The Big Marquette Law School Walker/Burke Poll Coincidence
The latest Marquette Law School poll shows Scott Walker with 47 percent of likely voters, and Mary Burke with 47 percent of likely voters. Despite the last Marquette poll showing Walker up five points, the new poll, along with the polling average, shows this is very much a race.
— Paul Waldman, the Washington Post, this evening
Ooookay. I’ll just sorta suggest—as I did here last week—that the difference between the two polls is that, y’know, it’s hard to be considered a likely voter if you don’t have the photo ID that your state requires you to produce at the polling place. (Okay, well, in my post last week, I was addressing the five-point change in Walker’s favor between the poll two weeks ago and the one two weeks before that one. But the premise is the same.)
The poll released two weeks ago was taken shortly after the Seventh Circuit Court of Appeals had allowed Wisconsin’s voter ID law to be enforced in the upcoming election. The poll released today reflects … this.
Then again, that five-point swing one way and then the other within four weeks could be just a coincidence. That’s it! It’s a coincidence.
Standing back and taking a long view, the Republican attempts at voter suppression are going to backfire. I’ve been pleased to see there’s a broadening conversation here in North Carolina about what it means to be a citizen, what it means to vote. Reverend Barber has done a wonderful job of spurring that discussion.
Some of the Founders weren’t too sure about the idea of universal voting, put aside blacks and women, Madison and Adams both favored or at least discussed property qualifications. Thomas Paine and Thomas Young were the loudest voices for universal suffrage.
Republican justifications for voter suppression quickly wander away from fraud to their real position which is that some folks just shouldn’t be allowed to vote because of a lack of civic intelligence (a test that would disqualify most Tea Partiers). Folks don’t like to be told that they are too dumb to vote. They like it even less when told they can’t vote.
Voter turnout in this country has been abysmal. Polling shows that folks don’t value their vote if they think the system is rigged. But if you tell them they can’t vote, if you continually pound on the inequities arising from money in politics, if you restore the idea of citizenship as both a personal and communal responsibility then you attack the cynicism of the Right at its core.
Democrats should make this midterm the Lexinton and Concord of a new revolution to expand and secure suffrage, to promote the act of voting as a personal expression of one’s inalienable rights. Voting is the right that ensures all others.
We may not win this round but it can be a renewal of the energy and ethic of the civil rights era. Don’t get me wrong, I want the courts to rule for the broadest interpretations of voter access but however the courts rule the hard work of registering people and engaging people in the processes of citizenship must continue. Bringing as many people into the process as possible, populism based not on fear or manipulation but on the positive acceptance of responsibility and the affirmative exercise of fundamental rights to vote, to speak, to bear witness to each individual’s value as a citizen and full partner in a commonwealth whose sovereignty comes from We the people, every last one of us regardless of color,gender,age, or property, that is the only acceptable expectation.
It’s been 239 years and Jefferson’s self-evident truths have yet to be realized. It is time, past time to correct the sins of the past give true and honest meaning to the phrase “all humans are created equal”
It will all come down to turnout in Wisconsin and if history is any guide Burke will come up short. Center and left of center voters–particularly people of color but also young people historically do not vote in non presidential years. The GOP voters do turnout whenever there is an election and the more hard right the more likely they are to vote. I am sure Burke will do everything she can to turn out the young and minority vote and should get a lot of union support, but while the Supreme Court’s ruling that voter ID will not be in effect November 4 will likely be of some marginal assistance to Burke, it by no means will be dispositive.
Those who gave up on taking back a House majority forgot that GW Bush enjoyed a 10-point swing from a 2.5 point deficit to a 7.5 advantage in less than weeks in 2004 — primarily if not totally due to the Swiftboat campaign. In other words, a powerful message can change the landscape dramatically very quickly. The progressive organizations should have been launching and continuing a massive public campaign, maybe on TV and on shows like “Dancing with the Stars,” to make a massive change in attitudes about voting. With 50% turnout in a mid-term, Democrats win. Tens of millions of people disgusted with politics and the government need to be convinced that their refusal to vote is the very cause of their disillusionment, because it makes the big money people rather than the voters even more important to the politician.
Urban Legend. That is a really good point. Why do politicians favor the big money over the voters? Apart from the money it is because the voters don’t vote .I sort of get it when you work 3 jobs to make ends meet and you have to get your kids off to school or daycare in the morning and would like to see them before they go to sleep in the evening, but there are a whole lot of Democratic voters who just can not be bothered. I do not understand that and it causes me to wonder every time I vote for a Democrat whether I really should.
Right now, we have no choice but to vote for the Democrat no matter how compromised he or she might be. Even a Third Way Democrat probably will vote for the higher minimum wage and some other things that any Republican, due to the combined effects of the Tea Party, Grover Norquist and Boehner’s application of the Hastert Rule, will vote against regardless of how moderate or centrist the Republican claims to be. The increased turnout will tend to push the Democrat to listen more closely to the voters, and if progressives are responsible for the higher turnout, they will be forced to pay closer attention to what progressives want. Higher turnout generated by progressives will also improve primarying possibilities, and the Democrat in office will know that.
There simply is no such thing right now as a decent Republican. No matter how much you have to turn up your nose at the Democratic candidate, the first order of business is to get the Republican out.
Urban legend, I do not disagree and no matter how disgusted I get with Democrats, I will vote and will not vote for the GOP. I have however been known to vote for fringe parties on occasion when I do not see my vote making a difference with whether a Republican wins or not. My point is precisely that at least in Wisconsin, it is very often at least moderately well to do left of center voters who often can not be bothered to vote. While I tend to agree with these folks policy prescriptions, I do not understand why they do not vote and that is what causes me to question my “tribe”. I live in a community which splits about 70-30 for Democrats, is prosperous and is mostly white. In a presidential election turnout nudges 90%. In a primary even with well publicized progressive candidates, turnout is perhaps 40%. In non presidential elections for Congress or the Governor’s race or for State Supreme Court, turnout seldom gets to 60%. Plainly the contrast is even more stark in the African American community in Milwaukee although not so much in Madison, but as noted a lot of those non voters have an excuse like surviving. That is not the case in my community and I do not believe it is simply general disgust with politicians in general. As far as Burke goes, she is not a particularly strong candidate except for her money, but neither is Walker except for the Koch brothers’ money and teabagger support. Wisconsin is a blue state when turnout gets to 75% and a red state below that.
The premise for permanently changing attitudes about voting:
Politicians need two things, money and votes. If you and others don’t vote because you think the game is rigged, you are guaranteeing that it will stay rigged and get worse for you. When too few people vote, the money can buy the election, so the money people dominate the politician. When you don’t vote, that is exactly what the money people want you to do.