Can Scott Walker Win In Wisconsin By Disenfranchising African-Americans, Seniors And Students?
Wisconsin's neo-fascist governor (don't ask me why we bother with the "neo" since it makes no real sense) Scott Walker does not want to see what happened in NY-26 Tuesday happen up and down Wisconsin. But that's certainly what would happen in Wisconsin... if the state were to have free and fair elections. Walker wants to make sure-- much the way any garden variety fascist anywhere does-- that there will never be a free and fair election in Wisconsin again and especially not when his own recall is on the ballot next year. He's also petrified about July's state Senate recalls which, if successful-- as polling shows they will be-- would leave him unable to complete the fascistic agenda Big Business hired him for.
Polling for Wisconsin fascists is dreadful... and getting worse, especially for Walker himself.
43% of voters now approve of the job Walker is doing to 54% who disapprove. When PPP polled the state in late February it was 46% of voters approving to 52% disapproval. Walker's numbers now are virtually identical to where they were before with Democrats and Republicans but with independents he's seen his popularity continue to decline from a 45/53 approval spread to a 40/56 one.
Voters split evenly in February at 48% on the question of recalling Walker but now the needle has moved towards bare majority support for removing him early from office. 50% say they would support a recall to 47% who are opposed. That Walker's disapproval is 54% but the support for recall is only 50% shows there are still some voters who dislike him but wouldn't go so far as to support removing him from office, but there aren't many.
Although voters are pretty evenly divided on whether they would support a recall there's less doubt about who they would vote for if there actually was a recall election. They say they would pick Feingold over Walker by a 52-42 margin and Barrett over him by a 50-43 spread. In both of those match ups Democrats are more committed to replacing Walker than Republicans are to keeping him, and independents go on the side of swapping him out for Feingold or Barrett as well.
Since Walker has no intention of scaling back his extremist agenda, what can he possibly do? Well, fix the elections, of course. He just signed the most undemocratic voter bill in the history of the contemporary United States, one clearly devised to disenfranchise significant numbers of likely Democratic voters, particularly African-American voters. Stephanie Findley, chair of the Wisconsin Democratic Party Black Caucus called it, as do many in that state, a "voter suppression bill."
"Our proud tradition of open elections and high voter turnout will suffer. And with a stroke of the pen, thousands of African-American citizens will no longer be able to vote, solely because of their lack of identification. We now return to the days before the Voting Rights Act, where literacy tests and poll taxes were the rule.
Make no mistake, the Republicans knew what they were doing with this new law. A UW-Milwaukee study in 2005 found that less than half of African-American adults in Milwaukee County hold ID that would be considered valid to vote in an election. Despite this knowledge, they continued to push this legislation through and killed every single amendment that could have fixed the problems-- precisely because our community does not vote for a Party that does nothing for them.
But we will not back down. We will vote as never before for candidates who do not deliberately seek to punish us at the voting booth. As Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. once said: 'However difficult the moment, however frustrating the hour, it will not be long, because truth pressed to the earth will rise again.' We will persevere and continue to fight against Scott Walker and this Jim Crow-esque example of voter suppression until our rights to participate in our democracy are restored."
The UW-Milwaukee study she was referring to found that those without state-issued photo ID who would need to obtain one to vote under the Voter ID Bill include:
• 23% of Wisconsinites over the age of 65.
• 17% of white men and women.
• 55% of African American males and 49% of African American women.
• 46% of Hispanic men and 59% of Hispanic women.
• 78% of African American males age 18-24 and 66% of African American women age 18-24
To Republicans nationally, Walker is a pioneer. These kinds of undemocratic, restrictive ID laws that systematically disenfranchise pillars of the Democratic coalition are moving all over the country, so far in over 20 states. In Wisconsin, Democrats are fighting this on two fronts: a massive voter registration drive and an aggressive legal challenge in the courts.