Free Markets, Free People

As it ends up, Wisconsin wasn’t even that close [Update]

In the Wisconsin recall election last night,  Gov. Scott Walker and Lt Gov. Rebecca Kleefisch jumped to an early lead and never relinquished it, beating their Democratic rivals by 7 points, 53% to 46% and 6 points respectively.  3 of the 4 Republican state senators held their seats with one headed to recount. 

Of course given the spin up to the vote, the left was pretty sure that it was a very close race and that they’d squeak out a win because, well, they were the left, for heaven sake and their cause was true and just … or something.

In the end the results left some pretty bitter lefties as seen here with this drama queen:



Of course instead of what this crybaby says, what happened last night was precisely the opposite of what he contends.  Democracy didn’t “die” last night, it actually did what it was supposed to do.  The unions and Democrats attempted to redress their grievances against the governor, succeeded in getting a recall election and lost.

That’s exactly how the system is supposed to work.  Sorry, no guarantee on the outcome.

It also brought out one of the funniest and perhaps stupidest examples of trying to spin/distraction I’ve seen:




You can’t make this stuff up.  And of course, watching Ed Schultz melt down on live TV was the treat of the night.

On a more serious note, Josh Marshall at TPM published his thoughts immediately after the results were certain:

These are bad times for incumbents across the country and, frankly, around the world. A governor convincingly (we still don’t know the exact margin) winning a recall election is a big deal. Victory counts. There’s no getting around that.

That’s exactly the opposite that Alec McGillis was trying to contend yesterday.  And, Marshall is correct.  It is anti-incumbent fever which has been the feature of the past few elections.  So surviving a recall and actually doing better than he did the first time?  Significant.

Marshall goes on:

This is also a big loss for public employees unions. There’s no getting around that fact. Just why that happened is another matter. But at the end of the day, victory is all that matters. Walker went big to destroy the public sector unions in his state. And the labor movement went all out to take him down and lost. Wisconsin’s a pretty progressive, fairly blue-ish state. This result in this state has to embolden Republican governors across the country to think you can go for game-changing attacks on key Democratic constituencies like labor and not pay a price at the polls. Public employees unions across the country have feel like they have crosshairs on their backs. And they do.

I don’t think you can spin this any other way.

But, as we see with the lame Axelrod tweet, attempts to do so will be fairly common on the left.  Already it is “we were outspent” instead of voters just flat rejected their recall effort.   And, no denying it, pubic service unions lost big.

I think Marshall was fairly stunned by the result and in a burst of shocked honesty, laid out the real results.  I look for he and many others to be much more guarded and circumspect today.  I also expect a lot of whistling past the graveyard from them.

The loss in WI is remarkable for the size of the gap between Walker and Barrett.  And as usual the left is shocked at the outcome.  Because, one supposes, they actually believed they were close to winning given the polling and coverage:

Walker can’t seem to break his 50 percent ceiling of support among Wisconsin voters. His ballot support has hovered at either 50 percent or 49 percent in 12 of the 14 polls released since early May, and recent polls show the race tightening in the final stretch.

“We’re very much anticipating that there’s a chance that we could be in a recount scenario,” said Mike Tate, chairman of the Democratic Party of Wisconsin. He said the party will have more than 440 lawyers in the field on Tuesday “doing election protection activities but also tasked with recount preparation, making sure that we know where absentee ballots are at, making sure that we have a strong handle on what’s happening out there.”

But other than the one State Senate race, none of the other races ended up anywhere near recount territory and were instead dramatic and resounding victories for the incumbents.

I bring the polling up for a reason.  It is a way the left is going to console themselves and try to convince themselves that the outcome in WI has no national meaning.  Marshall goes on in his immediate reaction to provide the example:

For all the ominous things this election said for labor movement and Dems, I don’t buy that this tells us a lot about President Obama’s fate in Wisconsin or across the country. Why? Look no further than the polls. Tonight’s exit polls showed that President Obama would win handily with this electorate. Indeed, all the polls leading up to this vote showed Walker winning by a solid margin and President Obama winning by an even solider margin.

Right – the polling.  It was dead on, wasn’t it?  And the exit polling in particular was so … accurate.

Last Marshall quote of significance, because I touch on it quite often and it does point to something I feel is of tremendous importance:

Why weren’t the anti-Walker forces able to sustain those numbers? That’s an important question I don’t think we have an answer to. Enthusiasm is critical. But enthusiasm and passion is evanescent if it doesn’t live within robust institutions. Which brings us back to the power (or lack thereof) of the union movement and public impressions of it. Why Walker ceased to be unpopular is the big question here.

Why?  Because results matter and what Walker was able to do is show positive results with his agenda.  And, more importantly, he accomplished them in enough time for them to be obvious to the voters.   Secondly, 60% of the voters apparently felt the recall system was misused in this case, citing “misconduct” as the only reason it should be used.  Obviously they didn’t feel this constituted misconduct.

Finally, it appears that while the enthusiasm of a core of union members remained high (like the guy in the video), the movement wasn’t able to sustain that enthusiasm less involved in the recall effort.  Whereas the Walker side was able to motivate voters to turn out for him.

That quiet enthusiasm that manifests itself in the voters is what the left doesn’t understand.  And apparently it is something the polls don’t catch.  Most voters aren’t these simple animals that are susceptible to spin and  appeals to class warfare.  They’re much more complex than that, able to weigh arguments and make decisions based on what they see and how they see it in terms of results.   Walker produced results.  The voters, last night, endorsed them.

Democracy didn’t die last night, it got a transfusion and is well on its way to recovery.

Not that the left is at all happy about that.

Update: About that “we were outspent” meme:

Much of the money for the race has come from out of state. About $63 million has been spent on the race so far, including $16 million from conservative groups such as the Republican Governors Association, Americans for Prosperity and the National Rifle Association. The majority of Walker’s donations are from people outside Wisconsin.

Democratic groups – including those funded by unions, the Democratic Governors Association and the Democratic National Committee – have poured in about $14 million, based on a tally from the government watchdog group the Wisconsin Democracy Campaign. Barrett’s $4.2 million in donations, meanwhile, were mostly from inside Wisconsin.


Twitter: @McQandO

Tweet about this on TwitterShare on FacebookShare on Google+Share on TumblrShare on StumbleUponShare on RedditPin on PinterestEmail this to someone

23 Responses to As it ends up, Wisconsin wasn’t even that close [Update]

  • How FUN..!!!  Moonbats in full wrist-slashing mode…or full death threats on Twitter mode.
    And how come it is so hard to noggin out that the exit polls WAY over-represented Deemocrats, and mean NOTHING for Obama?
    Did you get the story of the old harpy that slapped Barrett for making a concession statement?  True story…

  • This is also a big loss for public employees unions.

    I always found it odd that the very same folks who want government to think for everybody else, don’t seem to believe that the government that they work for should think for them.  The very same government that enforces the laws, some how isn’t trust worth enough to give their employees a fair shake.  Or is it that when it comes to balancing the interests of the public and the public employees, the employees just want more.

    • Nobody with civil service protections has any business with collective bargaining rights.  They are already extended perks and protections that other working people never get, union or non-union.  Funny that in the 40s, this was never really much of a question for FDR.  Even he knew you couldn’t give civil service people that kind of power.

  • So the same polls that misrepresented Walker’s lead are to be trusted regarding Baracky? I know he carried it by 14 over McCain in 2008, but this isn’t 2008.

    WI is in play. I don’t say Romney wins it – but any time and money Baracky has to spend on what should’ve been a safe state is a net win for Romney.

    THIS IS WHAT DEMOCRACY LOOKS LIKE hahahahahahahahahahahaha

    • Why is money spent by outside donors (via SCARY EEEEEVIL Citizens United) no good, but millions in cash and thuggery from unions is okeedokee?

      • Same reason(s) Soros $$$ = good, but Koch $$$ = bad.
        None in the world of rational thought.

      • I see that McCain is back to his campaign finance voodoo.
        He wants to ban corporate and union money from campaigns.  This won’t fly in a Democrat Senate.

      • Bigger question, why is money the magic thing?  Did everyone in Wisconsin sleep through the legislative piss fight when their legislators ran away?  the attempt to bounce the judge? The recall signature collection?  The budget disaster and the subsequent budget cleanup? The failed run off primary of the chosen Democratic candidate leaving them Barrett?
        Do they really think money is why people come out to the polls?  Cripes, you’d have to literally live in a cave in Wisconsin to have missed what’s going on, so it’s not like ADVERTISING was the magic.  No, this one was too well known, too well broadcast, too well publicized (not to mention the FREEEEEE advertising and bullshit story slants the Dems get from the various old media…like Cryin Schultz and Rachel Maddog).  People voted on their view of the issues, not because more money bought the election.   Look at the pseudo off the wall candidates that Obama scored badly against in Arkansas and West Virginia…where was THEIR funding?  Where was their money parade?  and yet…they scored well against a sitting president with boodles of cash.
        All the money on the Titanic couldn’t buy a place in a lifeboat, and that’s where the Democrats are today.  They can make themselves feel better by pretending if they collect and spend enough money (that is, more than the Republicans…) then they can get ‘Democracy’ and they’ll win the election, but that just is not likely to happen this time around.

  • Some body has to say something about the “gentleman” in the video.
    This guy has no idea what “democracy” is.   Unlike the beliefs of the Democrat Party, “democracy” has nothing to do with “always winning.”

    • “This is it, if we didn’t win tonight, the end of the USA as we know it”
      This whiny little punk is so confused about so many things, but I did find it humorous that he might have accidentally said something true.  Walker’s win may be the end of the USA as HE knows it.  I look forward to a USA in which the state/ federal unions are stripped of power.  I say this as a non-union state employee in a right to work state.

  • At least Democrats regained the Senate which means Walker’s tyranny won’t be absolute.

    • 1. Really?  There is no re-count in that race?
      2. Why do you hate democracy so much?  (OK, that was a joke.  We know why you hate democracy)
      3. That Senate seat will go back to R, won’t it?
      4. Aren’t you embarrassed to even show up here with this crap?

      • I understand redistricting will make the Dem Senate majority a very short thing.

    • Hey, uh, Tad, the Wisconsin Senate has adjourned this year until the election in the Fall.  Meaning the ‘win’ gives the new senator the honor of using the words State Senator before their names, and NOTHING else.  Honorary and meaningless title.
      So now people, come November, can wonder what their new Senator DID – since there is nothing to be done.  Why, they’ll have a record as great as Obama’s was before he became President.
      Tyranny – quite the drama queen huh?

    • It wasn’t absolute at any time in Walker’s term of office.  At least, not to anyone who really knows what “absolute tyranny” means.

    • Why am I reminded of Woody Allen in Play it Again Sam after he got beat up: “Yeah, I’m fine. I snapped my chin down onto some guy’s fist and hit another one in the knee with my nose.”

    • You really need to think about moving out of your Mother’s basement.

  • Ok I’ll update my comment from yesterday before we knew the results. The only thing that could make Walker’s victory any better is if the unions and DNC had spent $5B to beat him. It would be just like The Dear Golfer’s stimulus idiocy – loads of money, no results.

    • Well, since they pretend the Unions didn’t spend about $21 million because, well, first off, they weren’t supporting Barrett, they were supporting Falk.  But the wennies don’t want to talk about that because the money clearly didn’t work – they got neither Falk nor Barrett, and instead are stuck with that (bwaahahahahha) nearly ‘absolute tyrant’ Scott Walker.
      Someone probably weeped quietly into his chablis last night when Barrett conceded.

  • Tad- yup the dems took a seat in the senate which is out of session this year and will flip back to the GOP due to redistricting.
    Good job!!!
    Remember, cut up with the vein, not across

  • Money is used to buy air time, which the Democrats get for free from the MSM. If you think about it, every election was bought by the Democrats when you consider the combined influence of their money and media bias.

    • Nah, that doesn’t count, that’s ‘truth’ not bias, go ahead and ask your average progressive.  No no, in fact, they’ll probably tell you the media is actually biased in favor of the Republicans, that’s how far they’ve gone with cranio-rectal inversion.
      that why’s Chris ‘tingles’ Matthews gets so excited about Obama, and why Ed Schultz practically cries when the recall of the governor of Wisconsin doesn’t go the way he likes, because they’re biased in favor of Republicans.