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WI recall: None of the D candidates poll better than Walker

Quelle surprise:

Opponents of Walker have submitted petitions with more than 1 million signatures to force a recall vote, far more than needed. But Democrats have yet to settle on an opponent to face Walker in a recall.

The Marquette University Law School poll shows Walker leading Milwaukee Mayor Tom Barrett, whom he beat in 2010, by 50 to 44 percent. Dane County executive Kathleen Falk, who has announced she will run for the nomination to challenge Walker, trails Walker by 49 to 42 percent.

The poll also shows Walker leading former congressman David Obey by 7 percentage points and state Senator Tim Cullen by 10 points. Cullen said last month he would run.

The survey of 701 registered Wisconsin voters was taken by telephone from January 19 to 22 and has a margin of error of 3.8 percent. It is the first of a series of polls on the race that Marquette University said it would be conducting.

Some other polls have shown either that Walker is more narrowly leading, or is trailing his potential competitors.

If two or more Democrats decide to run for the right to challenge Walker in a recall election, a primary will be held.

Here's my question:

Who owns the data gathered by the largest recall effort ever? If it's the Ds, that's what's really at stake: The list, and the revenues. That would make the actual recall a sideshow. So who owns the list?

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caseyOR's picture
Submitted by caseyOR on

helpful with the recall petitions. The on-the-ground work of gathering signatures was organized by people committed to ousting Walker, not by the state Dems.

So, what claim does either party have to the data? It seems to me they both have exactly none. Which does, of course, preclude both legacy parties from staking a claim.

Jessica Yogini's picture
Submitted by Jessica Yogini on

did we used to have oppositional forces that really tried, not just folks collecting rent for playing the opposition role in the kabuki?

DCblogger's picture
Submitted by DCblogger on

the petitions are turned over to the Wisconsin Board of Elections and they verify the signatures. Based on my experience in Virginia, the signatures will not be entered into a data base, neither by those that gathered the signatures nor WI. Wisconsin will just verify the signatures.

Theoretically the Dems or whoever gathered the signatures could make copies and follow up, but I have never known that to be done, even though it is perfectly legal and entirely sensible.

Politics is not efficient.

DCblogger's picture
Submitted by DCblogger on

a sample from the petitions is compared to the voter rolls to make sure that the people who signed are registered to vote. If some are not registered voters, that is ok, SO LONG as there are enough valid signatures to meet the requirement. But there is no data entry, just a comparison. Then the petitions are stored somewhere for some specified amount of time. But they are not scanned into anything and there is no data entry. Therefore there is no data capture.

affinis's picture
Submitted by affinis on

Even though I'm often a cynical guy, with regard to this recall effort I'm going to say very clearly

Cynicism is the most supine position.

A lot of good people are putting their all into the recall effort. I'm one of them. The bulk of it has been grassroots/unions. It ain't kabuki, though there have been plenty of difficulties.

Volunteers working with We are Wisconsin, a union+grassroots group gathered a large share - probably most - of the signatures. Both the Dems and We are Wisconsin will be using the lists. The WI Dems essentially have $0 right now - and I'm not exaggerating for effect here. Walker has raised $12 million over the last year - much of it from conservatives living outside of the state and a substantial chunk from a small number of wealthy individuals.

Walker has been running glossy ads. No-one on the Dem side has run ads. Walker is vulnerable - low approval numbers in state polls, an ongoing John Doe investigation into his staff, and WI is the only state in the nation that's lost jobs for six months in a row (that's what you get for imposing a severe austerity program for a structural deficit in the midst of a recession). But all the big-name potential Dem candidates are at least slightly flawed, in one way or another. And ads swing polls (and votes).

We are Wisconsin (plus smaller grassroots organizations) have been more dynamic/energized than the Dems in the recall efforts. And I will mention that IMO there are at least a couple good potential Dem candidates (e.g. Mahlon Mitchell, Jon Erpenbach).

affinis's picture
Submitted by affinis on

I'm just responding to the recall-as-sideshow/kabuki statement. This is going to be an uphill battle - so propagation of "this is kabuki" has potential to undercut our efforts.

The state Dems are actually somewhat motivated on this - for a few reasons. 1. Loss of collective bargaining rights and automatic dues collection means loss of a lot of union contributions the Dems depend upon. (One top state Dem party individual stated it to me as "The Republicans decided to go for the jugular") 2. The redistricting makes it far harder for Dems to win state races. 3. The restrictive voter-ID law will also make it harder for Dems to win races in the future, and reversing this is a priority. Among the WI state Dems involved in the recall, there are some legacy-party-type lame-asses (more of these toward the top of the Dem hierarchy), and there are some folks who are great.

But actually, in the recalls, I think the state Dems are possibly the weaker party relative to We are Wisconsin (and allied union/activist organizations). The activist + unions won't just lay around and let the Dems run the show. But even so, parties central to the recall effort (insider activists + union reps + state Dems) have the potential to make poor choices. E.g. A Madison establishment candidate, who displays an elitist/snotty technocrat phenotype, but strongly backs collective bargaining rights, can play well to this group, but poorly in the rest of the state.

Submitted by hipparchia on

you're doing the wisconsin effort a huge disservice with your "realism." which btw is a hugely unrealistic view of what's actually been happening in wisconsin.

dr sardonicus's picture
Submitted by dr sardonicus on

My guess is that the Wisconsin Democratic Party already has most of those names on their rolls anyway, and that it would not be worth the time or effort to cull the independents from the lists. (I'm betting that most of the petition signers are already registered Democrats, and are regular recipients of fundraising materials.)

Also, I'm fairly sure that the Wisconsin Democrats have the name of every union member in the state in a computer file somewhere. This sort of thing is what the legacy parties exist for, after all.

affinis's picture
Submitted by affinis on

I think a lot (perhaps most) of the petition signers (especially at the low-income end) are not on the current Dem lists. WI has open primaries, so people don't really register by party.