newspaper headline collage

Visual source: Newseum

Michael P. McDonald:

Does Scott Walker's victory in the Wisconsin recall election mean that Wisconsin is now in play in the November presidential election?

Short answer is no, for two reasons.

The first reason is that the exit polls show that if Obama was on the ballot, he would have won by a comfortable 51 percent to 44 percent margin.

What the exit polls do reveal for the Romney campaign is that 18 percent of Obama supporters voted for Walker. These persons represent potential persuadable voters that the Romney campaign will target if they decide to invest heavily in Wisconsin. What we do not know from the exit polls is why these voters would have split their vote between Obama and Walker. That mystery would have to be unraveled by additional polling to see if there is an opportunity to change these folks' votes. It very well could be that these voters' attitudes cannot be changed if, for example, they simply dislike recall elections. Still, even as Romney targets these voters, so too will Obama, so it will not be easy to changes these voters' support for Obama.

The second reason is that the recall electorate is different than what will likely be the November general election.

NB: No APR tomorrow (a Netroots Nation travel day).

Alan Abramowitz:

The 2012 recall electorate was noticeably older, whiter, more conservative and more Republican than the 2008 electorate. Voters age 65 and older outnumbered those under the age of 30 by 18 percent to 16 percent on Tuesday. In contrast, four years ago, 18- to 29-year-old voters outnumbered those 65 and older by 22 percent to 14 percent. Most significantly, on Tuesday Republicans outnumbered Democrats by 35 percent to 34 percent according to the exit poll. Four years ago, Democrats outnumbered Republicans by 39 percent to 33 percent.

Despite Scott Walker's fairly easy win on Tuesday, Democrats apparently were able to retake control of the state senate by defeating one GOP senator. And Democrats can take heart from one result from the exit poll. Even with a Republican-leaning electorate, Barack Obama led Mitt Romney by 51 percent to 44 percent when exit poll respondents were asked how they would vote in the presidential election. These results suggest that, Obama should be considered a solid favorite to carry the state again, especially if Democrats turn out in larger numbers in November.

Paul Krugman:
Why was government spending much stronger under Reagan than in the current slump? “Weaponized Keynesianism” — Reagan’s big military buildup — played some role. But the big difference was real per capita spending at the state and local level, which continued to rise under Reagan but has fallen significantly this time around.
Here is today's chapter of "What The Public Gets", brought to you through polling:


Despite extensive news coverage of what was widely portrayed as a disappointing government jobs report last Friday, Americans are about as likely to describe it as "mixed" (40%) as to say it is "negative" (42%), with a small minority characterizing it as "positive" (9%). But Americans who view the report as negative are more likely to say it was somewhat negative rather than very negative.
LA Times:
The Obama campaign’s jabs at Mitt Romney’s record at Bain Capital, which have been widely panned across the Northeast, could work quite well in Ohio, judging by the latest survey from the bipartisan Purple Poll.

Across the 12 battleground states the monthly poll surveys, 47% of likely voters said they agreed with the statement that private equity firms “care only about profits and short-term gains for investors. When they come in, workers get laid off, benefits disappear and pensions are cut. Investors walk off with big returns, and working folks get stuck holding the bag.”

Like we said, the public gets it even if the media doesn't. More conversation on this topic here.

NY Times:

Just 44 percent of Americans approve of the job the Supreme Court is doing and three-quarters say the justices’ decisions are sometimes influenced by their personal or political views, according to a new poll conducted by The New York Times and CBS News.
CNN Poll: George W. Bush only living ex-president under 50%

If you are in Providence tomorrow, come join us!

polling panel info at NN 12

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