Saturday open thread: can WI Democrats take back the Senate in 2014?

Here’s a question: can Democrats regain control of the State Senate here in Wisconsin later this year?

Depending on who you ask, the answer is either “Absolutely….why not?” or “Are you crazy? Heck no they can’t!”

So again I ask….can Democrats regain control of the State Senate in 2014?


Related Articles

14 thoughts on “Saturday open thread: can WI Democrats take back the Senate in 2014?

  1. I figured it at 18-15 GOP in a neutral year, but Dems were +4 on preference in the last Marquette poll, and that was taken well before these John Doe developments and the exploding budget deficits, and Dem advantage is probably higher.

    Also, there are 4 open GOP seats, and three could easily flip ( Schultz, Ellis, Leibham). That alone would be enough for the Dems to win the Senate. I’d say it’s at least a 50-50 shot

    1. I could see the same three seats flipping to the Democrats, but I could just as easily see Lehman’s seat flip to the Republicans, which isn’t unlikely given how that district was gerrymandered.

      1. Zach- Yep, GOPs are favored in that gerrymandered seat, but even with that, it would leave a 17-16 Dem Senate with Dems taking the three seats mentioned.

        And most of the other somewhat- close seats that aren’t open are also GOP-held. If an anti-Walker Dem wave builds, it could turn really fast.

  2. I do not see Democrats taking the state senate unless Burke wins by a comfortable margin and the public at large is sick of the Republican Junk in Wisconsin.

    Flipping state senate seats is a lot harder in a non-presidential year and when looking at the recent Democratic track record in state senate races in 2010, both Recalls, and 2012 Presidential I just don’t see it happening.

    The other aspect is all the money Walker and the Republicans will have at their disposal to spend on turning out their base and demoralize the Democratic base.

  3. I’ve seen the look of concern on Kathleen Vinehout’s face in discussing her return to the State Senate. This disheartens me so much, because I’ve never seen in all my many years such a competent and dedicated legislator. When I complain about how such a person could be rejected, I often hear, “this is the state that elected Senator McCarthey.”

    These comments come from Democrats, because these are the friends I’ve made since I’ve been in Eau Claire. They are seasoned campaigners but they are simple folk who are also trying to keep a job and home and raise a family. They are not professionals, educated and paid 24/7 to promote a product or a cause. And now they are simply being badgered 24/7 by fund raising efforts locally and from around the country–in addition to the many worthy social causes they have supported throughout their lives. There’s just little room left in their minds for future political concerns.

    The bubbly Koch/Walker propaganda foams up the atmosphere, yet there is an obdurate sense that Scottie and crew have overstepped, that traditional loses are mounting and things could be better. So I’ve still got hope that the Republican circus can be stopped. But I had hope in 2010. though 2012 was better. So I’m betting that trend continues, primarily because President Obama seems to want it to continue, and he, Kind and Burke appear persistent and moderate enough to encourage a Wisconsin Democratic resurgence. Just in time, in fact, to enjoy the new national prosperity that’s on the horizon.

    1. I would say that in time the statement, “this is the state that elected Senator McCarthy” will be replaced by: “this is the state with ‘citizens united’ that elected Governor Walker…twice.”

      McCarthy was an embarrassment to Wisconsin; Walker is dangerous by his harmful economic effect on the individual and state institutions such as public schools.

    2. Leaving aside your personal interpretation of someone’s “look,” meaning anything more than possibly a very painful right arm at the moment, lol, I haven’t seen anywhere that Kathleen has been, “rejected,” by anyone.

      Not sure who is badgering your friends for money and why that matters. How you are able to separate social causes from political concerns, i.e. those essentially are always directly related, cause and effect, and how you are able to judge how little room is in someone else’s mind and use that as basis of electoral concern doesn’t seem to add up to a valid premise predicting any outcome either.

      Moderation and capitulation to neocon ideology is the catalyst of the downhill avalanche of Democratic Party influence and success as they moved away from their traditional base and ideals since Clinton 1. The Democratic “circus,” is the chief enabler of the one you blame and hope will end. Which nation’s “resurgence,” and whose prosperity is it that you see happening? Seriously.

      Don’t get me wrong, I see Vinehout’s value to the betterment of our state and so far she has gotten 90% of the contributions I can afford in any election cycle, for about 3 yrs now. My contributions did not depend on me being a, “party,” to further the destructive nature of the chief enablers of our state’s failures to even minimally serve all the constituents living here.

      1. I’ve talked at some length with Vinehout a few times, and think I’ve gained a sense of when she does or doesn’t feel confident about an issue.

        Maybe I misread her feelings in this case. Hope you are right there, Non. Don’t consider her shattered arm a “lol” however, especially not at this time. Nevertheless, she hasn’t let it stop her political oversight, informative letters to the public or intention to retain her State Senate seat.

        Thank you for your donations, though your comments seldom seem to be supportive overall.

        1. I was not softly chuckling about her busted arm. I do consider Vinehout retaining her Senate seat as more important than Burke being elected Gov at this point. If the latest job I just bid on comes through, KV will be getting another substantial personal contribution before Nov.

          You are right, I don’t have anything good to say about the State Democratic Party, the way it is run and the failure of that party to have any real concern about we the people. That does not preclude my support for individuals who happen to be Democrats and are beyond “party,” politics and petty internal egomania and the sickening personal power and control issues.

          It would be nice if our very purple county candidate running as a closet Democrat would actually voice a stance on one issue, either on their web page or on their campaign FB page. So far hasn’t deserved a dime or a minute of my time with the pontification on generalized party platitudes, not amounting to anything more that LOTE. Still an inherent evil then, eh?

  4. There isn’t a chance in hell of Dems retaking the state senate. The overall strategy at this point is to hope Walker implodes because of John Doe II, and if that fails there is no Plan B. There’s no plan for appealing to drop off voters, new voters, nor for inspiring even the base with a populist economic justice message. It’s like a football team, physically overmatched and playing on the opponents home court, and with no offense to speak of themselves, hoping for fatal mistakes from their opponent. It’s not even a hail Mary pass strategy, if you’ll pardon the pun. It’s more like one of those animals that, when accosted by a predator, indulges in some kind of psychologically distractive activity, seemingly unable or unwilling to recognize the danger at hand. Play it safe. Don’t make any sudden moves. And then when the jaws are around the neck it’s just a bit too late.

    1. The NYT’s just ran “The Republican Case Against Republican Economics,” and I think it strongly supports what Steve said above about a “populist economic justice message.”

      “…In a prescient article published in November of 2011, Henry Olsen, a senior fellow at the Ethics and Public Policy Center, wrote that “the differences between white working-class independents and the GOP’s conservative base are becoming too substantial to ignore. The GOP base voter believes the deficit is as large a problem as the economy; the white working-class independent does not. The GOP base voter believes cutting entitlements is necessary to cut the deficit and that taxes on the rich should not be raised; the white working-class independent disagrees….

      In other words, the conservative coalition, already facing demographic challenges from the rise of minority voters, is likely to lose core white support if it maintains its dominant anti-government ideology.

      …Pethokoukis points out that the Cruz-Lee-Meese manifesto fails to acknowledge that ‘globalization and automation are playing a role. Going forward, some economists fear a permanently bifurcated labor force with rising pay for a slice of tech-savvy workers, and stagnant wages for everyone else. It’s not all about Obama’s economy.’ …”

      I don’t agree with Olsen’s take on the federal deficit, but I think he’s a lot less wrong about it than most Republicans (and Democrats). IMHO Olsen and Petokoukis confirm Steve’s prescient comments above. Capitalism runs on SALES! The real “job creators,” are consumers with money to spend. There’s a lot of common ground among working class voters that Wisconsin Democrats are ignoring. IMHO Dems should be hammering on income inequality. Led by Ms. Burke, DPW and every Dem in the state should be demanding a FEDERAL job guarantee.

      “…The government could serve as the “employer of last resort” under a job guarantee program modeled on the WPA (the Works Progress Administration, in existence from 1935 to 1943 after being renamed the Work Projects Administration in 1939) and the CCC (Civilian Conservation Corps, 1933-1942). The program would offer a job to any American who was ready and willing to work at the federal minimum wage, plus legislated benefits. No time limits. No means testing. No minimum education or skill requirements….”

      Because of automation and globalization a lot of smart folks are saying we should move beyond a federal job guarantee to a guaranteed basic income. Milton Friedman and Richard Nixon both supported it via a negative income tax.

      I welcome discussion of a basic income guarantee, because I think it pushes the job guarantee into the political center.

      I personally oppose sex work (I think sex should only take place inside a committed relationship), but when adults contract to have non-procreative sex, I think the government should stay out of it (except for zoning). Another benefit would be that law enforcement could reserve their resources for keeping minors out of the sex trade. If wages weren’t so low for young people, so many would not be turning to sex work.

      I’m not a fan of recreational marijuana, but the prohibition against alcohol didn’t work either.

Comments are closed.