The numbers are on our side

I’m no statistician, or political or social scientist, but it seems pretty clear to me that there’s every reason to feel optimistic about defeating Scott Walker in 2014. The numbers seem to support my optimism.

In the 2012 gubernatorial recall election, 1,335,585 people voted for Walker while  1,164,480 voted for Barrett. That’s a difference of 171,105 votes.

Five months later in the general election, 1,407,966 people voted for Mitt Romney.  1,620,985 people voted for Barack Obama.

The Republicans turned out only 72,381 more voters in the general than they did for the recall. The Democrats turned out 456,505 more voters.

It appears to me that the repubs may be reaching their plateau with 1.4 or so million voters. Democrats appear to be able to reach over 1.6 million.

So, I’ll ask all of you reading this. Who are those 456,505 democratic voters that skipped the recall but voted in the general?  Why didn’t they vote in the recall? And how do we get, say,  200,000 of them out in 2014?



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15 thoughts on “The numbers are on our side

  1. Many Democratic voters, although sympathetic to the Act 10 and other issues related to the recall election…didn’t vote because they don’t believe in recalls.

  2. Well whoever (hah) the Democratic nominee is will have to have a strong ground game and it would be nice if there was a really strong GOTV effort by the Wisconsin Democrats.

    In the recall, there were people who signed the recall, but didn’t vote in the recall. I’m not sure how widespread it was, but preventing people from wandering off and forgetting about non-presidential elections are really really important.

  3. The difference may be the general election was preceded by 5 months of Obot-love, OFA personnel, money and lies and cover up to and by the dbots. That kind of support to help rank and file labor in the recall and risk losing corporate backing in the general was a prime reason for zero to quickly misplace his walking shoes.

    There are likely disgruntled R’s all over the state ready to oust the Walker regime over a variety of issues from their attacks on public schools and teachers right down to delays and stiffer requirements for accessing unemployment insurance in places where there just are not four businesses to attempt to seek work from each week. I’m just touching a couple issues, but past R numbers might no longer be reliable. Worth pressing the, “are you better off?” question to the possible former D opposition as a tactic.

  4. We have to stay away from using the word “union”… I believe in them, but in elections they are a loser. That goes for union candidates and those that sign union pledges.

    We also need to get McCabe out of the DPW…. such a waste.

    Don’t forget alot of those that voted were minorities voting for a minority president. We need the same turnout from them.

    Don’t forget voting rules and ID’s will most likely be in play…. get people registered now, then get them out to vote.

  5. Turnout is an issue Democrats have had for a long time in Wisconsin outside of Presidential Elections.

    The Democratic Party of Wisconsin needs to look at expanding the base with New Voters. We need a state wide strategy and a legislative district strategy. College students and low income housing is where we need more of a focus. For mailings to be effective different groups of voters need different messages. From what I have scene in the past is that we always have the volunteers, but we are going after a small pool of voters.

    On another note our state legislators need to be the ones making the headlines more than the party staffers. The state legislators will build name recognition for higher office and the staff can build the base for the next election.

  6. AJ,

    I think you’re spot on with some of your ideas, but it still begs the question: why do democrats have such a difficult time with turnout in midterm elections? I don’t claim to absolutely understand this stuff, (I have my thoughts that I’ll share in a subsequent post), but right now I’m genuinely curious what other people think.

  7. We can be 70% sure who the 456,505 people are. I think Democrats have ignored this group of voters in midterm elections by banking that they will not vote in a midterm because they never have voted in a midterm before. Going after these voters in the midterm is a start but we need to keep in mind a lot of these voters could have moved from the past election at a higher rate than the voter population as a whole. We are probably likely to find similar voters at the same locations who are not registered.

    1. AJ,

      Do you have thoughts on how many of those voters are low wage working people? I don’t have any official stats to support this but I’ll throw out a number anyway. I think at least 200,000 of these voters are working poor. They’re not politically sophisticated. I think Obama reached them through something akin to the force of celebrity and because they believed he genuinely cared about them. I don’t think they understand state politics and couldn’t really get behind the recall effort because they were being asked to get outraged over the treatment of a class of people ( public workers ) they viewed as much better off than them. I think they can be mobilized in a midterm by a candidate and party who demonstrates some real interest in their plight. I don’t think it’s any more complex than that.

  8. Steve, I think you are right about 200,000 voters being working poor, probably the top group.

    College students are a size-able amount, as school was not in session during the recall. People under 30 outside of being college students are probably part of it, but they overlap a lot with the working poor.

    If you look at the electoral map of Wisconsin from 2008 and 2012, Obama turned out voters from all over the state, in a way other presidential candidates did not in the past.

  9. I believe the numbers have always been in our favor or if not, there were moderate Republicans to support commonsense programs. As an example, one who was instrumental in health care legislation was Republican Terry Musser. No more! There is a scarcity of such as he in the current rigged districts. With the recent gerrymandering and the rise of the tea party, there is little hope at this time to elect a majority of Democratic or moderate Republican legislators in the Wisconsin Assembly or Senate.

    But statewide elections for governor and others have been and still are well within reach of Democrats as your numbers point out. Of course we must have a viable candidate supported with advertising and statewide exposure with the necessary funding and a well organized campaign. If so, Walker is beatable, especially if voters are made aware of his incompetence, failures, lies, malice directed at the worker and women, and his financial favoratism to the rich, powerful, and friends at the expense of the taxpayer as evidenced by WEDC and so many other policies and promotions.

  10. P.S.

    Steve, my previous is nothing new, but mostly a recap of comments in other discussions as well as my agreement, support, and encouragement of your effort and premise with “The numbers are on our side.”

    Please note that I did not mention support for SSA as a necessary requirement for eviction of Walker. LOL

  11. I’m willing to bet money now that 2014 midterm turnout will be less than 2 million. Lower than the turnout for the recall and the 2010 gov election.

    Before you scoff, in 1998 TGT vs Garvey = 1.7 M. In 2002 Doyle/McCallum/E.Thompson = 1.77 million. In 2006 Doyle and Green pulled out just over 2M.

    2014 is going to be in the 1.9M area. Low expectations for both parties will push down turnout and regardless how much singing goes on a the capitol or how much “grassroot campaigning gets done, we will be lucky if 1 million democrats vote in 2014.

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