I had a diary most of the way ready to go this morning to get people revved up for the Tuesday election. Then David Nir just posted a set of quite favorable PPP polls on the the SD-12 and SD-22 races. OK, I'm ratcheting my appeal down a few notches accordingly. Good news seems likely to leave people less than entirely motivated to make calls into the state and I'm not going to try to swim against the tide.
It seems to me that big money is still flooding into Wisconsin. Right-wing voters are still fired up -- and will not be even a bit complacent. Democrats, on the other hand, do seem complacent. Maybe this is just wisdom and prudence. All I know is that even one loss, most likely in SD-12, would undo whatever gains we posted last week and give the Republicans a stunning narrative going forward.
To me, that seems like a recipe for potential disaster. (I'd be happy to be wrong.)
In Sen. Bob Wirch's race in SD-22 against Some Dude named Steitz from Chicago, some lack of Democratic intensity won't likely make a difference -- although I'd hate to take it for granted. I'll leave it to someone here from thereabout to fill us on on the details.
It is Sen. Jim Holperin's race in SD-12 that has been giving a lot of people pause. So let's take a closer look at who we're running against.
Meet Kim "Poison" Simac, the Beck of the Northwoods
A victory for Kim Simac, a Teabagger, author, and youthful-looking mother of 9 and grandmother of 8, would indeed be poison for Democratic hopes in the Badger State. (I reckon that you can already guess her type.) Here's her description from her campaign website, the banner above the title of which states, "A Leader Who Won't Run Away":
Kim is also a former radio host and an award winning author and publisher of patriotic children’s books. Her dedication to promoting American principles and values has established Kim as a nationally recognized public speaker. ...
She is the founder of the Northwoods Patriots located in Eagle River. She is the 1st Vice Chair of the Vilas County Republican Party and President of the Republican Women of the North. When Jim Holperin ran away instead of fighting for the people of the Northwoods, Kim led the effort to gather more than 23,000 signatures to recall him.
... She decided to run because she knows the Northwoods needs a voice that isn’t afraid of challenges and a voice that won’t run away from the responsibility of representing the people of the 12th District in Northern Wisconsin.
That "run away" refrain -- which I hope wasn't too subtle for anyone! -- refers to the heroic flight of the Fab Fourteen Democratic State Senators to Illinois in their attempt to block approval of Scott Walker's union-throttling budget. You enjoyed that tale, didn't you? Well, one of those heroic 14 is in trouble and needs your help. It's time to show your appreciation.
Do you want to know where she stands on the issues? Click here. Do you want to read a largely redundant letter about where she stands on the issues? I have that too. Do you want to see how a Republican sets out to scare seniors about a responsible Democrat? At your service. Do you want to know what specific bills she favors or opposes in the State Senate? Sorry, she doesn't know.
Still feeling unmotivated? She has compared public schools to the Nazi regime, called for creationism to be taught in schools, and consorted with Beckorists.
She's poison. Just imagining her beating Holperin this Tuesday can cause a rash.
Phone banking into Wisconsin
If you're within Wisconsin, you have a lot of resources. If you're outside of the state, you can give money -- the WI Dem party needs it -- or you can phone bank from home. I'll discuss the latter.
The first thing that you have to know is that this district has already been phone banked -- and, as usual, voters are not too happy about it. (Don't pay attention to anyone who says that they will vote against your candidate because you called them; I'm informed that studies have shown that this doesn't happen, especially if you're polite and contrite. But there is something you can do to make the experience nicer for you and for them? I've talked about this in phone banking diaries before, but in commenting in a diary of mine yesterday, non acquiescer adapted that advice more clearly than I think I ever have:
I start my calls by saying something like "I'm sure you don't need to be reminded that this Tuesday is election day" in a laughing/sympathetic way.
And then if they mention that they've gotten a ridiculous number of calls, I've been using your suggestion from last week, Seneca D, and just responding with a lot of sympathy, letting them vent, asking how many they've gotten. If they seem receptive, I ask how they've been divided D/R (about even, which surprises me!) and adding something about how this [election] is just so important or [that under law the various separate organizations making calls] can't coordinate...
That all seems to help more often than not, but some people aren't going to like being called no matter what.
So, your big worry about making calls? GONE. (Poof!) People won't hate you; most Wisconsinites I've been calling have been especially cordial and kind. Just a little ... bit ... harried. But a sense of humor and some honest sympathy can get right past that and remind them of what they like about Democrats.
I don't know if it's necessary to make calls. I'll probably put some time in on Tuesday just because it's what I do and I like to feel like I was part of the effort. But if you have free time today, consider calling Wisconsin. If nothing else, you can thank Holperin voters for their support. Be real with them -- that will be enough.
If you're in a union or appreciate organized labor, what a great time to call Democrats in this brave state and thank them, in advance, for getting out to vote for the interests of working people!
9:53 AM PT: Dissatisfied with diary title, so I modified it.