March 15, 2011

Kos's pollster, PPP, surveyed Wisconsin districts about recalling Republican state senators.

The post about the results says they asked "a battery of questions" — ow! — and that the "links to full results are at the end of this post," but I can't find the promised "links," so I'm limited to discussing what they chose to write up in the post (which, of course, is written in the most partisan way). [UPDATE: The links to the individual polls are now displayed over at Kos.]
One basic question asked whether respondents approve of the job performance of each senator—those numbers are in the first two columns after each incumbent's name. Four senators have negative ratings, and one is even—not particularly welcome news for Republicans. 
Considering the drubbing they've been receiving in the (incredibly biased) media, I think the approval numbers are pretty strong. If there are sufficient signatures for a recall election, the Senators will have to go back to their districts and campaign, making the argument to their constituents that what the GOP legislature and governor have been doing is good. They'll run ads and do debates and sharpen the issues and arguments. Think their somewhat eroded popularity will grow back?
We also asked whether respondents support or oppose the idea of recalling their senators. As you can see in the next pair of columns, this question doesn't test as well—pluralities say they favor recall in just three districts—but in a way, it's the least important question we asked. 
Oh, yeah, the question with the bad numbers... it's not important! Ha! The reason it's (supposedly) not important is that if enough signatures are collected, there will be a recall election. It doesn't matter that people don't want it. They're going to get it.

But... if they don't want it, when they get it, they're going to be annoyed at getting stuck with another election, and they will be receptive to what should be one of the strongest arguments the incumbent Senators will make:  

You elected us in November, and we have been working hard at the difficult job you elected us to do. Some people who didn't get their way last November have been yelling and screaming and doing everything they can to change the results of the last election. They want a do-over. Tell them no. No do-overs until the next election.

Portray them as crybaby children who can't accept a loss and cry "do-over." Portray them as anti-democratic sore losers who won't accept the results of a legitimate fair election.
Three Republican incumbents actually trail "generic Dem": Luther Olsen, Randy Hopper, and Dan Kapanke. Two more have very narrow leads and garner less than 50% support: Rob Cowles and Sheila Harsdorf. And one more, Alberta Darling, holds a clear lead but is still potentially vulnerable.... 
But a key thing to remember, though, is that if any of these senators have to face a recall election, we'll need an actual candidate to run against each of them. In that regard, Wisconsin's recalls are very different from California's, where in 2003 voters were simply asked if they wanted to remove Democratic Gov. Gray Davis from office. Arnold Schwarzenegger was elected (with less than a majority) by means of a separate ballot question....  In Wisconsin, if a recall election makes it on to the ballot, there is no California-style first question—we go directly to a head-to-head between candidates (with a possible stop along the way for primaries). So for a recall to succeed, we'll need to convince voters to support a real live Democrat—and that means we'll have to recruit some good candidates.
So the incumbents can argue both that recall is a bad idea and that the specific alternate candidate isn't better. The "generic Democrat" is a vague repository of hope for something better. A specific candidate is a much riper target.

Now, what about the recall efforts against the Democratic Senators? Did Kos poll that? If you push for recall elections, you're asking for your guys to get challenged too. I don't know how those recall efforts are going, but the complaint against the 14 who ran to Illinois to obstruct the legislative majority is very specific. They too were sore losers who wouldn't accept the results of a fair, legitimate election. They came home to Madison on Sunday and participated in a big parade where they were cheered and called "The Fabulous 14." I think some of the images of them preening about their fabulousness in front of throngs of Madison-style protesters and "union thug" types would work really well in some devastating ads in some of the districts around the state. I don't expect Madison's own Fred Risser to get booted out, but some of those 14 districts are not that safe for Democrats.

Who will win and who will lose in the recall madness?

77 comments:

MadisonMan said...

Considering the drubbing they've been receiving in the (incredibly biased) media, I think the approval numbers are pretty strong.

You seem to be assuming a particular cause and effect here.

Some politicians do deserve the drubbing they get in the Media.

MadisonMan said...

I agree, by the way, that Creaky Fred Risser is unlikely to be recalled.

Surely the warranties on all his original parts have expired by now.

Don't forget to tip your waitress.

Expat(ish) said...

I've already been searching for places to donate to help the conservative half of the argument with money. I don't have much but this seems important.

Here in NC our super left D governor (left to us, probably seem pretty conservative to ya'll) is pretty much cutting like crazy with the R legislature. Lots of disagreement on things like charter schools and what-not but nobody has fled to Alabama yet.

-XC

SteveR said...

Some politicians do deserve the drubbing they get in the Media.

Well sure, but are any of the fleebaggers getting drubbed? At first they run away, instead of working within the system, now they want to use the recall to restablish a majority under which they can use the same system they chose to abandon when the normal election process did not favor them.

Clearly that's worse than anything the ones who stayed behind did.

Evan said...

You 'can't find the "links" '?

Really? The ones that are organized by the senators name, following the words "Full Results:" in bold at the bottom of the post?

Search harder.

NotYourTypicalNewYorker said...

Ugh, you made me go to Kos.(wiping off)

Ann Althouse said...

"You seem to be assuming a particular cause and effect here. Some politicians do deserve the drubbing they get in the Media."

No, I'm just saying that when they reenter the political arena and campaign, they will get back some of the reputation that may have been eroded by the slanted reporting. They will argue for their position and influence public opinion more directly if there is a new campaign.

I almost welcome the recall effort because, although I think it is terrible way to do democracy, it will get the GOP side of the debate into circulation. The protesters and the public unions have not had to stand up to much scrutiny. But if there are recall elections, there will be some sharp, strong debate.

doris said...

Fred the Red = safe as mother's milk. Alberta Darling from my neck of the woods is very vulnerable. Dr. Sheldon Wassermann will run if she gets recalled.

Is anyone who ever supports a recall an anti-democratic crybaby? Or just these particular recall efforts?

Comrade X said...

if the unions try this and fail, they're dead meat.

Carol_Herman said...

I don't trust polls. Somebody comes up with money to buy 'em. And, the questions are structured to produce "results."

Sort of the way test questions are composed. You'd plotz if your entire class got everything right on an exam.

Yet we're supposed to take propaganda. And, the value of making believe the future is known. By looking at these poll results? GEEZ.

Our Founding Fathers wanted the ballot SECRET! No Church elder, or anyone else in town, got to see the piece of paper where you checked off one candidate's name against another. Too much coercion if the ballot wasn't secret.

Now? Governor Walker has NATIONAL NAME RECOGNITION! He's far ahead of Newt Gingrich and Mitt Romney in the "political capital" department. Because you can't fool me.

There's also something else to view: Governor Walker has WON, and he's just like Moses, turning to his flock, and CONDEMNING them for celebrating the drowning of the Egyptians. (Did you know this was part of the Passover story?)

By the way, Wisconsin was once BLUE. Dunno if this changed in 2000. Or not. Two pretty rotten candidates were running for the presidency.

Americans deal with this.

I think the whole recall effort is BEATING A DEAD HORSE! Would Moses have said "that was painless?"

Coketown said...

Remember: only officials who have served over a year are subject to recall. And did the PPP poll break down approval ratings by district, or across Wisconsin? The only approval number that matters for each senator is their approval in their district.

A poorly executed poll is only made worse by morons who don't know how to interpret them.

James said...

Bob Wirch (D - Kenosha) is in serious trouble; there's an extremely strong effort to recall him and the petition drive is going well. Of course I don't expect Kos to mention that.

edutcher said...

IIRC, PPP isn't known for their accuracy, and one of the problems of doing a poll commissioned by someone else - anybody else, .

Wait to see what Rasmussen says.

PS Don't know what the local media is doing, but question the numbers. The Republicans may be more popular at home than statewide.

Ann Althouse said...

Evan said..."You 'can't find the "links" '? Really? The ones that are organized by the senators name, following the words "Full Results:" in bold at the bottom of the post? Search harder."

I can see them now, but I don't think they were not there before. I saw this post when it first went up. The presence of the links is noted in an update.

Lem said...

I cant wait for the days when all of Madison would be summed up by a blip of the dome way out in the distance ;)

doris said...

"I almost welcome the recall effort because, although I think it is terrible way to do democracy, it will get the GOP side of the debate into circulation."

Agreed that we need to debate this. Because we HAVEN'T HAD ONE. This was a huge paradigm shifting -- some would say radical -- bill. The public does not even understand what it means -- and the democrats are doing an excellent job of protraying this as armageddon. With stronger leadership it could have been better.

Bushman of the Kohlrabi said...

Most Vulnerable Wisconsin Democrats:

Jim Holperin
Dave Hansen
Robert Wirch
Julie Lassa

One or two of these could easily go Republican.

I also noticed that the local news led off with vandalism and death threats last night instead of the usual peachy protester stories. The bloom is already starting to wear off.

ricpic said...

There are several things working against these Republican legislators: they will be outspent; they will be demonized; defining themselves as above all super-nice they will not return fire at nearly the same intensity. The nice do not fare well against thugs.

garage mahal said...

Is anyone who ever supports a recall an anti-democratic crybaby? Or just these particular recall efforts?

Just these particular efforts, because Republicans stepped in it and are in trouble. They may want to cut at least of them loose before the recall, the repugnant asshole Randy Hopper, he who won with just over 100 votes:
It was first reported here on March 11 that protesters outside the recall target's, Hopper's, house last week in Fond du Lac were met by his wife who reportedly came out and told them: Hopper no longer lives there but with his 25-year-old mistress in Madison

Chip Ahoy said...

Phase II: The kicking part of kicking and screaming.

Aridog said...

Recall madness is a good word for it. Recalls don't always work out the way folks think they would or should.

In Michigan we had a recall some time ago on Andy Dillon, because of his support for tax increases ... he was the Speaker of the Michigan House and a Democrat. The recall failed.

Rumor has it that Michgian voters are less concerned with taxes, plus or minus, than they are spending. Who knew?

Later Dillon ran in the Dem primaries for the Governorship, to replace the term limited incumbent Governor. He was kicked to the curb by the Dem doctrinaire folk, who chose another Dem more to their rather narrow liking.

The Dem lost the gubernatorial election to Republican Rick Snyder, your basic non-politician.

Andy Dillon was appointed Michigan Treasurer by Snyder.

And so it goes.

MadisonMan said...

Only one thing is certain. There will be a helluva lot of political ads to put up with when I watch American Idol or Glee. Wisconsin will be a Battleground State! in 2012. I guess that's two things.

Meh.

Well, at least the local TV stations will make money.

Class factotum said...

Apparently, "Dr" Sara Johann, who has a WI Supreme Court judgment against her that reads like a soap opera, will be running again. From her FB page:

Announcement: I will now be moving back into the 20th State Senate District when the Recall goes through and running, as a Democratic Candidate, against Republican State Senator Glenn Grothman instead of challenging Alberta Darling in the 8th District. I will assist in the Darling recall at the present time.

The judgment: http://statecasefiles.justia.com.s3.amazonaws.com/documents/wisconsin/supreme-court/1996AP003269-D-%281998-02-24%29.pdf

Trooper York said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Dust Bunny Queen said...

What a freaking waste of time, energy and money!

I didn't think that there could be a worse State than California. Wisconsin wins hands down for the most effed up State in the Union.

You get the government you deserve.

Trooper York said...

It's pretty funny when hard core libs get all preachy about morality and stuff because they think conservative are gonna jump up on a table and hold their dresses up like they saw a mouse.

It is the same impulse that they use when they quote the scripture while they are taking a dump on a historical monument.

It is pandering to the most ridiculous stereotypes of conservatives. Like they aren't human and never had a divorce or something. I mean if they were serious about it then the Kennedy’s and the Clintons would never get a vote. It is like the Red Sox fans complaining that the Yankees are the “Evil Empire” while signing another multimillion dollar free agent.

It would be funny if it wasn't so stupid.

ALH said...

I welcome a recall of Kapanke in the 32nd. I think Dems will shoot their wad, lose, and have little chance of defeating him in 2012.

If the recall election occurs while UW-LaCrosse is out of class (does anyone know the timing?)...the Dems have little chance of winning.

Hagar said...

The "recall madness" will likely peter out as the folks get back home and get some sleep and go to thinking over what they have seen and heard.

And on the Democratic side, the most likely challenger candidates will be of the "extreme" variety, which will not look like a very good option.

Henry said...

Right now this poll doesn't matter at all to Wisconsin voters. It matters a great deal to the Democrats promoting the recall idea. Democrats will have to fund the recall effort, and enlist candidates, and fund them as well.

The key graf is this:

Three Republican incumbents actually trail "generic Dem"

The Democrats needs to pick off three seats to make this recall effort worth the money.

And the best they've got is that only three Republicans actually (don't you love that word?) trail one the most popular candidate in any election -- the generic.

The professionals know better.

ricpic said...

That the Red Sox are evil doesn't change the fact that the Yankees are EVIL. And their whole season depends on Sabathias' arm. Which depends on his knees. Which have been operated on. Aha ha ha ha ha.

MadisonMan said...

I wonder if the Senator who has (allegedly) ditched his wife and moved in with the girlfriend in Madison will be recalled?

Bushman of the Kohlrabi said...

Announcement: I will now be moving back into the 20th State Senate District when the Recall goes through and running, as a Democratic Candidate, against Republican State Senator Glenn Grothman

She has no chance of beating Grothman. Darling is more vulnerable. However, I don't think there are enough North Shore Nancys left in Shorewood and Whitefolks Bay to take the seat from her.

PaulV said...

404 on link to raw polling data. No way to tell how valid cross section of poll is. Smells like KOS.
Notice that Walker has good support statewide. Inconsistent data.

EDH said...

A strong argument to voters is that a recall will (1) plunge the state into a fiscal crisis, and (2) our recall opponents will raise your taxes to repay their union backers.

MadisonMan said...

A strong argument to voters is that a recall will (1) plunge the state into a fiscal crisis

You mean we're not in one now? As the Republicans have been shouting for weeks?

garage mahal said...

The Democrats needs to pick off three seats to make this recall effort worth the money.

Three flips the Senate. I'd say that's well worth the effort. It must be getting to them, on top of making prank phone calls illegal, they now want to ban picketing in front of houses. haha.

Trooper York said...

I think all recall elections should be based on someone's sexual morality.

I demand we recall JFK, LBJ,FDR, IKE, and everyone else who ever dipped their pen in some other girls inkwell.

It is only right and proper.

Glad to see all you libs got that old timey religion.

garage mahal said...

I demand we recall JFK, LBJ,FDR, IKE, and everyone else who ever dipped their pen in some other girls inkwell.

You work on that, we'll work on the recalls here. And good luck!

Trooper York said...

Picketing in front of people's houses? You mean bringing busloads of dirty hippies from out of state to stand in front of someones house in a residential neighborhood and shout and scream and chant and bang drums.

Instead of the traditional venues and ways of making yourself heard that have worked for hundreds of years of civilized political discourse.

Sounds like a great idea. What could go wrong?

Browndog said...

Althouse:

She's everywhere-

even when she's not.

http://theothermccain.com/2011/03/15/you-never-know-whom-youll-run-into/

Bushman of the Kohlrabi said...

Democrats want to eliminate fleeing as option to hold up votes. I swear, you just can't make this shit up.

wv: numso - Good nickname for Tim Cullen.

Don't Tread 2012 said...

@Trooper

"It is like the Red Sox fans complaining that the Yankees are the “Evil Empire” while signing another multimillion dollar free agent."

If you can't beat 'em, join 'em.

Heck I'm a suffering Indians fan (hey I don't admit that to just anyone) and would love to have the scratch to build a winner. We blew our chance in the 90's.

Now there's just a few guys making big $$, one in particular is broken down and the rest make the league minimum $400k.

The Indians are the Royals are the Pirates...

How many is it, 27 world series?

'Best team money can buy'

Clairvius Narcisse said...

that would mean we can recall gingrich before he even announces...win!

Lombardi Chick said...

Oh, look. (Just caught this link on Twitter.) They're going to protect what they have, and "fight for more":

Madison Troublemakers School - April 1 & 2, 2011

Working people are under assault and the assault will continue until we put an end to it. The protests at the Capitol are showing what working people are made of.

That’s the idea behind the Madison Labor Notes Troublemakers School. How do we build on the protests, protect what we have--and lay the foundation to fight for more? Led by experienced labor activists, our workshops will explore strategies to fight back and give you the hands-on skills to make it happen.

Henry said...

Garage wrote: Three flips the Senate. I'd say that's well worth the effort.

Well yes, when you're begging the question.

But the people with the money might want better odds.

Eugene said...

Considering the financial woes faced by Jerry Brown and Andrew Cuomo, if the Democrats got back in power, would they really want to reestablish the previous status quo? Or would they somehow never get around to it? What would the unions do then? After a while, not only are they going to run out of other people's money, but politicians to recall.

Hagar said...

But garage, what if the Republicans flip 4 Democrats?

And they only have to flip one in order to negate your 3. Call your bookie!

garage mahal said...

You mean bringing busloads of dirty hippies from out of state to stand in front of someones house in a residential neighborhood and shout and scream and chant and bang drums.

Nah. These would be the local irritant types. Sort of like what Dale Earnhardt used to do when he'd get up behind you riding your ass, getting you all loose. You always have to contend with that before you even thought of doing anything else.

MadisonMan said...

if the Democrats got back in power, would they really want to reestablish the previous status quo?

I suspect not. They'll use the "crisis" to try to grab power. But once they have it? They'll not reward their supporters.

But I'm pretty cynical.

Trooper York said...

Going to invade the personal space of your political opponents sounds like a great idea.

I mean angry unbalanced people standing outside your house shouting at you and picketing and scaring your children with a copy of "Catcher in the Rye" in your pocket.

I repeat. What could go wrong?

PaulV said...

Garage, you really think what happened to Dale Earnhardt will happen to the fleebaggers? Spot on for a change.

Comrade X said...

Sort of like what Dale Earnhardt used to do when he'd get up behind you riding your ass, getting you all loose.

what ever happened to that guy?

Trooper York said...

"if the Democrats got back in power, would they really want to reestablish the previous status quo?"

No way dude. They are going to close Gitmo and drop the Patriot Act and end all those terrible wars. Democrats aren't like that. They stand by what they campaign on. What's the matter with you? Are you one of those lying racist tea party types?

Now get your fuckin tamborine we are going to Scott Walkers house to keep his children awake all night. It's gonna be cool.

retire05 said...

Ann, I have to ask you; if 85% of Wisconsin workers are NON union, do you think they appreciate the antics of the protesters and having to now make arrangements for their kids because the immature teachers have to make up the time not teaching by extending the school day by 20 minutes for the rest of the year?

Do you think the NON-union citizens appreciate the unions wanting to keep their tony paychecks and benefits off their backs and via their taxes?

I understand your unemployment rate is pretty low compared to the national percentages, but how sympathetic are those who have lost their jobs going to be?

Browndog said...

You guys need to get the ball rolling over there-

Libtards will be requesting the Chicago re-call machine re-deploy to Michigan to oust our republican governor in short order.

shoutingthomas said...

Nah. These would be the local irritant types. Sort of like what Dale Earnhardt used to do when he'd get up behind you riding your ass, getting you all loose. You always have to contend with that before you even thought of doing anything else.

You're just a downright evil bastard, garbage, and you seem to actually luxuriate in it.

You still haven't explained your vile comment yesterday about illegals being shot like wild pigs from helicopters.

You'll just say any kind of vile shit. You enjoy it.

You're a vicious clown. I don't know why you think that vicious clown act reflects well on Democrats. If you want to help Democrats, I'd suggest you make yourself scarce.

You're a liability.

garage mahal said...

You still haven't explained your vile comment yesterday about illegals being shot like wild pigs from helicopters.

See here. It wasn't my comment. Ooops

Beta Rube said...

So what are the odds that the unions will raise millions from out of state donors to finance their efforts, and the first story that makes the papers regarding political donations will highlight funding from scary conservative groups (think Koch here).

The libs will decry the depsoiling of their pristine process by filthy lucre while running to the bank with another deposit.

shoutingthomas said...

Ah, Think Progress is your source.

You're a pig, garbage.

Like I said, you're a liability to your own side.

shoutingthomas said...

I'll go even farther, garbage.

You are such a pig that, if I were a Republican trickster, I'd pay you to post on this site.

You make Democrats look very bad.

MadisonMan said...

So what are the odds that the unions will raise millions from out of state donors to finance their efforts, and the first story that makes the papers regarding political donations will highlight funding from scary conservative groups

I think most Wisconsinites will agree that money on both sides of this debate will wash over the state from other parts of the Country.

(Almost successfully resisted a tsunami metaphor)

Trooper York said...

Maybe all of you guys who want to get back at Meade and the blogger lady for their coverage of this matter should go over to their house and protest and blow whistles and bang drums and put up signs and posters on the trees that Meade planted and trample the flowers that are just begining to bloom.

Show them what Democracy looks like!

What could go wrong?

retire05 said...

So what are the odds that Republicans, from every red state in the nation, will fill the coffers of Wisconsin Republicans being challenged because Democrats don't want to play by the rules?

I can tell you; it is already in process to support those Republicans. But hey, let the unions waste their money in Wisconsin. That much less for them to dump into Obama 2012.

garage mahal said...

Ah, Think Progress is your source.

You asked, I answered. If you had bothered to read the link, you would see he admits to saying it. But knock yourself and start googling if you think the report is inaccurate.

iowemysoul said...

Well the Recall Holperin group has run into yet another problem up north - first the restaurant they were going to meet at was bullied into cancelling the event and then they met outside the coutr house in Merril and those against their enterprise not only bullied them and sullied their petitions, they started ripping up the pledges.

http://www.620wtmj.com/shows/charliesykes/118011324.html?blog=y

TosaGuy said...

Of course all the GOP senators up for recall won elections in 2008 when Dems were out in full force to vote for THE ONE. Meanwhile, the GOP voting block for that election was probably at its floor.

So will enough of that super excited 2008 Dem voting block show up sometime this summer to overtake a demoralized GOP voting block, which had enough to win the election for their state senator?

With regard to Alberta Darling...she has already beaten Sheldon Wasserman once. All the pundits will focus on the lefties in Shorewood and Whitefish Bay, yet ignore the conservatives in the larger cities of Menomonee Falls and Germantown.

Hoosier Daddy said...

You asked, I answered. If you had bothered to read the link, you would see he admits to saying it.

So what? One nitwit makes a ridiculous statement and that's an indictment against anyone right of Lenin?

Alex said...

Leave it to mahal to go muckracking into the private lives of politicians. Typical Alinksy tactic!

PETER V. BELLA said...

Battery of questions smacks of push polling. Something the progressives detest unless they are doing it.

Roger J. said...

Who in the world gives a damn what happens in wisconsin--a backwater state. This is what happens when the ice gets thin and you cant get out ice fishing.

The Crack Emcee said...

I posted on this type of liberal "thinking".

KJ said...

Polls against unnamed generic opponents provide little insight. In a low-turnout recall election results will depend on how hard each side works. If Sen. Darling keeps canceling appearances in her district, like she did at town halls in WFB and Menomonee Falls this past weekend, people will begin to wonder why. One reason may be that she needs to travel to DC for fundraisers with out of state lobbyists, which she's apparently doing this week.

enicar333 said...

I have been actively pointing out that Democracy happened; then I provide the dictionary definition of Democracy for the benefit of the ignorant public employees. I then ask then to tell me what they really want. It is extremely annoying to me that now that the silent majority have a voice, (working people, unemployed and homeless) and that voice spoke, the results are that the public employees find fault with the process and complain and cry unfair.

To try to reason with the public employees and try to explain the difference between income derived from compulsory taxation and that from the free market... seriously... describing them as miseducated is the nicest thing I can say.

I hope the recall effort fails, that would speak the loudest, but most Voters are easily swayed by emotional arguments. If there is a recall election, I hope the Republicans maintain their seats.

In the final analysis, the public employees WILL lose, because the well is running dry. Private sector jobs continue to disappear, tax base continues to shrink, revenues will decline. Raising taxes will destroy more tax base, further reducing revenues. We are locked in a viscious deflationary debt death spiral. Welcome to the global economy. FUTURE SHOCK

mariner said...

If there is any justice in this world, enough Democrats will be replaced by Republicans that Republicans will have a budgetary supermajority.

mariner said...

The nice do not fare well against thugs.

Some day, maybe soon, the nice will stop being nice. They will start getting in thugs' faces and punching back twice as hard, and thugs will get a little bloody in the streets.

Sandra said...

so are the democrats who contest any successfully recalled republicans, going to run on higher taxes and more spending for public employees? They consider this to be a winning strategy, with the voters???

Atticus said...

Once again the - ahem - Professor uses her law degree as toilet paper. It would be funny if she wasn't an educator.