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.

Image from "Uppity Wisconsin"


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.

But you’re not.

7 thoughts on “Straws

  1. 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.

    I can understand that as a general operating principle, but in the case of Wisconsin at this time it’s difficult to imagine how Walker might lose. The Democrats have big problems beyond what Walker has unleashed. They have no bench of good potential candidates, which is why you saw Barrett get a rematch. They are likely to lose the open seat in the Senate that Herb Kohl held for over 20 years as well, no matter who the Republicans end up nominating, because Tammy Baldwin is so loathsome.

    And since the Democrats have been behaving in such a disgraceful manner for the past 16 months, they’ve lost whatever sympathy they might have had initially. If anything, I think the polling understates Walker’s advantage. The Dems are going to pull out all the stops, but they won’t be able to overcome the disgust they’ve earned.

  2. The most significant clue that Walker will win is the fact that on a national level, liberal leaders are discounting the importance of the recall election. If Barrett was on the verge of winning, MSM crews would be prowling the state and lip-synching the liberal talking points of how the recall would repudiate the entire conservative movement. I recognize that massive fraud is not beyond possibility but it will take quite a few cemeteries of dead voters to accomplish it.

  3. golfdoc50

    “I dreamed I saw Joe Hill last night,
    Alive as you or me
    Says I, “But Joe, you’re ten years dead,”
    “I never died,” says he.
    “I never died,” says he.

  4. Mitch:

    I think I will prefer Walker’s term of not spiking the ball on the ten yard line.

    What is even more amazing is that while the unions and a large percentage of Barrett’s vote will come from it drove it nobody is seriously talking about undoing the reforms. The democrat candidate who promised to do it got defeated and Barrett ran away from it.

    And you got a lot of people who are voting for Walker not because they agree with him, but just because he had the courage to do something and stick with it. Now if we had a President and Congress that will do that nationally. Oh that explains why Obama and so many democrat senators are in trouble in the polls nationally!

    Walter Hanson
    Minneapois, MN

  5. Walter,

    As to not spiking the ball – that’s why I led off with my Scandihoovian pessimism.

    As re goverment: Absolutely.

  6. Via Althouse:

    However, according to the Milwaukee Elections Commission and the Wisconsin Government Accountability Board, voters do not need to provide proof of age in order to register. All they have to do is check off a box on the registration form certifying that they are a qualified elector, a U.S. citizen and at least 18 years old by the time they vote.

    “The whole system relies on the honestly and integrity of the individual,” Sue Edmond, Milwaukee’s Election Commission director, told the MacIver News Service. “If we find after the election that they lied, they could be charged with a felony.”

    How can you convict a person of a felony when the only evidence you have is that someone registered and voted using their name?

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