pundits did) that Iowa was irrelevant to the nomination process. But you have to look at the larger context. McCain was never expected to win Iowa; therefore, his 4th-place finish didn’t hurt him much. Romney, on the other hand, was expected to win after having done well in the Ames Straw Poll. When he failed, it was probably the fatal blow to his campaign.

    Another illustration of how expectations govern the process is the 1992 Democratic race. Clinton is the only nominee ever to lose both Iowa and New Hampshire. He lost Iowa because there was an Iowan in the race, Tom Harkin. But oddly, that basically took Iowa off the table; since the favorite son was expected to dominate the caucus, everyone just sort of threw up their hands and conceded it to him early on, and therefore the state lost its influence. Clinton lost NH to Tsongas by double digits, but somehow it was spun as a victory, because after a week of negative press coverage following reports of Clinton’s extramarital adventures, he did better than expected. James Carville dubbed Clinton “the Comeback Kid,” and somehow the press accepted that narrative, pushing Clinton into front-runner status.

    I repeat: in the early states, the objective isn’t to get more votes than your opponents, or more delegates; it’s to do as well as or better than you were expected to. Fail that, and you’re probably out of the race.

  24. anjin-san says:

    I Walker is going to move forward on the national stage, he is going to have to explain what happened to the 250K jobs he promised to create during his first term. Right now, the jobs appear to be off in Limbo…

  25. anjin-san says:

    I’m also curious to see how Walker will explain his plan to take on 200 million + in debt to pay for a new stadium for Herb Kohl, a man who is worth roughly 300 million. That does not sound like small government or fiscal responsibility to me.

    Out here in the People’s Republic, the SF Giants built the best baseball park in the world with no public funds. It can be done. Of course, the GOP has a long history of this sort of thing. GW Bush’s one success in business – the Ballpark at Arlington – was paid for with a tax increase. When Bush sold his interest in the team he happily put all those tax dollars in his pocket.

    Meanwhile, Walker is moving to gut higher education in Wisconsin. A questionable move when Germany is making higher education available at no cost, something that will make it’s already formidable workforce even more competitive.

  26. C. Clavin says:

    @anjin-san:
    The jobs Walker promised but never appeared are hiding in the same place as the jobs Brownback promised but never appeared.
    Of course people are leaving both Wisconsin and Kansas rather quickly. New Jersey too.
    What happens if one of these clowns becomes President? A mass exodus?

  27. Dave D says:

    @anjin-san: Kohl sold the Bucks and had offered to build a new arena himself which the league wouldn’t allow.

  28. grumpy realist says:

    @C. Clavin: If either of those clowns were to be elected POTUS I’d seriously be looking for a new country to jump to. Not because of whatever silliness they would carry out, but because they got elected.

    The Chinese would love it, however. Gee! The US has decided to totally do in its science and technology base! We’ll probably be able to pick up a large number of upset scientists and engineers cheaply and can totally leapfrog over our major economic competitor!

    Does Walker realize exactly what he’s doing in with his whacks at the Wisconsin university system? Or is he planning to move the Wisconsin economy over to a purely agribusiness basis? (That’s the only way I can understand Brownback’s silliness–what is there in Kansas besides growing wheat?)

  29. Tony W says:

    @superdestroyer: Yep – white people screwing over minorities still has an impact. Well known, not exactly newsworthy. Do you have anything new to add to the thread, or just the usual cut-n-paste?

  30. Tony W says:

    @C. Clavin: Those jobs are going to trickle down any day now – just be patient.

  31. Tony W says:

    @grumpy realist:

    what is there in Kansas besides growing wheat?

    Now that’s just not fair. Corn and cattle are also big there.

  32. anjin-san says:

    @Dave D:

    Thanks, I was not aware of the ownership change. The very brief reading I just did makes it sound like the NBA is strong-arming Wisconsin to use public funds.

    The new ownership only makes the situation more egregious, as Edens and Lasry are both billionaires. I’m having a very hard time seeing why a vast amount of public funds should go to build a shiny new area for these guys when education in Wisconsin is facing huge cuts.

    If Scott Walker is the badass some in the GOP think he is, perhaps he should go to bat for taxpayers an start playing hardball with the NBA.

  33. Stan says:

    @Jenos Idanian #13: The law passed after Walker took office precluded bargaining by public employee unions for wages and benefits. Under these circumstances paying union dues doesn’t get you much, so I’m not surprised the Wisconsin public employee unions experienced a drop in membership.

    As I follow your comments, I see that you see yourself as a friend of the working man. Speaking candidly, now, do you feel that the decline in union membership has been good for American workers? The usual conservative line is that what’s good for business is good for America, because if the rich prosper we all do. I see nothing in our recent history to justify this. It’s obvious that you feel differently. Why?

  34. Jenos Idanian #13 says:

    @C. Clavin: So off, Swampy.

  35. Jenos Idanian #13 says:

    @Stan: That sounded slightly snarky, but I’ll treat that as a serious question.

    I think it’s been a long time since unions really rated their workers’ welfare ahead of the union’s. They fight like hell to protect the “rights” of the worst, which punishes the best. They have tied themselves so tightly to the Democratic party that members who don’t hold those beliefs find themselves forced to support things they oppose. They coerce people into membership and paying dues — my favorite example was when families who cared for disabled relatives with state assistance suddenly found themselves having a portion of those benefits diverted into union pocketbooks.

    But my main beef is with public sector unions. When it’s time for negotiations, the unions pump tons of money into electing sympathetic officials, who return the favor at the bargaining table. Thing is, the favors are paid for by people who have no say at that table — the regular voters. The unions want to run both sides of the negotiating process, and the people who have to come up with that money are shut out.

  36. superdestroyer says:

    @Tony W:

    Considering that most comments on OTB are versions of “Go Team Blue” I do not understand why the “Go Team Blue” crowd refuses to think about what policy and governance will look like in a country where their policies have been fully implemented and they have total control of governance.

    It seems to me that the “To Team Blue” crowd is more interested in having a scapegoat than actually thinking about policy or governance. That a jobs or educational initiative would have different effects if implemented in Minnesota versus Mississippi should be an essential part of being a reality-based, data-driven progressive. Yet, whenever it is mentioned, progressive refuse to think about it or just handwave it off.

  37. anjin-san says:

    @Jenos Idanian #13:

    my favorite example was when families who cared for disabled relatives with state assistance suddenly found themselves having a portion of those benefits diverted into union pocketbooks.

    You concern for the families of the disabled is touching. Perhaps you could tell us more about how conservatives are fighting for them. Here in California, Republicans/conservatives have waged unrelating war on services for the disabled. I suspect that that pattern is a nationwide one.

  38. C. Clavin says:

    @Jenos Idanian #13:
    So I was right…you were just making shit up.
    Thanks for verifying it.

  39. C. Clavin says:

    @superdestroyer:

    It seems to me that the “To Team Blue” crowd is more interested in having a scapegoat than actually thinking about policy or governance.

    Right…which is why the Party you call Team Blue saved the Economy, including the Automotive and Banking Industries, got Health Insurance for Millions, and brought the person responsible for 9.11 to justice.
    The facts never seem to match your ideology.

  40. C. Clavin says:

    Doh…another thing Republicans were wrong about.
    http://www.vox.com/2015/2/2/7965911/obamacare-cost
    You’d think they’d get tired of it….being wrong, I mean.

  41. JohnMcC says:
  42. stonetools says:

    @C. Clavin:

    You’d think they’d get tired of it….being wrong, I mean.

    Republicans aren’t tired of it because they never admit they’re wrong and the public doesn’t find out they’re wrong, thanks to be poor Democratic messaging and MSM’s “evenhanded” approach.Scott Walker is a great example of this, since he’s been wrong about EVERYTHING but keeps getting elected, largely by stoking older whites’ resentment of THOSE PEOPLE.
    I think Scott Walker is a likely candidate, since he is a rock ribbed conservative who is smoother than Cruz and less quirky than Rand Paul. We will see how he does on the national stage, but I predict he’ll go far.

  43. Jenos Idanian #13 says:

    @anjin-san: You concern for the families of the disabled is touching. Perhaps you could tell us more about how conservatives are fighting for them.

    In that one example, the Republicans kept their state benefits from being stolen by greedy unions. That’s a pretty important thing…

  44. C. Clavin says:

    @stonetools:
    Maybe…but I think Anjin-San is right…he’s going to have to explain why “it” didn’t work in Wisconsin.

  45. anjin-san says:

    @Jenos Idanian #13:

    my favorite example was when families who cared for disabled relatives with state assistance suddenly found themselves having a portion of those benefits diverted into union pocketbooks.

    Further thoughts on this. You are, or seem to be, operating on the assumption that the union does nothing to benefit the program, the families, or the clients, and that their only function is to collect dues.

    In California, the GOP has been trying to kill IHSS (In Home Supportive Services) for a long time. Without the SEIU fighting to keep the program alive, we probably would not have any in home services left at all.

    But what do I know? I’m just someone with several disabled relatives (one living, one deceased) I was taking care of a disabled relative at 11pm last night, and I will be taking care of him again tonight. I am sure you know far more about these things than I do.

  46. anjin-san says:

    @Jenos Idanian #13:

    the Republicans kept their state benefits from being stolen by greedy unions. That’s a pretty important thing…

    Yes, those greedy unions. In home services programs, as we know, often pay family members for some of the time they spend caring for disabled family members. I know a bit about this from direct experience. My mother in law cared for her disabled daughter for many years, and was paid for some (but certainly not all) of the hours she put in by IHSS.

    The money was important to her, because caregiving took so much time that she lost hours at her job. Now my mother in law is someone who has worked hard all her life, but never made much money. She’s 82 now, and she still works eight hours a week. We can’t get her to stop, she says people that don’t work are lazy.

    Thanks to the union, she receives a small pension for the countless hours of caregiving she put in. That money makes a real difference to her. Without the union, there would be no IHSS, no compensation for caregiving, and no pensions (or health benefits)

    Well, there you go Jenos. That’s how lazy unions steal from the families of the disabled.

  47. Jenos Idanian #13 says:

    @C. Clavin: Oh, you’re citing Vox now? Let’s review some of Vox’s greatest “hits:”

    –There’s an overland connection between the West Bank and the Gaza Strip.

    –The US Senate should be abolished.

    –England has provinces

    Here’s a compilation of 46 times Vox completely and totally screwed the pooch. And these are just the times they admitted they were wrong.

    BTW, 46 times is about once every 8 days. And a lot of these are BASIC facts. Several of them completely invalidate their entire original premise.

    I’d take a couple of days (at least) before I cited Vox as any kind of authority on anything. And that’s just going by their track record.

  48. Jenos Idanian #13 says:

    @anjin-san: Unless your mother-in-law was one of those drafted into a union in Wisconsin, I don’t see any relevance to the topic at hand.

    And are you saying that your mother-in-law wouldn’t have taken some of her money that was taken for union dues and put it towards her own benefit, or that she had no choice about belonging to that union, it’s also irrelevant.

    FInally, unless you’re prepared to submit a notarized affidavit attesting to all the above, I don’t particularly like taking your little story here at face value. After all, it was just a couple of days ago that you insisted that Darren Wilson was “unmarked” after being punched in the face repeatedly by Michael Brown. And that was after you mocked the photos that documented the marks on his face.

  49. Jenos Idanian #13 says:

    @C. Clavin: (Prior comment blocked because of naughty word in URL; alternate URL posted below)

    Oh, you’re citing Vox now? Let’s review some of Vox’s greatest “hits:”

    –There’s an overland connection between the West Bank and the Gaza Strip.

    –The US Senate should be abolished.

    –England has provinces

    Here’s a compilation of 46 times Vox completely and totally screwed the pooch. And these are just the times they admitted they were wrong.

    BTW, 46 times is about once every 8 days. And a lot of these are BASIC facts. Several of them completely invalidate their entire original premise.

    I’d take a couple of days (at least) before I cited Vox as any kind of authority on anything. And that’s just going by their track record.

  50. LaMont says:

    @C. Clavin:

    You can now add Michigan to that list of Republican run states that doesn’t appear to be doing so great under these seemingly cookie cutter Republican policies. Governor Snyder had the nerve to tout a 3 year history of balanced budgets all the way up and through the 2014 election campaign. Earlier in 2014 he touted a $400 million surplus Then about three weeks after the election they reported that Michigan is currently running a deficit of $325 million. And here’s the real kicker, he is blaming it on the Jennifer Granholm administration!

    http://www.mlive.com/lansing-news/index.ssf/2015/01/rick_snyder_michigan_budget.html

  51. Tony W says:

    @Jenos Idanian #13: They kinda have a point on the Senate thing 😉

  52. anjin-san says:

    @Jenos Idanian #13:

    After all, it was just a couple of days ago that you insisted that Darren Wilson was “unmarked” after being punched in the face repeatedly by Michael Brown. And that was after you mocked the photos that documented the marks on his face.

    Umm yes. In my opinion, as someone who has worked as a bouncer and studied martial arts, having something that looks like razor rash on your face qualifies as “unmarked” if you are are a 6’2, 215 pound man who claimed that he was punched in the face twice with such force that another punch might kill him. I know you think the moronic position you are taking here is clever, but it’s just not. The kind of blows Wilson described would have done terrible damage to Wilson, not left him leaving like he was slapped by a little girl.

  53. Stan says:

    @Jenos Idanian #13: My question wasn’t meant to be snarky, and frankly I don’t think you’ve answered it. Inequality in the US is high, which doesn’t bother me that much, but lower and middle class wages are stagnant, which does. Some say the causes are economic and technological, but if so why haven’t other advanced countries responded the way we have? My wife and I are doing just fine. We live on the sale of securities in my retirement fund, and they’re doing very well. But I don’t think our future prospects as a country are good. We’re developing into two nations, the rich and the poor, and it’s not what I want to see in the US. And I think the decline of labor unions is part of the problem.

  54. anjin-san says:

    @Jenos Idanian #13:

    I don’t particularly like taking your little story here at face value.

    Well of course not, seeing as I just destroyed your argument and made you look like an idiot. But you can certainly verify the sort of benefits unions offer in-home caregivers without taking my word for it:

    This will get you started: http://ultcw.org. Of course there is a great deal more documentation just a click away on Google.

    My sister in law was partially paralyzed, and she had lost one leg at the knee. She lived with constant pain, and she endured many surgeries. She waged a constant battle against the blood clots that eventually killed her in her early 50s. On the average, she was rushed to the hospital 2-3 times a year. Her disability took nearly everything from her, but in spite of that, she fought hard to stay alive. My wife cried herself to sleep for weeks after her only sister passed away.

    If you choose to believe I am making this up, it’s your privilege.

  55. humanoid.panda says:

    It does not make much sense to compare overall unemployment rate across states because the demographics of the states are so different

    Minnesota and Wisconsin have nearly identical demographics. You can check out how they are performing economically since 2010.

  56. humanoid.panda says:

    @anjin-san:

    ’m also curious to see how Walker will explain his plan to take on 200 million + in debt to pay for a new stadium for Herb Kohl, a man who is worth roughly 300 million. That does not sound like small government or fiscal responsibility to me.

    The Bucks don’t belong to Herb Kohl anymore. Other than that, nothing I think reflects GOP priorities quite like cutting 300 million from public education and gifting 200 millions to a rich family or two.

  57. anjin-san says:

    @humanoid.panda:

    Another commenter pointed out the ownership change above. The new owners are quite a bit wealthier than Kohl, even more deserving of 1% welfare…

  58. C. Clavin says:

    @Jenos Idanian #13:
    So yo are saying they make up stuff like you do???
    Obamacare works. You were wrong. But blame it on Vox.

  59. Jenos Idanian #13 says:

    @anjin-san: In my opinion, as someone who has worked as a bouncer and studied martial arts, having something that looks like razor rash on your face qualifies as “unmarked” if you are are a 6’2, 215 pound man who claimed that he was punched in the face twice with such force that another punch might kill him.

    Wow, you’re just an expert on everything, ain’t you, Spanky? Too bad you aren’t an expert on being honest. Here’s the thread where you 1) lied just what Wilson testified to, 2) lied about the extent of Wilson’s injuries, and 3) ignored the blatant lies from your compatriots. I particularly liked how one of them insisted on their own definition of “suborned,” and a self-proclaimed former prosecutor and defender demonstrated no clue about the actual definition of “murder.”

    But now I have absolute proof of just how much you hate me: you tried to send me to a SEIU web page. Is there no depth to which you will not sink, sir? Have you no humanity at all?

  60. Jenos Idanian #13 says:

    @C. Clavin: Sod off, Swampy.

  61. anjin-san says:

    @Jenos Idanian #13:

    Your desperation not to reply to my points on what unions do for home care workers in the real world is quite telling 🙂

  62. anjin-san says:

    In his own way, Jenos has provided a valuable service here. His is the level of “thinking” that goes on in the GOP when we are discussing unions, and the effect of anti-union policies on working people. This is what they have to offer folks. Having seen his “arguments” decimated, he will play the annoying twit (a role that comes naturally to him) for a while. He will work in a lot of off topic nonsense, then proclaim a vast victory for himself before calling it a day.

    We have all been waiting for the articulate, informed, thoughtful conservatives to show up on OTB, so we can have some decent arguments about politics. It ain’t going to happen. Jenos, bithead, and Pinky appear to be the varsity. I can’t imagine why our country struggles so to deal with it’s problems.

  63. Jenos Idanian #13 says:

    @anjin-san: Oh, gosh, you’re making me blush. But I hate to disillusion you — I don’t speak for anyone but little ol’ me.

    And my “desperation” to avoid answering you? I did. You gave a rambling, unverifiable anecdote, and followed it up with the SEIU’s propaganda page. I cited an actual example, with links and everything.

    For some reason, you resorted to incredible simplicity. You’re not as stupid as wr or Cliffy, so I’m guessing it was just plain dishonesty. What I said was that what the Wisconsin union did was totally reprehensible. Your response was to say that some other unnamed union an an unidentified state did something nice for an unnamed person, so that apparently makes it all better.

    Maybe that’s sufficient for the idiots named above, but did you really think it would work for people with more than two neurons to rub together?

    However, I will give you a smidgen of credit. You actually went beyond lame insults and insinuations of taking a position. It was only a fraction of an inch beyond, but any progress should be lauded. Good job, annie!

  64. LaMont says:

    @anjin-san:

    I have really given up on any hope of a conservative argument that makes any logical sense. The problem is that I have not read or heard one conservative argument that made sense sense President Obama took office. The jury was still out on their policies during most of the Bush years. But by the time Obama took office it was clear that nothing they supported had ever worked. Nowadays they have been minimized to playing the defensive on mostly popular issues they consider “liberal” by spewing 40 year old talking points. I hardly listen or even respond to the likes of jenos these days. My patience has taken a hit with characters like these…

  65. Jenos Idanian #13 says:

    @LaMont: I have really given up on any hope of a conservative argument that makes any logical sense.

    I can explain it for you, but I can’t understand it for you…

  66. Just 'nutha ig'rant cracker says:

    @anjin-san: Not our boys–as in the children from white professional-class homes, their boys–you know, the ones from small mill towns, the ones whose moms wait tables and whose dad sweep floors in office buildings. The mostly brown ones and poor ones. It’s very important to keep this distinction straight because, as everyone knows, the US is a zero sum economy and every one of those kids that gets a good job means one less good job available for our kids.

    Find out more at Jenos and superdestroyer. org.

  67. Just 'nutha ig'rant cracker says:

    @anjin-san: I asked a similar question to a state representative, who had in the past said that he was opposed to all forms of welfare, at the time that the Mariners’ owner was shaking down the state for money for Safeco Field. He explained that a stadium wasn’t “corporate welfare” but rather “a valuable infrastructure improvement” that had the bonus of being a big source of new, permanent employment and that I just didn’t understand because I wasn’t in on the details as he was.

    Hope that explanation helps. Find out more at Gov. Walker, worker of economic miracles . org.

  68. C. Clavin says:

    @Jenos Idanian #13:
    This from Benghazi boy…you can’t make it up.
    Oh wait…you already admitted you did.

  69. Just 'nutha ig'rant cracker says:

    @anjin-san: There’s no debate team in the conservative far right cohort. The only sport they participate in is rhythmic chanting–but they field a world-level team there.

  70. anjin-san says:

    @Jenos Idanian #13:

    For some reason, you resorted to incredible simplicity.

    As opposed to your complex & nuanced argument:

    lazy unions steal from the families of the disabled.

    I cited an actual example, with links and everything.

    You cited a right wing blog, they tend not to be big on facts. I cited a union’s website. If you want to dismiss that as “propaganda” you are simply underscoring the weakness of your argument. There are certainly legitimate criticisms to be made about unions. While there are absolutely people who hate unions and want nothing to do with them, there is no doubt whatsoever that unions produce tangible benefits for their members. You are presenting a cartoon argument. is that all you have?

    Your response was to say that some other unnamed union an an unidentified state.

    SEIU-UHW – California

    http://www.seiu-uhw.org

    Again, we are talking about things my family has extensive first hand experience with. You are talking about stuff you read about on a blog. Can you produce reporting about the situation you are referring to from a credible news organization?

  71. Eric Florack says:

    @C. Clavin: yes, but we have long since come to expect that from you, Clavin.

  72. Eric Florack says:

    @LaMont: The Bush years ? Conservative?
    Ummm… No. Bush…. Either one… Was at best a centrist.

  73. C. Clavin says:

    @Eric Florack:
    Florack with the…

    I know you are, but what am I?

    …defense.
    So darn precocious.

  74. LaMont says:

    @Eric Florack:

    George W pushed trickle-down economics hard. In fact, he included it in his stimulus bill just before the recession.

  75. jukeboxgrad says:

    Florack:

    The Bush years ? Conservative? Ummm… No.

    It’s now fashionable to claim that Bush was not a ‘true conservative.’ That requires forgetting what William F. Buckley Jr. said on 3/26/04: that it’s wrong “to denounce Bush and his policies ‘in the name of conservatism,’ ” and that there is nothing (or not much) “about Bush’s policies that makes them unworthy of conservative benediction,” and that it’s wrong to claim that “a true conservatism would take a stand against everything that is identified with George W. Bush’s policies.”

    And we heard something very similar from Fred Barnes on 8/18/03: “the case for Bush’s conservatism is strong.”

    Did Bush drastically change his stripes in the next four years? Because about four years later, what we heard, instead, was this: “Bush … is not really a conservative, either in principle or in temperament.” And we heard this: “Bush was a big-government type who betrayed conservatism.”

  76. jukeboxgrad says:

    Those writers took four years to forget what Buckley said, but it only took two years for Buckley himself to forget what Buckley said:

    I think Mr. Bush faces a singular problem best defined, I think, as the absence of effective conservative ideology — with the result that he ended up being very extravagant in domestic spending, extremely tolerant of excesses by Congress … And in respect of foreign policy, incapable of bringing together such forces as apparently were necessary to conclude the Iraq challenge.

    Was Bush more “extravagant in domestic spending” in 2004-2006 than he was in 2001-2004? I don’t think so. On 12/8/03, 11 months before the next election, Bush signed into law Medicare Part D, which “added $15.5 trillion (in present value terms) to our nation’s indebtedness” (link). He did that with the support of Ryan, Boehner, Cantor, McConnell, Cornyn, Sessions and a bunch of other GOP leaders. These are mostly the same folks who are still leading the GOP in Congress right now.

    And 109 days after Bush signed that “extravagant” bill, Buckley himself declared that “Bush’s policies” were “[worthy] of conservative benediction.”

    So people like Buckley and Barnes were perfectly willing to claim that Bush was a ‘true conservative’ when Bush’s ratings were hovering around 50% and there was an important election coming up. But now that we see the way Bush’s policies drove us over a cliff, it’s convenient to say that “Bush … is not really a conservative.” Interesting how that works.

  77. jukeboxgrad says:

    Oops, last link is broken. Try this.

  78. Barry says:

    @HarvardLaw92: “Short version: If Walker were somehow to secure the nomination, which I do have my doubts about, the nominee Walker which emerges from the gauntlet of the Republican primaries will look very different (i.e. quite a bit more far right-wing) from the candidate Walker which began the race.”

    Considering how right-wing the man actually is, that suggests that by the end of the primaries he’ll be campaigning in a white robe and hood.

  79. Barry says:

    @anjin-san: “I Walker is going to move forward on the national stage, he is going to have to explain what happened to the 250K jobs he promised to create during his first term. Right now, the jobs appear to be off in Limbo…”

    OOOOOOOOOOBBBBBBBBBBAAAAAAAAAAAAMMMMMMMMMMMAAAAAAAAAA!!!!!!!!!

  80. gVOR08 says:

    @jukeboxgrad: Conservatism cannot fail, it can only be failed. Ergo W was not a conservative. And they’ve always believed we were at war with Bush was not a conservative.

  81. Barry says:

    @superdestroyer: “It does not make much sense to compare overall unemployment rate across states because the demographics of the states are so different”

    I have never heard a right-winger state that if a comparison helped his/her argument.

  82. superdestroyer says:

    @Barry:

    If you compare Whites in Wisconsin versus whites in Minnesota, then Minnesota still looks better. However, in looking up total state and local tax burden for each state, Wisconsin residents was still paying more in FY2011 than Minnesota residents.

    However, when comparing just whites, states like Washington, Oregon, and California do not compare favorably with the national average. Given how white Oregon is, that state is probably one of the worst economic performers.

  83. superdestroyer says:

    @Just ‘nutha ig’rant cracker:

    As has been mentioned many times, the number of seats in the Ivy League, at the University of Michigan, or at most of the Tier I universities are fixed. The Ivy League has barely grown when compared to the size of the high school graduating classes. That is why the competition for the few jobs at the top is so tough. What is amazing is that progressives are so consistent in their support of separate and unequal treatment that they keep supporting it even after the Supreme court says that it is unconstitutional.

  84. C. Clavin says:

    @gVOR08:
    You are arguing about Conservatism with someone who has no idea what Conservatism is.
    You cannot use reason on someone who has not come to their beliefs thru reason.

  85. Dave D says:

    @superdestroyer: I thought High School graduating classes weren’t growing and that’s why we don’t need to hire more teachers. But now they are and it’s the Ivy League who isn’t growing with them, therefore affirmative action is wrong? Got it makes perfect sense.

  86. al-Ameda says:

    @superdestroyer:

    What is amazing is that progressives are so consistent in their support of separate and unequal treatment that they keep supporting it even after the Supreme court says that it is unconstitutional.

    Got to laugh: Conservatives have no problem with separate but unequal at all – look at all the less qualified monied and legacy admissions to both public and Ivy League colleges and universities – e.g. GW Bush and so forth.

  87. superdestroyer says:

    @Dave D:

    Once again, if progressives did not have snark, they would not have anything to say.

    In 1960, the size of the entering freshmen class at Harvard was 1000 when the total number of students enrolling in college was around 750k. In 2015, the freshman class at Harvard was around 2000 when the number of freshmen is north of 3 million students.

    Thus, the number college students has grown much faster than the number of students at the top tier schools (See that Arizona St has almost the same number of undergraduates as the entire Ivy League). That is why Harvard only admits around 6% of the students that apply. And since Wall Street, the DC think tanks, and the tier I consulting firms seem to only hire from the Ivy Leagues (and Ivy likes), the number of high schools competing for the few tickets to being elite is massive.

    Thus, every seat given to an affirmative admit results in a student who is going to be excluded from the elite track in the U.S. As was pointed out in the Supreme Court case involving affirmative action at the University of Michigan: There is nothing that forces an university to be elite, they can admit whoever they want but that it is wrong to use white and asian students to maintain the elite status while admitting black and Latino students using a non-elite standard.

  88. superdestroyer says:

    @al-Ameda:

    I always find it odd that every progressive bring up GW Bush but they never bring up Al Gore JR, Al Gore III, Kareena Gore, or Kristin Gore as legacy admits at Harvard. There has actually been moves to eliminate legacy admits at many university or at least to hold them to the same standard.

    Remember, the University of Michigan was caught red-handed with a standard that made being black more important than having a 1600 math-verbal SAT score. Anytime affirmative action as been litigated, it has been shown that race is considered a much more important factor than being a legacy.

  89. al-Ameda says:

    @superdestroyer:

    I always find it odd that every progressive bring up GW Bush but they never bring up Al Gore JR, Al Gore III, Kareena Gore, or Kristin Gore as legacy admits at Harvard. There has actually been moves to eliminate legacy admits at many university or at least to hold them to the same standard.

    Basically, conservatives dislike legal affirmative action and love legacy affirmative action

  90. anjin-san says:

    @ Florack

    How’s that Sarah Palin thing working out for you?

  91. jukeboxgrad says:

    gVOR08:

    Conservatism cannot fail, it can only be failed.

    Yes, exactly. When a conservative implements conservative policies and the result is failure, this means he was not a True Scotsman.

  92. michael reynolds says:

    No government will be truly conservative until Florack gets his brown shirt and cudgel.