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In the latest letter from DFA all their subscribers received, Kaili Lambe first tells us, "A new poll out this week shows right-wing Gov. Scott Walker just a few points ahead. But more importantly -- it shows there are virtually no undecided voters left in the recall race".

True. But then Kaili prescribes this as the solution:
"This is a base election and whoever best turns out their supporters wins".

This makes no sense. Kaili correctly points out that Walker's base is now larger than ours. But then suggests that all we need to do is get out our base to win.
Am I the only one who notices the fallacious logic there?

Trust me, Walker's supporters are just as passionate and committed as we are, and they will have no trouble turning out their base. All we have to do is look at the 2011 Recall results (when Walker's support was lower than it is now!) to know this is true.
So if we resign ourselves to having only a "base election" - WE WILL LOSE.

First off, we need to ask ourselves: How did Walker's base of support grow so large? How did Walker get to 50% approval, with ever-growing approval amongst independents? Even with so much intense and passionate opposition to him from our side?

The answer is crystal clear and should provide an obvious lesson to all of us:
Unlike us, the Walker campaign and it's supporters ventured outside of their existing base and put enormous focus on messaging and persuasion of the majority of voters who are persuadable. And this has produced incredibly successful results for Walker & his GOP allies.

In other words, the very reason there are almost no undecideds left is because Walker took them all to his side. So for us to win, we need to get them back! (and then some)

This should be obvious to all the professionals at DFA, We Are Wisconsin, & the Dem party but shockingly & distressingly isn't.

Mark my words: If all we do is focus solely on our base, while Walker continues to GROW his base, we will lose all 6 recall elections on June 5th.

It doesn't have to be that way. We CAN turn this around in time. But to do that, we need to employ smart, strategic actions to persuade not just the few remaining undecideds, but even a good chunk of Walker's current base. Think about it: A lot of Walker's base used to be undecided before the pro-Walker propaganda persuaded them. We can get them back!

But how, you might ask?
I offer several ideas here:
Don't like my ideas? Fine. Come up with better ones. And use them.
After all, what do I know? I'm just a high-school dropout. I'm sure the well-educated pros at DFA and the Dem campaign leadership could come up with some great ideas for expanding the base if they simply saw the urgent necessity of it. Why don't they???

EDIT: I often hear predictable responses about this topic from people that fall into 2 categories:
1 - "Oh, don't pay attention to polls, they don't mean anything, or they're biased" or some variation thereof
2 - "Yeah, but don't forget John Doe, when that comes out, Walker's cooked" or some variation thereof.

I debated whether to include my thoughts on these common arguments in my diary, but decided not to muddy it up.
Well, sure enough, they're the very first 2 comments I received. (facepalm)
So I'll respond here.

1 - Most of the polls I've seen over the last couple years have been remarkably accurate, within the margin of error, regardless of source. And the Kos pollsters referenced here have been amongst the most accurate of all. For example, they released a poll last year for the six 2011 recall races at least 2 months before the election date and it ended up being exactly what the election day turnout produced. The 2 Dems that were ahead in the poll had won. And the 4 Dems that were behind had lost. And by almost the exact margins predicted in the poll. Therefore, we can not afford to dismiss these polls as irrelevant! We must take them seriously and take steps to change them. ASAP.

2 - We can not afford to sit back and wait for The John Doe investigation to explode and take down Walker for us. First off, the pro-Walker base has been convinced by right-wing media that it's just a groundless witch hunt and the Dems are only making it a story because we "can't win on the issues." Secondly, when and if the true facts of the case do come to light and take down Walker, it will most likely be long after June 5th.

So in answer to both 1 and 2: We can not afford to be complacent right now! We must take pro-active steps to increase our base (and then, yes, our poll numbers) between now and June 5th. There is simply no way around this fact.


Am I wrong?

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Comment Preferences

  •  Why does everyone have (10+ / 0-)

    their undies in a bunch over 1 poll?

    The last poll out showed both Barrett and Falk ahead of Walker.  

    Polls don't vote, people do.

    Walker has what looks like good support only because he's propped himself up with tens of millions in ads and a whole lot of RW media.  Our side has barely been on with ads.  And his anti-woman legislation has barely gotten attention (it will in the ads run by his opponents).  

    The strategy is to get Wisconsinites out to vote.  Walker has angered not just liberals and Dems, but seniors, farmers and rural residents who have seen the school and other cuts, the cuts to Badger Care, Medicaid, and local services because of extreme cuts to state revenue sharing.  

    Don't run around screaming Blue Meanies just because one poll doesn't show a huge win for our side.  Keep your eyes on the prize - the primaries and the recalls.

    There already is class warfare in America. Unfortunately, the rich are winning.

    by Puddytat on Sat Apr 21, 2012 at 10:28:51 AM PDT

    •  see the EDIT I just added (2+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      elwior, rcnewton

      my response is there

      •  Nobody's complacent (6+ / 0-)

        OLB has been going full force, the candidates are campaigning, ads are coming out.

        We're not sitting back wringing our hands.  We're out there doing stuff.  We're doing it person to person, neighbor to neighbor, co-worker to co-worker.  I wear a recall button all the time as a conversation started.

        We're fighting money and media and we do that one person at a time, changing one mind at a time, motivating one voter at a time.

        There already is class warfare in America. Unfortunately, the rich are winning.

        by Puddytat on Sat Apr 21, 2012 at 11:26:28 AM PDT

        [ Parent ]

        •  Actually, many are complacent (1+ / 0-)
          Recommended by:

          Puddytat, if that's what YOU are doing, then great, I applaud you. And this blog is then NOT directed at you. It's directed at the majority of Dems and anti-Walker voters who ARE being complacent, and who ARE talking ONLY to the base, and who ARE avoiding any contact with those beyond the base.

          So instead of responding as if this blog was a personal attack on you, be supportive and help me to convince others to take the actions you're already taking.

          •  I'm not responding personally (1+ / 0-)
            Recommended by:

            but on behalf of over 30,000 people out getting recall signatures, the volunteers who helped database those signatures, and the thousands and thousands already out there working on the recalls.  Add to that those thousands talking to everyone they know about the importance of the recalls.

            Nobody is sitting on their hands.

            There already is class warfare in America. Unfortunately, the rich are winning.

            by Puddytat on Sat Apr 21, 2012 at 12:56:05 PM PDT

            [ Parent ]

            •  I never said they're sitting on their hands (1+ / 0-)
              Recommended by:

              Did I say no one was doing that stuff?
              Did I say no one was working hard?

              No, I didn't. But there's a huge difference between working hard and working smart. And we have to do both.

              The Rethugs have gotten so successful for one reason and one reason only:
              They have strategically outsmarted us.
              Sure, they have more money. But there are plenty of low-cost or cost-free guerrilla messaging ideas we could be using but aren't. Can you guess who is using them?

              Meanwhile, we just keep preaching to the choir ("motivating the base") and then scratch our heads wondering why we keep losing elections... even though we worked really, really hard...even though we talked to all our like-minded friends in our predominantly liberal-bubble neighborhoods.

              It's the same losing pattern I've been seeing for years, and not just in Wisconsin but all over the country.
              When will we ever learn from our mistakes?

              •  Maybe (3+ / 0-)
                Recommended by:
                Puddytat, peptabysmal, 3goldens

                The Repubs appeal to a certain element.  I recently listened to a psych study that found Democrats are more likely to question while Repubs accept what they are told.  The response that I hear from the right is that "Walker balanced the budget without raising taxes!"  They hear that ad on TV and they believe it.  We need to get the word out that we have a $3 billion deficit and Walker only moved to another type of accounting  that I believe is called "Cash Basis" accounting.  We don't have the money to get those ads on TV every two minutes.  We're being outspent in the propaganda market.

                Even Napoleon had his Watergate - Yogi Berra

                by Danosh on Sat Apr 21, 2012 at 01:23:36 PM PDT

                [ Parent ]

              •  We're not being outsmarted (2+ / 0-)
                Recommended by:
                peptabysmal, 3goldens

                We're being outspent, have lazy corporate media, and allow unlimited spending in elections.  People aren't dumb - they're propagandized and the only way to deal with that is one on one education, pushing for more responsible media and getting the money out of the system.

                There already is class warfare in America. Unfortunately, the rich are winning.

                by Puddytat on Sat Apr 21, 2012 at 02:27:41 PM PDT

                [ Parent ]

    •  You're right, Puddytat (5+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      JVolvo, Puddytat, Odysseus, G2geek, rosarugosa

      Just had a worker on my block pounding on doors.  If I didn't have a funeral today I'd be out.  We're on the phones reminding people of new polling places and dates.  I just ran to the grocery store and while in line with my Recall Walker pin people began to talk about the John Doe and the bonuses he just gave out.  There was a recent poll that said that 58% want Snotty recalled.  It depends how the questions get asked and some of the phone calls from machines don't seem to work right.  We need to charge on.

      Even Napoleon had his Watergate - Yogi Berra

      by Danosh on Sat Apr 21, 2012 at 12:27:51 PM PDT

      [ Parent ]

  •  I really don't agree we're in this bad a shape (4+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    jennyp, ferment, wishingwell, ardyess

    I think that there is a lot unaccounted for here.   Once the Dems have their candidate, the choice will become much clearer to people.   I don't think Walker is truly's too early to say that.  And I do not believe for one minute that there are few undecided voters, especially since his lies have time to come to light.  Don't forget John Doe either.

  •  I one is complacent (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:

    This diarist has good intentions but is not accurate on a few things.   First of all, no one knows how many undecided voters there guess is that there are a lot.  The reason for this is that it's too early to decide and so many things could happen.  i.e. investigations, more demonstrations, people becoming more educated about who walker really is in the next few months....etc.

    I'm just hearing fear in the diary without a lot of concrete info

    •  Then you're misunderstanding me (3+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      rcnewton, FG, 3goldens

      No Suzanne, it's not fear. It's encouragement. And I include a lot of concrete info in the link within the diary.

      As for how many undecideds there are, I AGREE there are probably more than we've been told. But I was quoting the argument being made by DFA (which is the same thing the Dem campaigns are saying), and assuming it to be true for the sake of argument in order to make my point that outreach/messaging/persuasion to those undecideds, however large their number, is desperately needed if we want to win.

      "more demonstrations"

      No offense, but demonstrations don't do a damn bit of good. The other side will just portray us as a bunch of kooks/union thugs/crazy hippies, etc and no one's mind is changed.  Open and civil discussion/debate (in person and online) would be much more productive.

      "people becoming more educated about who walker really is"

      Exactly! And that's what WE have to do. WE have to educate them ourselves! We can't expect people to just magically come to that realization on their own. Particularly when there is so much powerful and ubiquitous right-wing media telling them otherwise. We have to be the ones to challenge and debunk that disinfo for them.

    •  Demonstrations? Wisconsin is not an urban state, (1+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:

      demonstration will not engage a lot of people. They may encourage the 'base' but these people will likely vote anyway. Demonstrations can be quite useful in some cases (e.g. by bringing attention to an issue that would be swept under the rug otherwise) but are unlikely to do much in an election.

  •  a few things don't add up (3+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    ardyess, ahumbleopinion, peptabysmal

    regarding these recall elections. Following are some anomolies:

    a) Supporters of the recall received overwhelming support in the form of petition signatures to force the gubernatorial recall election. That means that those who signed the petitions represent a sizeable base to start with. How could the highly impressive momentum from the petition drive just a few months ago have suddently collapsed? (My theory: it hasn't necessarily, but something may be different when polling for special elections such as this than general elections?)
    b) The one major difference between when Walker was elected and this year is this: Walker now has access to unlimited amounts of secret corporate money, thanks to five of the most corrupt Supreme Court Injustices in American history (Scalia, Thomas, Alito, Roberts & Kennedy, in their Citizens United decision/abomination/in-kind contribution to the Republican Party). This may have a lot to do with what's going on. After all...unlimited amounts of secret corporate cash from the likes of people like the Koch Brothers, who own Walker, is likely to make a big difference.

    To me...hope is not lost just because of these polls, but Walker sure has, apparently, used money to his advantage, because that's the only real advantage that he has. His policies suck and are unpopular. But money can buy a lot in politics.

    •  I never said hope was lost (2+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      wdrath, G2geek

      "His policies suck and are unpopular"

      Yes, they definitely suck. But we make a fatal strategic mistake if we assume they're unpopular. His policies are actually very popular among his conservative GOP base. Many of them even see him as some sort of savior, and think his destructive policies are exactly what WI needs.

      Why do think this? Shouldn't the evidence prove otherwise?

      It does. But they never see the evidence. They only see what their trusted Right-wing media tells them.

      So if the only info they're getting is pro-Walker lies, spin, and disinfo, then of course he'll have strong support from GOP voters, and even win over lots of independents.

      Therefore, it's up to us to make sure they get the other side (the truth), and that they get it in a way that they'll be receptive to.
      (Advice on how to do this: )

      Hope is definitely not lost. But success requires that we go outside our comfort zones and confront the right-wing disinfo head-on.

    •  One million signatures is still not >50% (5+ / 0-)

      of the voting populace.  That's why the polls can be the way they are.

  •  Base Numbers (3+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    ardyess, 3goldens, peptabysmal

    You have to remember that the latest polls come before dismal jobs number for March was released.  I think that once the primary is over that a one-to-one matchup will be about even- could be wrong.  Looking at the base of both parties gives me some hope.  I read that Waukesha, Washington, and Ozaukee counties had the highest turnout in 2010.  The Dems are predicting about 2.2 million voters for the election- similar to 2010.  The Republican base counties don't have much room to grow.  We can assume that Walker will net around 128,000 in these counties like he did in 2010.  I live in the city of Milwaukee which net Barrett 90,000 in 2010.  I believe that this is the floor for the city in the recall.  There will be a huge GOTV in the city and Obama net around 156,000 in the city.  Let's assume that Dems can pick around 20,000 votes in the city.  That gets us to around 100,000 needed since Walker but Barrett by 124,000 in 2010.  Dane County net Barrett 80,000 in 2010 and Kloppenburg 85,000 last April.  I don't know Dane county as much as Milwaukee but considering the feeling about Walker I think it would be conservative to say that the Dems will pick up at least 20,000 in Dane County.  That leaves 80,000.   It looks like Kenosha, Rock, Eau Claire, and La Crosse are all areas that are ripe for more Dems vote this time around.  I would appreciate more informed opinions from people living in these areas.  Hopeful but know that a lot of work is needed.  Thanks

    •  Who was it that said (0+ / 0-)
      You have to remember that the latest polls come before dismal jobs number for March was released.
      "It's the economy, stupid."?
      Even with so much intense and passionate opposition to him from our side?
      See above..... Wisconsin and Alaska were the only states to show negative job numbers in the latest report.  
      That leaves 80,000.   It looks like Kenosha, Rock, Eau Claire, and La Crosse are all areas that are ripe for more Dems vote this time around.
      And make sure with them, that - it's the economy, stupid
  •  Right now funding is split 4 ways (4+ / 0-)

    for the Dems.  I used to get "please donate" begging e-mails for putting up general ads against Walker.  Now I get them from four different individual Democratic candidates for their primary campaigns against the other three, and that makes me far less willing to donate.

    The Dems need to stop splitting the effort four ways like this.  It's still more important to put up generic ads against Walker than it is to put up ads for one specific candidate.

  •  No John Doe help coming...Milwaukee is key (6+ / 0-)

    For those waiting for the John Doe to blow up in Walker's face and save us before the election, it's not going to happen.  In fact, I'm begining to have doubts as to whether he is the final target.  

    I really believe this comes down to turnout in the city of Milwaukee. If you can come close to getting Obama turnout levels to show up for Barrett, we win. The pollsters who develop likely voter models don`t believe that can happen, and they`ve set those models accordingly [at least at PPP]· If not, we lose.  Falk, etc. simply have no chance of turning out those numbers in Milwaukee. Barrett has chance to...but it will take a major GOTV effort.

    •  ...and outstate. (2+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      3goldens, WisVoter

      If you look at the disaster that was 2010, you'll see that Milwaukee was not the problem. Barrett's performance was on par with previous efforts in Madison and Milwaukee. The problem was that we had poor Democratic performance outstate.

      We never saw Barrett out here in 2010.

      We need everything. Milwaukee, Madison, and everything else.

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