Photo: Wikimedia Commons
The Wisconsin Democratic Party held a conference call this afternoon, on its own accord, to talk about what it called a “flawed” poll released today by the Marquette Law School. The poll shows Gov. Scott Walker up 7 percentage points on Milwaukee Mayor Tom Barrett in the recall election race with less than a week to go — Wisconsin votes next Tuesday.”Clearly, this poll is out of step with everything else that is out there, and, frankly, with the political reality,” Wisconsin Democratic Chair Mike Tate said on the conference call.
Tate went on to cite “three polls out in just the past few days that show a dead heat or a very competitive race.”
Problem: These three polls have all been put out by Democratic-affiliated organisations or by Tom Barrett’s campaign.
In fact, the political reality is that the Marquette poll is in line with almost every other independent poll in May. The Real Clear Politics average of Wisconsin polls in the past three weeks shows Walker up an average of 6.6 points, in line with the Marquette finding. Rasmussen had Walker up 5. Public Policy Polling and The Daily Kos had Walker up 4. St. Norbert had Walker up 5, too.
Photo: Real Clear Politics
Yet, somewhat inexplicably, three polls from Democrats, Democrat-affiliated organisations or Tom Barrett’s campaign itself have actually gained a bit of traction in the past week. In fact, it’s probably not a good sign that you’re behind or, at best, tied in these polls if you’re Tom Barrett.
Tate tore into Prof. Charles Franklin, who conducted the poll and leads the Marquette Law School poll team. His argument was that Franklin is a professor, not a pollster.
“If he was a pollster, that’s what he’d do for a living,” Tate said.
Neither Tate nor Democratic spokesman Scot Ross could explain, though, why in the same poll, President Barack Obama is leading Republican challenger Mitt Romney by eight points.
“I would say that it’s not my job to explain Charles Franklin’s bad maths,” Tate said. “I don’t think it makes any sense.”
It went on.
Tate argued that Marquette oversampled the Milwaukee media market — 46 per cent of those surveyed were in that market. If anything, that should have helped Barrett — he won Milwaukee County 62 per cent to 38 per cent in 2010 over Walker. He argued that it oversampled “conservatives” in the Milwaukee market. But of those surveyed, 48 per cent either were firm or “leaning” Democrats, compared with 43 per cent Republican.
The kicker, from Tate: “What we do know is that Republicans are clearly nervous.”
In fact, Republicans are the ones that appear to be getting more confident. In a conference call Wednesday, RNC Chair Reince Priebus predicted the Wisconsin election could have a larger effect.
“Republicans have made a clear choice to provide the resources and support Governor Walker who’s governing like he campaigned and moving Wisconsin in the right direction,” he said. “One thing is really clear here if Walker wins on Tuesday, which we are really confident he will, Obama’s going to have a much tougher road ahead in Wisconsin this fall.”
Meanwhile, Obama’s campaign is subtly distancing itself from the race and any potential implications of a Barrett loss.
“This is a gubernatorial race with a guy who was recalled and a challenger trying to get him out of office,” deputy campaign manager Stephanie Cutter said on MSNBC this morning. “It has nothing to do with President Obama at the top of the ticket, and it certainly doesn’t have anything to do with Mitt Romney at the top of the Republican ticket.
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