Saturday, April 23, 2016

State Of The Races-- Wisconsin Senate Contest And Presidential Head-To-Heads


To be honest, Wisconsin voters have had feeling of buyer's remorse for some time and there really wasn't any smart money on far right extremist Ron Johnson ever being reelected. Real Clear Politics average of polls for the Wisconsin Senate seat have Russ Feingold leader with 5.7% with 13 polls going back a year. Feigned was ahead in every single one of them. The newest poll was released yesterday by Wisconsin Public Radio and it shows Feingold ahead 51-41%-- a pretty difficult 10 point climb for Johnson, who is currently sinking, not gaining. The poll checked approval numbers for President Obama, Governor Walker and for both senators, Johnson who's term is expiring and Tammy Baldwin who was elected in 2012. Obama's approval number is 53%. Tammy's is 47%. Walker's is at 43% but Johnson's is worst-- 42%. After 6 years as senator 10% of registered voters say they've never even heard of him.

Like I said, none of this is really a surprise. The NRSC knew going into this that Johnson was their weakest link for November-- perhaps tied with Illinois' Mark Kirk. Johnson's an unpopular extremist in a state that is usually pretty moderate, especially in presidential years-- and voters seem to have fond memories of Feingold. And it doesn't matter who's at the top of the ticket in this race. Voters feel they've tried Johnson out and he's not what they were looking for.

But another factor seems to be having an impact on the race: the hyper-partisan obstructionism Mitch McConnell and Chuck Grassley have orchestrated to greet President Obama's nomination of centrist Merrick Garland to the Supreme Court. Johnson supports their position of blocking the nomination by not even allowing hearings on a respected and much-admired circuit court chief justice.Now look at the responses to these two questions from the WPR poll:

Maybe it's just a coincidence, but no one can argue that Johnson throwing his lot in with the obstructionists is helping him with Wisconsin voters. A majority favors hearings and the more Feingold's campaign helps voters connect the obstructionism to Johnson, the worse it's going to be for him in November.

A tiny aside, here. The poll did head to head match-ups between the 4 remaining candidates. Just like in North Carolina and virtually every other state, Bernie beats the Republicans handily and Clinton... well, that whole lesser-of-two-evils case her campaign desperately sometimes works a little and sometimes doesn't. Bernie beats Trump 52-33% among registered Wisconsin voters. Hillary beats Trump too-- but it's much hairier-- Clinton 46%, Trump 34%. Worse is the match-up with Cruz. Bernie cleans his clock, 50-40%. Hillary is within the margin of error, 45-44%. Not good in a state the Democrats have to win to to come out ahead in November. Don't say I didn't warn you-- Hillary is too dangerous for Democrats who want to win the White House.

You can help Bernie at the thermometer on the right and Russ Feingold at the thermometer on the left. Which means more to you?
Goal Thermometer Goal Thermometer

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