Tuesday, January 28, 2014

Polling Fever - The Good, The Bad & The Ugly

So, Marquette University came out with new Wisconsin polling yesterday and everybody and their aunt weighed in on what it all meant.

When polling numbers are bad, people are quick to dismiss them and say they mean nothing. When poll numbers are good - well, isn't Jesus, himself, favoring our race?

The worst polls are internal polls, which always seem to favor whoever pays for them - even when they shouldn't.

In the recall, somebody did an Democratic internal poll that showed they were going to win every single recall race in June of 2011. What should have tipped them off is no other credible poll showed the same numbers. The credible polls were right.

Mitt Romney and Paul Ryan had an internal poll that was so strong in their favor, Mitt didn't even write a concession speech. Ryan went on to comment they were truly, truly dumbfounded by their loss. Indeed.

Ignore polls at your own risk - but polls are also a snapshot. In other words, they change.

So what does the Marquette poll mean for the Governor's race?


63% of people say they support a raise in the minimum wage. That's actually surprising. Scott Walker, on the other hand, said that efforts to raise the minimum wage by our own, Cory Mason, was a "political stunt." Not a good choice of words it would seem as Mary Burke supports raising the minimum wage.

79% of people have already given up on Walker's 250,000 new jobs promise - with 68% of people thinking that's a "very important" or "important" promise.

64% of people want to see taxes impact people making over $250,000 - something Walker has done quite the opposite giving the majority of his tax breaks to the wealthy - with 59% saying so.


In spite of actual facts - a lot of people believe Wisconsin is doing well. 54% of people asked think Wisconsin is moving in the right direction. We know from previous polling, a whole bunch of people had no idea Wisconsin is lagging behind the nation in job creation.

To the Siren, this means a few things: the Koch funded spin machine has done a good job selling Wisconsinites snake oil about Walker's performance; the uptick in the national economy has helped people feel things are going better in the state and Mary Burke needs to hit people on the head relentlessly with the facts.

70% of people say they don't know anything about Burke - which means she's gotta begin to transition from supporter living rooms to real campaigning. With Walker's approval rating stuck at 50% no matter what he does or fails to do - Burke has plenty of people to meet and move.


What seemed like a two point race in October, now appears to be a six point race - even with a margin of error - Burke loses. With most of the state not knowing her, this may not be doom but it's a pretty big wake up call.

As the Siren said before - polls change, but they rarely lie. Burke has got the money, the staff and pretty much a blank slate on which to paint herself. At this stage of the game, Tommy Thompson lead Tammy Baldwin with a big chunk of the state yet to meet her. Time to get to work.