June 6, 2012 interesting stuff about Wisconsin
1. I know lots of people don’t trust opinion polls but they were much more reliable this time than exit polls: the exit polls predicted a close election, but the average of the last-minute opinion polls were as accurate as accurate can be, predicting a Walker win by just under 7 pts.
2. Walker did better than in 2010, getting 53.2% of the vote as opposed to 52.3% in 2010. When third party votes are excluded, he got 53.5% of the two party vote in 2012, 53.0% in 2010.
3. Just from looking at the county results map, most counties voted about as they did in 2010, especially the major urban and suburban counties. Some rural and small-town counties swung a bit more in one direction or the other but I don’t see a clear pattern.
4. According to exit polls, very few voters changed their minds between 2010 and 2012, and about the same number (6 percent) switched in each direction.
4. Walker cut into the Obama vote; 18% of Obama supporters supported Walker while only 6% of Romney supporters voted for Barrett. This tells me that the Republicans shouldn’t waste any effort on Wisconsin this fall. The only way they can get it is if they don’t need it (though given what events in Europe may do to the worldwide economy I think there is a pretty good chance that the Republicans will win so big nationwide that one or two states aren’t going to make a difference).
5. It may be that Wisconsin has little predictive power because Walker and pro-Walker groups outspent Democrats so heavily. But if Wisconsin does matter I think it is not such bad news for Obama (who would clearly win Wisconsin if the election was held today) but is terrible news for Democrats seeking to unseat Republican incumbents, since it suggests that voters are not in a particularly anti-incumbent mood (at least not particularly anti-Republican-incumbent).