Friday, September 21, 2012

Wisconsin Polls Ratify Momentum, Harden Opinion

The plethora of political polls out this week offered snapshots of the Wisconsin electorate showing Tammy Baldwin running even with or ahead of Tommy Thompson, and indicating a better positioned Barack Obama than Mitt Romney with less than seven weeks until the votes are counted.

Does that mean these polls predict the winners?


But the polls tell us who has momentum, confidence or anxiety:

*  Congresswoman Tammy Baldwin, whom conservatives dismiss at their peril because she is from Madison, and a liberal, is clearly not intimidated by being matched against the best known and most successful Wisconsin Republican politician of the last few decades.

*  Paul Ryan's selection as GOP Vice-Presidential candidate is not supplying the ticket a sustainable in-state advantage.

It may be that the same gripes about Romney's performance that Tommy expressed out loud may be negating Ryan's value in Wisconsin, or it may be that Ryan's voting record and budget plans, or taking stimulus funding or not running sub-three-hour marathons have all reduced him to mere mortal status at home.

But at least as of this week, Ryan's presence on the ticket does not appear to have made Wisconsin a Republican gimme.

(I found it interesting that it fell to Scott Walker Thursday to rally demoralized Wisconsin Republicans, though Walker's vehicle - - an online petition to publicly bash a Dane County Judge  - - seriously? Is a "We Hate Judge Colas" Facebook page next? - - looked more sophomoric than gubernatorial.)

*  Barack Obama has a pretty deep reservoir of personal support in the state, and while policy wonks and position paper-writers may hate it, likeability goes a long way in campaigns - - and Romney has it in short supply.

Hence these polls.

This run of good polling and PR for the Dems may not last, and, yes, seven weeks is a long time in politics, but time is running short for the GOP.

There are only so many reboots or desperation ad buys or 14-year-old not-secret video tapes you can throw at the electorate before the undecides catch on, run from the chaos and abandon you.

Romney campaign co-chair Tim Pawlenty quit the campaign Thursday to take a lobbying job, and GOP media sympathizers from Peggy Noonan to Bill Kristol to David Brooks are more apt these days to write discouraging words about Romney instead of plaudits.

No doubt they'd be be sending Mitt and Tommy bouquets if the polls were looking up, but that wasn't the case this week in Wisconsin and elsewhere.

Cross-posted at Purple Wisconsin.


Max B said...

From the Pawlenty / Romney air-kiss-off, amicable parting fest as reported yesterday on NPR:

Pawlenty re Romney: "He still has my full support."

Romney re Pawlenty: "He's a great friend and I'm sorry to see him go, but he'll be doing vital work for the future of the United States."

Yeah. $1.8 million is going to be pretty much vital to the Pawlenty household future. I wouldn't turn it down either, especially as it comes with a chance to leave the Good (sinking) Ship Romney for other than the usual "I need to spend more time with my family" nonsense. I'm sure the mediocre, talentless Tee-Paw is well aware that's he's reached the pinnacle of the Peter Principle.

P'lenty (of money to run in) 2014.

A. Wag said...

Tee-Paw, Yee-haw!