Being as I am, of small-town Scandinavian extraction, I am not one to feel…
…well, optimistic. I garnish all of life’s observations with a little sprig of protective pessimism. It’s sort of a Pascal’s Wager for the mundane; if you expect the worst and get the worst, you’re not disappointed; if you expect the worst and get the best, it’s a wonderful day.
So I’ve always looked at the Wisconsin recall election as a likely loss, and have kept that point of view throughout the runup to the election this coming Tuesday.
But the polls are looking a little better, with some showing a 5-7 point lead for Walker. I’m still calling “Defeat”, but I’ve got my fingers crossed, like any good Norwegian.
Of course, if you’re a liberal, you’re used to big institutional polls being in the bag for your people (examples: the Strib and HHH polls here in Minnesota). And when the big institutional polls turn against you – well, there’s just got to be a nefarious explanation for it.
In the case of the Uppity Wisconsin blog (oddly misnamed, being as they’re plumping for the most establishment of all institutions, Wisconsin unions, but whatever), the bad polls for Barrett have just got to be either a mistake or a fix.
Polls are only relevent if their sample is reflective of the electorate. As the graph demonstrates, compared to exit poll data (averaged from 2010, 2008 and 2006) the recently released Marquette poll grossly oversamples conservatives and undersamples moderates.
And it could be that the poll grossly shorted liberals and moderates.
It could also be that the two years of exit polls used – 2006 and 2008 – were anti-GOP wave elections with a lot more identified non-conservatives than 2010.
This is, of course, quite significant considering that the same poll shows Barrett beating Walker 50 to 42% among moderates
Well, we’ll see. Because as we always say, the only poll that really matters is on election day.
At any rate, it’s possible the Marquette Poll is wrong. But if it were, and other polls – say, the White House’s internal polling – weren’t seeing about the same results, then you might be seeing more national Democrat involvement in this election, which promises to be such a pivotal one both for this fall and for the role of unions in public governance.