Wednesday, April 6, 2011

Foreshadow to Ohio?

Yesterday there was an election in Wisconsin for one of the state's Supreme Court seats. Being an April election in an odd year, its normally not even a blip on the radar.

However, this year, the public sector unions have made it a national issue. They expect the new collective bargaining legislation to make it to the court, and started a massive campaign to mobilize their members to elect labor union loving liberal JoAnne Kloppenburg over the current Justice, David Prosser.

To give you an indication of how the turnout has increased for this one, yesterday there were almost 1.5 million votes cast. Last November's Senate race had 2.1 million votes.

So, it sounds like the unions were successful in mobilizing all those extra people to come out to the polls, and strike a blow against Scott Walker and his "extreme" new budget and CB restrictions, right? Prosser should be getting killed with all that union mobilization out to unseat him, right?

Not so much.
In a race still too close to call, Assistant Attorney General JoAnne Kloppenburg took a paper-thin lead over Justice David Prosser in the state Supreme Court race early Wednesday, capping a race marked by massive voter turnout, Gov. Scott Walker's union bargaining plan, and record spending by outside interest groups.

As of 10:40 a.m., the Associated Press had results for all but 3 of the state's 3,630 precincts and Kloppenburg had taken a 224 vote lead after Prosser had been ahead most of the night by less than 1,000 votes.
This race is 50/50.

I don't think the unions were expecting this. This is a state where close to 100,000 people, mostly union members, converged on the capital to protest the curbs on collective bargaining for public employees. The conventional wisdom was that non-union households wouldn't care much about this issue and would stay home, allowing the union members to overwhelm the vote.

That didn't happen. Hundreds of thousands also came out to support Governor Walkers position. True, this election was not technically about the bill Walker signed, but everyone knows it was really a referendum on the issue, and not about the Supreme Court race at all.

Let's compare this to Ohio's probable referendum vote on Senate Bill 5. First, Wisconsin is arguably more liberal and more union friendly than Ohio.

Second, look at the number of people the unions were able to mobilize to protest in the state capitols. Close to 100,000 pro-union people massed in Madison to protest the new legislation there. Yet, when put to a public referendum, they only got 50% support.

Now look at Ohio. The largest pro-union crowd to assemble in Columbus was 12,000 people. Also, remember that Ohio's population is twice that of Wisconsin's. Based on those numbers, the pro-union fervor in Ohio isn't even close to that in Wisconsin.

So, in Ohio, the unions need to get to the same 50% that they did in bluer, friendlier to unions Wisconsin, where the "protest rate" per capita was 16 times higher than here?

If Chris Redfern and Ohio's public-sector unions think a November referendum on Senate Bill 5 will be a slam dunk, they might want to look at yesterday's results in Wisconsin, and think again.

Bytor on Twitter


  1. Wow. Amazing how you parrot what Keeling tried arguing on Twitter last night. I guess we're just glossing over that the race to pick Walkers' successor was one where the GOP candidate who voted for Walker's public union crushing bill got crushed?

    Or that six weeks ago in the open primary Walker crushed the Democratic winner of the election 55% to 25%? And that Prosser is the first judicial incumbent on the Court to lose re-election since the 1940s, even though his side spent a million more against a relative unknown Democratic challenger?

    Yes, if you ignore actual facts, you're point makes sense.

    Also, comparing WI to Ohio doesn't work because there were voters who, you know, actually voted based on the candidates and not the issue.

    But you keep telling yourself everything is fine. I remember making the same mistake with health care reform.

  2. Yep, Wisconsin is such a blue State that it elected Walker handily with 52% of the vote; while John Kasich in "red" State Ohio couldn't even break 50%.

    How many times do you have to take a hammer to your head before what you write starts to sound believable?

  3. She seems to be a good choice; I just hope she’s not a disappointment like Kaine and Obama have been. Everybody is saying that nobody can defeat Obama, but I think that the 2010 elections show that if he continues to be a Republican who ran as a Democrat because he understood it was the only way he could ever become president, he will make the Democratic party loose again. I hope a real progressive comes out and challenges this man or else, we are going to loose! I hear so many people say that it will be a cold day in hell before they vote for this man again. I’m one of them! I hope Debbie can be more proactive in giving a voice to the real Democratic side of the Democratic Party. Good luck to her! God knows we all need it!

  4. I agree with Modern that you are reaching here.

    But at the same time, I must question Moderns ability to even write after predicting Kasich would lose by 30 points.

  5. It's called speculation, Modern. I'm not making any predictions here, just observations. Of course, we are used to you coming up with anything just to get some sort of 2 cents in and spread your own special kind of joy around.

    If you don't think the WI vote was a referendum on the CB bill, you're crazy. An odd-year April election never saw this kind of turnout.

    The unions made this all about thr bill and drove their members and sympathizers out to vote. Surprise surprise...just as many people came out to support the bill.

    I suppose you can pretend it was all about the WI Supreme Court candidates if you want to...

    I suppose you can also pretend that Wisconsin ISN'T bluer than Ohio...

    *eye roll*

  6. Before Walker, three of the last five Governors were Republican. The Republicans controls the State Assembly and had (and may still depending on the recount) a majority of the Supreme Court. The House Budget Chairman you worship is from Wisconsin. They just elected a Tea Party conservative to the U.S. Senate. That's some record for a blue State.

    And for the last time, I never predicted that Strickland would beat Kasich by thirty points. It never happened. The closest I came to anything like that was in May 2009 I said that if Kasich continued to run on nothing more than his income tax repeal pledge without offering any plan to pay for it, Strickland was poised to handily win re-election, especially if the campaign started touting his achievements in office. Kasich avoided this by all but abandoning his income tax repeal while the Strickland campaign beat the Lehman Brothers/Wall Street horse to death.

    If you're going to quote me, get it right at least and not totally out of context.

    Bytor, I'm saying the election is a bit more complicated than you make it out to be. I'm not say Walker's bill wasn't a factor in how people voted, clearly it was as the Democrat went from getting 25% in an open primary, with the Republican getting 55% to a 50/50 tie in six weeks. But not everyone who voted was motived by the labor bill either.

    But to suggest that Wisconsin is a good sign for Kasich is to misread what happened. 19 counties that went for Walker flipped on Tuesday... signficantly.

    One of Republican Senate districts that are being recalled went 60%-40% for the Democratic Supreme Court candidate. If that's not an early warning system of political trouble, I don't know what is.

    Do both sides on SB 5 have their work cut out for them? Absolutely, particularly labor since they have to get it on the ballot in the first place.

    But I wouldn't be crowing about Wisconsin if I were you.

  7. Modern, my point is, that the referendum may not be the slam dunk the unions think it will be. Even you have talked about how it is sure to be repealed. The WI election should shatter that assumption. That's all I was saying.

    Nobody's crowing, Modern. Well...not in this post anyway. See the next post for that. Heehee!


  8. And for the last time, I never predicted that Strickland would beat Kasich by thirty points. It never happened. -Modern Esquie

    "Kasich will raise alot of money. And he'll lose by at least twenty points." -Modern Esquire


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