Walker tops Dems in 2014 poll, but what does it mean?

Well this is interesting…

In the poll conducted Sept. 13-16, Walker led Assembly Minority Leader Peter Barca 47%-43%, former Commerce Secretary Mary Burke 48%-42%, Outagamie County Executive Tom Nelson 47%-40%, and State Senator Kathleen Vinehout 47%-41%.

So here’s my takeaway from these poll numbers.

Gov. Scott Walker’s got a solid lead over the field of prospective Democrats, but given his relatively low job approval ratings (49% disapprove, 48% approve) and the fact that virtually everyone who’s likely to vote in Wisconsin has made up their minds one way or the other regarding Walker, there’s not much room for improvement in his numbers. On the flip side, according to the poll referenced above, at least 60% of respondents had not formed an opinion of the Democratic gubernatorial candidates.

If Mary Burke or one of the other potential Democratic gubernatorial candidates can acquaint themselves to Wisconsin’s voters on their own terms with a positive narrative – instead of allowing Scott Walker and the Teapublican Party of Wisconsin to define the Democrats in a negative way – then there’s room for improvement for Democrats in those poll numbers.


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16 thoughts on “Walker tops Dems in 2014 poll, but what does it mean?

  1. His numbers don’t change because the propaganda machine run by democrats in this state is as pathetic as it gets.

    1. Amen, Mikey. With all the ammunition Walker has given him, Mike Tate, et. al. seem to be waiting until October 2014 to “unload”.

      1. On a related note, I saw the PPP poll asked about the abortion bill and the Solidarity Singers (Walker’s view was disapproved of by more voters on both issues), but I didn’t see a mention of the United Sportsmen of Wisconsin scandal. I’d be interested in seeing how many people know of this, and what they think of it.

        Of course, if the DPW was actually doing more than just press releases on the subject and blasting ads on TV (just like GOP talk show hosts would spread a similar Dem scandal on the airwaves), maybe we would see Walker closer to 30% as opposed to 50%. I know there can be overkill, but you do need to plant the seed of “Walker is corrupt” into bystanders’ heads at some point, because it’ll be drowned out if the first time they hear it is in Fall 2014.

        Maybe throw United Sportsmen with a side of a kiss to Diane Hendricks.

        1. There wasn’t a question in there either about ” should Walker have accepted federal funds to expand Badgercare ” but the DPW and their allies either don’t care about the near poor, or figure they don’t vote in midterms or special elections, so why poll on anything pertaining to them?

  2. Here’s one bizarre thing that I noticed from PPP’s polling…Burke, Barca, and Nelson are losing *minority voters* to Walker, and Vinehout is winning minority voters by a single point over Walker.

    I don’t understand that at all. Either PPP’s crosstabs are badly off, or there is something going on with the Wisconsin electorate that completely goes against conventional wisdom on many levels.

    1. That is typical for a poll this far out with African American respondents to a poll. Translation, the anonymous Democrat is actually doing a little better.

      1. AJ: I think the sample of minority voters is to high at 10% compared to who will vote in November 2014.

        Republican voter suppression strategy working to weaken Democratic resolve.

    1. First off, a quick google, White Pages says there are over a hundred people in WI named Tom Nelson. That’s a start with name recognition anyway. That’s the best I’ve seen as any strategy coming from DPW. They’ve been shoving him out as the next generation leadership.

      Actually have met Nelson several times across the same table at events. Supposedly a good manager, smart, but unwilling to go beyond any DPW talking points on plan or issue position. Party status quo faithful sadly.

    2. Actually I find Tom Nelson promoting himself in his own right, plus with the state of Democratic elected officials in Wisconsin, its a process of elimination. When he ran for Lt. Governor a couple years ago he wasn’t the big candidate coming out of Madison.

      1. Chatted with him over twice where he was featured speaker. Solid for sure, but no one who is going to draw votes, my two cents, so impressed with him that I forgot the fact you reminded me of, the Lt Gov try.

        White pages was meant tongue-in-cheek about Nelson’s name, but not about the silence about everything coming out of DPW. I see them sweating, with their wet fingers in the air to try to fathom which way the wind is blowing.

        Marty Beil on Sly last week, just had a chance to listen to this, with morning rain today.


  3. Having started in retail sales as a 16 year old high school student and working though college I found that African American shoppers were more discerning about quality and style than most others who were much more likely to buy the conventional, vanilla style item at lowest cost.
    Kathleen Vinehout has shown herself to be the quality candidate, a worker untainted by conventional, vanilla-style party politics. If the Democrats can stage early primary debates and arouse some real media interest, Senator Vinehout will separate herself from the rest of the candidates, become much better known across the state and be Scott Walker’s greatest nightmare.

  4. Don’t over think the poll. It’s mainly name recognition, not performance.

    That, and a heavy promotion/saturation of pro-walker news coverage/radio programming.

    If the Dems want to win they beeter get rolling on Get Out The Vote and pony up for some hard hitting ads cuz John Doe is running for governor and president.

  5. The fact that Walker is already at 48-49% means he’s actually in pretty good shape. Even if undecideds break 2-1 for the challenger, he’ll get enough to be over the top. Second point it’s an Non-Pres election cycle and thus the voter turnout drops by about 25-30%, and breaks in favor of the Wisc GOP/ Tea Party coalition. The 2010 elections, the Kloppenberg, Prosser race, and the recall Walker effort all point in Walker and the GOP’s favor.

    Thirdly this is a PPP poll which are notoriously lean towards the Dem candidates by 2-3%.

    Finally; This year Walker and the GOP held back a good amount of their powder and passed much less controversial legislation. The union coalitions are melting apart..even KUSD de-certified it’s union. The dollars the unions will have to throw at this race will WAY down from previous cycles, and the Tribes appear to be split on which side to support based upon the Kenosha Casino split decision.

    I think a Mark Neumann or Eric Hovde would’ve had a better chance of defeating Tammy Baldwin had either of them won the primary, even though the Prez had a very good showing in this Purple state.

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