Category Archives: Wisconsin

Romney +5 in 12-State Battleground Poll — USA Today/Gallup

Mitt Romney holds a 5-point lead, 51 to 46, among the Battleground States identified by USA Today which include my ten plus North Carolina and New Mexico.

The states in USA Today’s survey are: Colorado, Florida, Iowa, Michigan, Nevada, New Hampshire, New Mexico, North Carolina, Ohio, Pennsylvania, Virginia and Wisconsin.  This is huge for Romney because the only true red state is North Carolins and it is balanced by New Mexico’s inclusion.  So no state is unnecessarily skewing the results one way of the other and if anything the inclusion of Michigan and Pennsylvania unnecessarily help Obama. The most surprising takeaway is Romney support among the women surveyed was dead even at 48 a piece.  If it is anywhere near that on election day, look for a blowout with Romney carrying all of the above mentioned states:

Mitt Romney leads President Obama by five percentage points among likely voters in the nation’s top battlegrounds, a USA TODAY/Gallup Poll finds, and he has growing enthusiasm among women to thank. As the presidential campaign heads into its final weeks, the survey of voters in 12 crucial swing states finds female voters much more engaged in the election and increasingly concerned about the deficit and debt issues that favor Romney. The Republican nominee now ties the president among women who are likely voters, 48%-48%, while he leads by 12 points among men.

“In every poll, we’ve seen a major surge among women in favorability for Romney” since his strong performance in the first debate, veteran Democratic pollster Celinda Lake says. “Women went into the debate actively disliking Romney, and they came out thinking he might understand their lives and might be able to get something done for them.” While Lake believes Obama retains an edge among women voters, the changed views of Romney could be “a precursor to movement” to the Republican candidate, she says. “It opens them up to take a second look, and that’s the danger for Obama.”

What Voter Fraud? Wisconsin Edition

As I point out every time, one of the main arguments the Left uses against efforts to stop voter fraud is it largely does not exist so they go to great lengths to defund efforts at stopping this activity.  Without funding it is harder and harder to prove them wrong no matter how many incidents of fraud proponents site. James O’Keefe of Project Veritas is apparently sitting on a few blockbuster videos expected to be released soon but in the meantime, here is the latest voter fraud from Wisconsin:

A Florida woman pleaded no contest Monday to charges she committed election fraud in Milwaukee in 2009 and was sentenced probation and the time she’s already been in jaill. Yadira Colón, 45, was arrested in Florida this year on a warrant first issued in November 2009. She was charged with forging signatures on nomination papers for Pedro Colón, then a Democratic member of the Wisconsin Assembly from Milwaukee, and now a circuit judge. The two are not related. Yadira Colón was also charged with registering to vote in Milwaukee in 2008, by listing an address in the city when she in fact resided in Oshkosh at the time. She then cast an absentee ballot in Milwaukee, according to prosecutors. She had been scheduled for trial Monday when she entered the plea bargain. Prosecutors agreed to drop two charges, and Colón pleaded no contest to two others. Circuit Judge Dennis Moroney sentenced Colón to the 16 days she already spend in jail for one count, and to six months – suspended – on the second, with the condition of a year’s probation, which he allowed to be transferred to Florida.

Can Romney Win Without Ohio? Assessing the Battlegrounds

While the answer to the above question is obviously yes, the deeper question is how plausible is a Romney win without Ohio.  Jim Geraghty at National review does an actual assessment of the Battleground States unlike that horrid Wall Street Journal piece over the weekend.  Unlike Neil King, Geraghty uses actual facts and polls to base his conclusion which evolve into a realistic, though glass-half-full, view of the race  for Romney without Ohio:

Ohio proved decisive in President George W. Bush’s victory over John Kerry in 2004, and its sizable swing in favor of Barack Obama in 2008 exemplified the dramatic shift to the left that gripped the country that year. This cycle, the state has proven particularly tough ground for Romney, and much of the coverage of the fight for Ohio suggests that without the Buckeye State, Romney has no chance of winning the presidency. In fact, even if he loses Ohio, Romney still has a chance, but it would require some wins in other states that have proven tough for Republicans in recent cycles. The good news for the Romney campaign is that with their candidate’s recent surge in the polls, the Electoral College map looks a lot more like 2000 or 2004 than the wider swaths of blue in the 2008 map. But the bad news is that while Romney has gained a lot of ground, he still needs at least one more sizeable state to shake loose and fall into his pile.

How does he win without Ohio?

The political world expressed surprise this week when David Paleologos, director of the Suffolk University Political Research Center, declared that he thought three big swing states were no longer in play — and he felt so confident in the assessment, his organization wouldn’t be conducting surveys in them again. “In places like North Carolina, Virginia, and Florida, we’ve already painted those red,” Paleologos said on The O’Reilly Factor Tuesday night. “We’re not polling any of those states again. We’re focusing on the remaining states.”

North Carolina, Virginia, and Florida

Colorado and New Hampshire

  • In Colorado, Obama enjoyed a lead for much of the year, but Romney appears to be surging of late, leading in four of the last six polls. If the Suffolk threshold of 47 percent for an incumbent president is indeed the best measuring stick, it is worth noting that Obama has been at or below 47 percent in five of those six polls in Colorado. Perhaps that high mountain altitude really is a problem for Obama.
  • New Hampshire seemed like a prime state for a Republican win this year, with a dramatic swing in favor of the GOP in the 2010 midterms and the sense that Obama’s 2008 victory was driven heavily by Bush fatigue, not any particular affection for Obama. (Recall Obama’s surprise defeat in the Democratic primary there in 2008.) In fact, Romney led almost all of the head-to-head polls against Obama . . . in 2011. But once the race began in earnest this year and Romney found himself under attack, first from primary rivals and then from the Obama campaign, his numbers slid to the mid to low 40s, and Obama enjoyed a steady lead. However, in the most recent surveys, Romney was tied in Rasmussen and ahead by four in American Research Group. While it would be nice to see more polls conducted up there, Romney probably enjoys a small lead in the Granite State at the moment.

This gets Romney to 261 electoral votes

But the path to those final nine electoral votes could be tough without Ohio.


[T]he addition of Paul Ryan to the ticket has helped Romney’s prospects in Wisconsin. But Romney has led only two of the 21 polls conducted in this state since the end of June. The good news for Romney and Ryan is that Obama’s lead has shrunk, to only two or three percentage points in the three most recent polls, and the Obama campaign clearly feels the need to defend this state, which is why Obama did a rally here immediately after the first presidential debate. Unfortunately for Romney, a razor-thin defeat in a state the opposition usually wins handily gets you the same number of electoral votes as a blowout loss: zero.


Taking the lead in Nevada has proven surprisingly difficult for the Romney campaign, considering the state’s obliterated housing market and high unemployment; Romney has led only one poll in Nevada the entire year. But the tightening seen in nationwide polls has occurred in this state as well, as only one of the past five polls has shown an Obama lead greater than 2 percentage points. Jon Ralston, Nevada’s most sharp-eyed political correspondent, notes that Democrats have a registered-voter advantage of 85,000 — down from the 100,000-voter advantage they enjoyed in 2008, but still considerable. While Romney is likely to enjoy a high Mormon turnout and possibly an advantage among independents, he still has an uphill climb in this state.


In Iowa, Obama’s lead seems small but steady — two percentage points in Rasmussen, four points in the Des Moines Register, four points in WeAskAmerica. Democrats are touting an advantage in early voting; according to the Iowa secretary of state’s office, 376,200 ballots — including 111,877 from Republicans and 181,026 from Democrats — had been requested as of October 10. Republicans have returned 50,032 ballots, while Democrats have turned in 101,613. But clearly the Obama campaign doesn’t consider this state safe; Obama is expected to campaign in Iowa Wednesday.

Geraghty adds that if Romney doesn’t win Ohio, there’s even little reasonable possibility he’d win Pennsylvania or Michigan which I agree with.


The conventional wisdom on the race has changed dramatically in the past ten days, but a consistent lead for Romney in Ohio would make him a genuine favorite to win on Election Day.

Battleground State Polls: Where are We Today?

After that craptastic effort by Neil King in the Wall Street Journal, it was refreshing to read a straight forward look at the polling changes in the Battleground States following the game-changing first debate.  My one nit is the author points out Romney’s lead in Florida is skewed by the one poll giving him a 7-point lead but he doesn’t point out the same issue exists on behalf of Obama in Ohio with an outlier poll giving him a 6-point lead.  Otherwise here is a clear, sober look at the state of the polling in the Battlegrounds with the electoral vote count in parenthesis:

Mitt Romney’s overwhelming debate victory has tightened the presidential race in the dozen or so battleground states that will determine the winner of the election.

Florida (29)

Romney enjoys a two-percentage-point advantage in the Real Clear Politics (RCP) average of polls after crushing Obama in their initial debate. He had previously trailed the president by 1.6 percentage points. But it’s possible Romney’s numbers are being boosted by one poll. The Tampa Bay Times released a survey Thursday that showed him up by 7 percentage points, a finding the looks like an outlier compared to other polls. The Tampa poll showed Obama’s 11-point lead among independents swing to a 13 point advantage for Romney. In addition, Hispanic voters in the poll favored Romney 46 to 44 percent over Obama, despite the president’s more than 50-percentage point lead among the group nationally.

Ohio (18)

Obama has only a 1.5 percent lead in the RCP average, a sign things could be tightening. The president has been ahead in Ohio for months and may have lost a chance to lock-up the state with his debate performance. It was thought before the debate that Romney might have to focus his resources on other states. Democrats are hopeful that gains made early in the cycle, when Obama effectively portrayed Romney as an out-of-touch corporate raider to the state’s blue collar voters, is enough to withstand the GOP challenger’s late charge — particularly since voting has already started.

Virginia (13)

Obama held a nearly 4-point advantage in Virginia in the RCP average heading into the debate, but that’s been completely wiped out and the candidates are now tied. In addition, the last two polls in the state show Romney with 1 and 2 point leads.

Wisconsin (10)

After Romney selected home-state favorite Rep. Paul Ryan as his running mate, the GOP ticket spiked in Wisconsin, but Obama has since regained his lead. But Obama’s lead has been greatly diminished in the wake of the debate, falling from 8 points in the RCP average to 2 points.

Colorado (9)

Colorado is the most fickle swing state for Democrats, who were hopeful the state’s popular Democratic governor, concentrated pockets of social liberalism and rising Hispanic population had flipped the state permanently in their favor. But Colorado has strong independent and libertarian streaks, and appears to be headed for a photo finish. Obama held his biggest recent lead of 3 percentage points in the RCP average heading into the debate. Romney has since inched ahead of Obama, although by less than one percent, with recent polls split and showing the candidates in a statistical dead heat.

Iowa (6), Nevada (6) and New Hampshire (4)

With the race essentially tied, any of these three small delegate prizes could tip the race either way. Obama presently has small leads in all three, although Romney is within the margin of error. Both Nevada and Iowa went for Bush in 2004 and Obama in 2008. New Hampshire has gone for the Democratic candidate the last two elections, but went for Bush in 2000.

Pennsylvania (20) and Michigan (16)

Obama appeared to be cruising to victories in both states before the debate, but things have tightened. A win by Romney would dramatically alter the race and greatly increase his chances of winning. That said, at this point a victory by Romney would be a surprise. Obama once had an eight-point average lead in the Real Clear Politics average of polls in Pennsylvania, but now has only a 4.5 percent advantage. The president had a commanding 10-point lead in Michigan before the debate, but Romney since then has closed to within 4 points in the RCP average.

Beware Crappy Battleground State Reporting in the Wall Street Journal

Neil King in the Wall Street Journal assesses the Battlegrounds following Mitt Romney’s post-debate surge.  But before we get to that let’s get the disclaimers about King out of the way first. He is the opposite of Jon Ralston below.  King is a lefty hack who does consistently partisan reporting in what are supposed to be news stories.  This one is no different. After President Obama threw up all over himself in the debate and is hemorrhaging support, King writes a piece on the state of the race and every section is a glass-half-empty scenario for Romney despite the overwhelming weight of evidence that Obama’s campaign is reeling in the polls, in the news cycle (Benghazi) and in fundraising (he spent 3 days fundraising in California rather than campaigning in mid-October — not good). As for positive mentions of Romney, no where is there a mention of the dramatic increases in voter registration in most every state relative to Obama’s overwhelming advantage in 2008.  I redacted as much of the tripe as I could leaving in some of the factual nuggets but it really is an embarrassingly partisan effort.  But that’s nothing new for Neil King, Democrat Advocate.

Now to the article: King sets up a dichotomy: Mitt Romney leads in the national polls — he is ahead or tied in 7 of the last 8 national polls according to Real Clear Politics.  But Team Obama argues they are leading in the important Battleground states which is how the race is ultimately won so they are in better shape than the national polls would indicate.  Let’s leave aside that state polls lag national polls, are polled less frequently and therefore fail to quickly capture meaningful changes in the electorate like the disaster that was the first Presidential debate.  No matter, Obama is leading in a majority of the Battlegrounds according to the Real Clear Politics averages (even if over 50% of those polls unrealistically over-sample Democrats) so at least at the moment they can make an argument that the electoral college favors them. King writes:

With the Republican challenger now surging to a slim lead in national polls, can the president’s lead in the swing states be sustained?

The Central Battlegrounds

[Among the Battlegrounds] Florida, Ohio and Virginia [have] the largest, second-largest and fourth-largest swing states by Electoral College clout. Yet, after months of heavy campaigning and a combined $250 million in TV advertising, plus millions from outside groups, neither candidate can claim a decisive hold on any of them.

FLORIDA & VIRGINIA: Mr. Romney has pulled abreast of his rival in Florida [ed. — No mention that “abreast” doesn’t mean “lead” and Romney leads by 2 in the RCP average] and Virginia since his strong performance in the first presidential debate. Most of his gains have come by eating into Mr. Obama’s margins in suburban neighborhoods and widening the Republican’s support among white voters and independents.

OHIO: For months, Ohio has presented the Romney campaign with its most stubborn challenge. Mr. Romney has lagged behind in Ohio by a wide margin until recently, when he has narrowed the gap with Mr. Obama in a running average of state polls. A Wall Street Journal/NBC News/Marist poll this week, though, found him behind by six percentage points. [ed. — The Real Clear Politics average in Ohio is Obama +1.3 and that laughable NBC/WSJ poll cited is by far the greatest outlier]

Intensifying Battlegrounds

Colorado, Iowa and Nevada—are drawing attention in part because Mr. Romney would need to win these and others, should he lose Florida or Ohio. [ed. — of course, not because Obama desperately needs them as well]

NEVADA: This week, the main super PAC backing Mr. Obama bought TV ad time in Nevada for the first time in the general election, a signal of the state’s status as an intensifying battleground. Housing and unemployment problems in Nevada have made many voters receptive to Mr. Romney’s message of charting a new course to economic growth. The Obama campaign is hoping to gain a boost from its strong ground operation and support from unions and Latino voters.

COLORADO: Colorado is a rare swing state in which Republican voters outnumber Democrats. But the GOP lead is slight. Mr. Romney has made late strides in the state, spending parts of eight days there since the political conventions.

IOWA: Mr. Obama has maintained a small lead in Iowa, a state where unemployment is well below the national average. “Iowa is a state that ought to be favorable toward Obama, because, if it’s all about jobs, we don’t have a problem with jobs,” said Steffen Schmidt, a political scientist at Iowa State University. [Note: this isn’t true.  Iowa is deeply concerned about the national debt more than jobs which is why both campaign tailor messages on spending and national debt in the state…awesome reporting guys] At the same time, social issues are in the news there, with voters being asked whether to retain a state Supreme Court justice who voted to allow same-sex marriages. That fight could draw Republican-leaning voters to the polls. [ed. — A rare positive anecdote for the GOP] In Iowa, the Obama campaign has made a strong push toward early voting, which began in late September. More than 101,000 Democrats have voted early, either by mail or in person, versus just more than 50,000 Republicans, as of Wednesday, according to data from the Iowa Secretary of State’s office. [ed. — No mention that this is behind the rate of 2008 or that in 2010 Republicans dramatically closed similar gaps]

Wild Cards [ed.– or dead heat races?]

Two wild cards: Wisconsin [RCP average Obama +2.3], which wasn’t seen as competitive before mid-September [ed. — 100% false.  Even the Obama campaign listed this state as a battleground in June/July and when Ryan was put on the ticket in mid-August it was guaranteed to be in play], but where the race is close, and New Hampshire [RCP average Obama +0.7], Mr. Obama had built up a strong lead in New Hampshire before the Oct. 3 debate, and super PACs have pulled their ads from the state. Since then, Mr. Romney appears to have made up some ground, and the president plans to visit on Thursday.

How is Biden’s Performance Doing with the Battleground State Newspapers?

We’ve blogged the imagery of the campaign down the stretch recently and following Joe Biden’s often odd performance last night I decided to see how it was playing on the covers of today’s Battleground State newspapers.  In short, Biden’s over-the-top theatrics don’t come off as well as his partisan supporters might think:




Continue reading

Paul Ryan to Hold Town Hall Meeting in Waukesha, Wisconsin Monday (Oct 15) 8:00am

Keeping Wisconsin‘s 10 electoral votes in play, Paul Ryan returns to his home state next week:

Days after his debate with Vice President Joe Biden, U.S. Rep. Paul Ryan will be in Waukesha Monday morning for a town hall meeting at Carroll University. The GOP vice presidential candidate and other key Republicans will take part in the event at the Van Male Field House, 227 N. Barstow St. in Waukesha. Doors will open at 7 a.m. and the program will begin at 8 a.m., according to an announcement posted by the campaign of GOP presidential candidate Mitt Romney.

You’re Invited to a Victory Town Hall with Paul Ryan and the Republican team

When: Monday, October 15, 2012

Doors Open 7:00 AM | Program Begins 8:00 AM

Where: Carroll University Van Male Field House, 227 N. Barstow Street, Waukesha, WI 53186

To register for the event: click here.

All attendees will go through airport-like security and should bring as few personal items as possible. No bags, sharp objects, umbrellas, liquids, or signs will be allowed in the venue. Cameras are permitted.

For questions, contact us at: (608) 535-9307 or
ForImportant Campaign Updates:Text (WI) toGOMITT (466488)

CBS/New York Times/Quinnipiac Survey Colorado, Virginia and Wisconsin

After the debacle of the NBC/WSJ/Marist disasters I’m not sure I can tolerate another spate of worthless drivel being passed off as credible polls.  Thankfully the Quinnipiac/New York Times/CBS alliance who I crushed in print two weeks ago rally to the cause this week with what look to be decent samplings, especially when compared to that other disaster.  One caveat:


Romney leads by 1-point 48 to 47, a reversal of the exact number 3 weeks ago. 2% want someone else and 2% are Undecided. Romney leads by 4 with Independents 49 to 45 but Obama garners 8% of the Republican vote while Romney garners 5% of the Democrat vote.  Importantly in a state with a noteworthy 3rd party candidate (Gary Johnson), Romney only locks down 89% of Republicans while Obama locks down 95% of Democrats.  Obama is losing Whites by 12% 41 to 53.  Obama won this demographic 50 to 48 last time. A 14-point swing dooms his campaign and there are no two ways about that. Party ID shades slightly towards the 2008 turnout but the state overall has been trending Democrat for over a decade so it’s more plausible than most other states with turnout samples similar to 2008.

Party ID was R +2 (Dem 27, Rep 29, Ind 39)
2008 was R +1 (Dem 30, Rep 31, Ind 39)
2004 R +9 (Dem 29, Rep 38, Ind 33)


Obama leads by 5-points, 51 to 46 expanding his lead 1-point versus 3 weeks ago. 1% want someone else and 3% are Undecided. Obama leads by 2 with Independents and gets more cross-over votes (5% of Reps) than Romney (1% of Dems). This looks like a solid result for Obama where he must ensure his coalition shows up else the state slips through to Romney.  Expect Virginia to be the tightest finish of any major state.  Party ID made shades slightly to the Democrats but it defensible.

Party ID is D +3 (Dem 31, Rep 28, Ind 35)
2008 was D +6 (Dem 39, Rep 33, Ind 27)
2004 was R +4 (Dem 35, Rep 39, Ind 26)


Obama leads by 3-points 50 to 47, down from a 6-point lead 3 weeks ago. 3% remain Undecided. Romney leads by 2 with Independents 48 to 46, each side has locked up its base and get the same 3% of cross-over votes. Again party ID shade slightly for the Democrats  but it’s not outrageous.

Party ID is D +4 (Dem 31, Rep 27, Ind 37)
2008 was D +6 (Dem 39, Rep 33, Ind 29)
2004 was R +3 (Dem 35, Rep 38, Ind 27)

Obama +2 in Wisconsin … 0% Undecided — Rasmussen

You have to love Wisconsin.  They have been bombarded with more partisan politics over the last 2 years than any state in the modern era and you can almost hear the people in each survey say, “Enough already!”  The latest from Rasmussen reports in the Badger State has President Obama with a 2-point lead, 51 to 49 which is one of the rare polls with no votes for 3rd parties or Undecided. I found that unusually funny for some reason. Romney is down 12 with Independents which is quite interesting although that is an improvement over last month:

 President Obama maintains a slight edge over Mitt Romney in Wisconsin. The latest Rasmussen Reports telephone survey of Likely Voters in the Badger State finds Obama with 51% support, while Romney picks up 49% of the vote. Ninety-one percent (91%) of Wisconsin voters are certain of how they will vote. Among those who are certain, 51% favor the president, while 49% support Romney. Both candidates earn overwhelming support from members of their own party. Among voters not affiliated with either political party, Obama has a 55% to 43% lead.

For President Percent
Barack Obama 51
Mitt Romney 49

Put Your Money Where Your Mouth Is XVI

After a one week hiatus (never did get last week’s info from NBC) the weekly top 10 ad markets is back with only one surprise, Green Bay, Wisconsin. If there weren’t any weekly gaps we could have done some really need stuff with this data but alas …

The no brainer states of Virginia, Ohio and Florida dominate the list which comes as no surprise.  We see the campaign focused Battlegrounds of Colorado, Iowa and Wisconsin being the real stories. This is straight out of Karl Rove’s 3-2-1 strategy he wrote about 5-months ago (Day 2 of this b log!)with 3 being Indiana, North Carolina and Virgina (2 out of 3 done), 2 being Ohio and Florida (obvious priorities through election day) and 1 being Colorado, Iowa or Wisconsin (based on this week’s spending).

While Team Romney is making a play for the other states (New Hampshire and Nevada) clearly they see their best chances in the three making today’s list.  The Romney campaign clearly saw concern in Iowa which bolsters the claim that Obama’s unprecedented 3-day commitment in August paid real dividends. No surprise comparatively new American Future Fund is big in Iowa as the conservative organization is headed by ex-GOP Iowa staffers. Additionally the pro-Romney teams are saturating Wisconsin which is a great sign about its potential vulnerability to flipping.  Finally, we see the NRA entering the mix in Norfolk, Virginia which is great since their constituency is both loyal and passionate which should help turnout.   All good signs that everything is on full blast for the final three weeks.

A quick guide: RNC is the Republican National Committee, ROF is Restore Our Future (Romney Super PAC); AFP is Americans for Prosperity (pro-Romney group); CWA is Concerned Women for America (pro-Romney group); NRA is National Rifle Association (pro-Romney); AFF is American Future Fund (pro-Romney); and Priorities is Priorities USA Action (pro-Obama Super PAC).

Hottest Markets for the week 10/8-10/14 Hottest Markets for the week 9/24-9/30
1. Orlando, FL (Obama 1600, Romney1600, ROF 775, Priorities 630, ROF 215)
2. Norfolk VA (Romney 1500, Obama 1300, ROF1200, Priorities 350, NRA 300)
3. Cleveland, OH (Romney 1500, Obama 1500, AmCrossroads 1200, Priorities 400)
4. Denver, CO (Romney 1500, Obama 1500, AmCrossroads 1200, Priorities 300)
5. Toledo, OH (Romney 1500, Obama 1500, AmCrossroads 1100, Priorities 300, NRA 250)
6. Des Moines, IA (Romney 1500, Obama 1300, ROF 1000, Priorities 350, American Future Fund 360)
7. Roanoke, VA (Romney 1500, ROF 1500, Obama 750, Priorities 300, NRA 400)
8. Cedar Rapids, IA (Romney 1500, Obama 1300, ROF 780, American Future Fund 415, Priorities 400)
9. Green Bay, WI (Romney 1500, ROF 1500, Obama 500, Priorities 500, NRA 400)
10. Tampa, FL (Romney 1,500, Obama 1500, ROF 675, NRA 250)
1. Madison, WI: Obama 1540, Restore 1480, Romney 940, Priorities USA 860
2. Orlando, FL: Obama 1700, Romney 1240, AJS 890, Crossroads 620, Priorities 250
3. Cleveland, OH: Romney 1540, Obama 1500, AJS 710, Priorities 440, Crossroads 400
4. Tampa, St. Pete, FL: Obama 1710, Romney 1300, AJS 670, Crossroads 480, Priorities 280
5. Washington, DC: Obama 1800, Romney 1500, AJS 570, Crossroads 250
6. Roanoke-Lynchburg, VA: Romney 1500, Obama 1340, AJS 670, Crossroads 530
7. Norfolk-Portsmouth, VA: Obama 1450, Romney 1440, AJS 730, Crossroads 215, Priorities 200
8. Dayton, OH: Romney 1540, Obama 1390, Crossroads 570, AJS 360
9. Richmond-Petersburg, VA: Romney 1475, Obama 1360, AJS 490, Crossroads 400, Priorities 230
10. Toledo, OH: Romney 1500/Obama 1110, AJS 680, Crossroads 270, Priorities 330

MSNBC takeaways:

No takeaways provided but away from the top ten, they do write-up an appropriately concerning story about potential ad spending mismanagement.  I’ll be curious to see how this washes out after the election because based on these reports, it really does look like amateur hour:

If Obama ends up winning the presidential contest, it could very well come down to this: Team Obama has a tactical advantage over Team Romney, and that’s especially true when it comes to advertising strategy. Politico has this example: “Voters in Columbus, Ohio, saw 30-second television ads for both Barack Obama and Mitt Romney while watching ‘Wheel of Fortune’ on their CBS affiliate over three days in September. For Obama’s team, the order per spot cost $500. For Romney’s, the price tag on the order was more than five times steeper at $2,800 per ad.” What’s going on here? Politico explains, “Romney places his commercials on a week-to-week basis, rather than booking time well in advance, and typically pays more so that his ads don’t get preempted and to spare his campaign the hassle of haggling over time as prices rise.” Folks, this is the equivalent of an NFL team — in terms of tactics and ad-buying strategy — going up against a high school team. And here’s another example we’ve heard: For weeks, the Obama campaign has been hammering Romney on the “Big 10 Network.” Only until recently has the Romney campaign also decided to advertise on the channel, about five weeks AFTER the start of football season. In a close race, the little things matter.

Super Saturday Update — Over 2.4 million contacts yesterday alone

Yesterday was another Super Saturday where campaign offices around the country knocked on doors, made phone calls and registered voters for the final crucial push into election day.  Some of the metrics are creeping through the wires right now.  Nearly all below is information direct from RNC political director Rick Wiley:


  • #s just in, @mittromney & @gop ground game made 2.4 million volunteer voter contacts yesterday on Super Saturday.ROCK
  • over 30k volunteers took part in Super Saturday yesterday.Enthusiasm on our side
  • Great work from our amazing volunteers this week! We made 5,072,979 volunteer voter contacts this week alone. — Reince Priebus


  • Over 400k volunteer voter contacts made in WI this week, strong.Country strong


  • VA did over 250k volunteer voter contacts yesterday, including 100k doors and nearly 500k for the week.Killing it


  • OH made over 600k volunteer voter contacts this week.nearly a quarter million on the doors!Buckeye Blitz rocks it


  • FL made over 1 million volunteer voter contacts this week. @mkdonlin & @tcdickens continue to rock it down there


  • Team CO made over 250k volunteer voter contacts this week. People clearly jacked following strong debate by @MittRomney

The Voter That Will Decide Wisconsin

Wisconsin has been among my Battlegrounds States since the inception of this blog in late-May — ahead of the national news organizations (thankyouverymuch). This was predicated on the belief that its Governor, Scott Walker, would decisively beat-back the recall attempt and that win would demonstrate the tectonic changes on the ground to flip the state for Romney. The first part came true as expected and the state remains a Battleground but the second part (the political ground shift) remains elusive. This is due to the Wisconsin voter who will decide the state’s fate next month: the Walker-Obama voter. Craig Gilbert, of the Milwaukee Journal Sentinel, continues to do incredible work this cycle on these important 10 electoral votes and drills down on the Wisconsin phenomenon of split party support between polarizing Governor Scott Walker and equally polarizing President Barack Obama:

One intriguing surprise from last June’s recall election was the exit poll finding that one in six Scott Walker voters planned to vote for President Obama this November. It wasn’t just a polling blip. Surveys throughout the year have identified a small but steady fraction of Wisconsin voters who seemingly defy both the pessimism and polarization of the times in approving of two lightning-rod incumbents from opposing parties, Republican Gov. Walker and Democrat Obama.

Who are these people?

In Marquette’s surveys, pro-Walker, pro-Obama voters comprise about one tenth of registered voters in the state. Compared to the rest of the electorate, they are a bit younger. They are more moderate and independent and less Republican. They are a little more likely to live outside the state’s big media markets. They are less likely to have suffered economic setbacks in the last two years. They are more optimistic about the direction of the economy. And just as they are softer in their partisan leanings, they express less certainty about their intention to vote. “These are folks who have not been terribly hurt by the economy, are fairly positive about the economy and at the same time are somewhat less partisan and ideological and a bit removed from the center of political conflict,” says political scientist Charles Franklin, who polls for Marquette…By definition, they’re favorable toward Obama, but “soft” in their party attachments and open to a Republican. Yet they’re less unhappy than other voters with current conditions, so it’s a challenge for Romney to win them over. “They’re not howling mad about the economy,” Franklin says of this group.

Polling output

All of Marquette’s 2012 polling – almost 10,000 registered Wisconsin voters across 12 surveys – was combined for this analysis. Of those nearly 10,000 voters, 9.7% said they approved of how both Walker and Obama are handling their jobs. That leaves us with a sizeable sample of 945 “Obama-Walker approvers.” The share of registered voters who fall into this category hasn’t changed a whole lot over the course of the year: it was 11% back in January, dropped to 7% in April and May, peaked at 12% in June after the recall election, and has ranged since then from 9% to 11%. These percentages are also consistent with the exit poll done by Edison Research in the June 5 recall election, in which about 9% of voters were both pro-Walker and pro-Obama. (Walker got 53% of the vote; of the 53% that voted for Walker, 17% said they supported Obama for president; 17% of 53% equals 9% of the electorate).

The Obama-Walker voter

  • Age: They skew young: 22% are under 30, compared to 14% of all other voters; 24% are 60 and over, compared to 31% of all other voters. But while disproportionately young, they are not predominantly young; 78% are 30 and over.
  • Income: They are comparatively less wealthy, which is consistent with being younger: 39% report family income of under $40,000, compared to 30% of all other voters.
  • Partisanship: They’re less partisan: 51% describe themselves as independents, compared to 36% of all other voters. They are no more or less Democratic in their party affiliation than other voters. But they are a lot less Republican: only 14% of Obama-Walker approvers are Republican, compared to 29% of all other voters.
  • Ideology: They’re bunched toward the political center: 47% are moderates, compared to 31% of all other voters; only 28% are conservatives, compared to 43% of all other voters; and 18% are liberal, compared to 22% of all other voters.
  • Region: They are disproportionately from outstate Wisconsin. Only 36% come from the state’s biggest media market, Milwaukee, compared to 43% of all other voters; 26% come from the state’s four smallest media markets (Wausau, La Crosse, and the parts of Wisconsin served by Twin Cities and Duluth TV), compared to 20% of all other voters. This may reflect the less partisan character of these voters. The Milwaukee media market is highly polarized between Democrats in Milwaukee County and Republicans in the counties west and north of Milwaukee. The state’s smaller media markets contain areas that often swing from one party to the other.
  • Economic attitudes: They’re less negative about the economy: 52% said the recession had a major effect on their finances, compared to 60% of all other voters; only 12% said the economy has gotten worse over the past year, compared to 35% of all other voters; and 55% said they expect the economy to get better in the next year, compared to 42% of all other voters. This makes sense – that people who approve of both an incumbent Republican governor and an incumbent Democratic president have a more positive view of economic conditions. That confidence appears to be more a function of outlook than wealth, since these voters are less likely to have higher incomes than other voters.
  • Political engagement: They are softer in their propensity to vote: 67% said they are absolutely certain to vote, compared to 86% of all other voters. They are also a little less likely to be every-day newspaper readers or watchers of the local news, according to the polling. This is consistent with political research that suggests less partisan voters are typically less politically engaged. In short, the people who approve of both Obama and Walker may be less reliable voters. But Franklin says it would be going too far to regard them as politically tuned out or apathetic, since these are registered voters who have political opinions to express and have taken the time to respond to an opinion survey.

How Obama-Walker supporters swing

Obama has enjoyed a small-to-modest lead in the vast majority of Wisconsin polls. He has been around or above 50% in most recent polls. There has been very little polling since the first debate, widely seen as a win for Romney. But Public Policy Polling reported Saturday night that in its latest Wisconsin poll, Obama’s lead had shrunk from seven points to two points. These Obama-Walker approvers aren’t the only swing voters in this state. But if Romney has ground to make up in Wisconsin, this group would seem to be an attractive target of opportunity – voters favorable to Obama, but who aren’t down-the-line Democrats (almost 70% are independents and Republicans), and who’ve expressed support for a GOP governor running on a message of fiscal conservatism.

Resistant to Romney

Taking the more recent polling by Marquette – since the June recall election – only 19% of Obama-Walker approvers have a favorable image of Romney, 56% have an unfavorable view, and 21% haven’t heard enough about him. That hints at the problems Romney has had appealing to more persuadable and centrist voters in Wisconsin. Here’s a group of swing voters outside the GOP base that Gov. Walker has won over but Romney is struggling with. The good news: at least some of these voters (about a fifth) view Romney favorably and another fifth don’t know much about him and might be reachable. The bad news: a majority don’t like him. “With them you take away the primary argument against Obama, which is the economy,” says Franklin … Nor can Romney count on ideology to win them over, since they’re not very Republican and not very conservative. The more moderate image Romney projected in the first debate could be helpful with these voters. But Romney first has to persuade this group of Obama-approvers that it’s time for a change.

Priorities USA Action (Pro-Obama PAC) Pulls Ads From Florida and Wisconsin

This hit the wires yesterday but I missed it with all the debate prep. The top Obama Super-PAC is pulling ads from Florida and Wisconsin. As the write up says, these types of moves send loud signals where campaign priorities really lie. One is good news for the Romney campaign, the other not as much.  The good news is Florida data continues to trend towards Romney and I view this as a retreat from Team Obama.  The bad news is I believe the move out of Wisconsin signals marginally increasing confidence of the Obama campaign in Wisconsin.  Obviously they are concerned enough about Wisconsin to send the big dog there for his first stop after leaving Colorado so maybe they believe that will offset the need for ad buys but the Priorities USA move is noteworthy:

The pro-Obama “super PAC” that has spent millions of dollars attacking Mitt Romney in ads is pulling commercials from Florida and Wisconsin, part of what the group says is a realignment of its advertising campaign. The cancellations by Priorities USA Action, coupled with new purchases of television time in other key swing states, indicate where Democratic strategists think the presidential race may and may not be competitive with a month left to Election Day. President Obama was always polling strongly in Wisconsin, so the need for him to have a strong television presence advertising there was less crucial.

Bill Burton, a senior strategist for the group, said Wednesday that Priorities would also be buying more time in Colorado, Iowa, Nevada and Virginia in the coming days. According to preliminary advertising totals, Priorities moved $4.5 million out of Florida and Wisconsin markets. But the group remains on the air in some markets, including Orlando, West Palm Beach and Green Bay. “We are not leaving any states,” Mr. Burton said. “Based on our extensive polling and targeting data, in some states we are shifting efforts into some key markets.”

What is Waiting for President Obama at His Rally in Wisconsin Today?

Two mobile billboards will roam around Obama’s Wisconsin event. “In the Obama economy, over 20 million young Americans are living back home with their parents. It’s your choice: move home with mom and dad OR 12 million new jobs for American workers.”

“New Normal”

New Restore Our Future ad going up in Wisconsin:

The Romney super PAC is putting $1.2 million behind an economic-focused attack ad against the president. “Welcome to the new normal,” a narrator says, “where over 8 percent unemployment is ‘doing fine’ and millions of Americans have simply given up, where our children will grow up under the weight of crushing debt in a world where America is no longer the leader. And we’re told we’re going ‘forward,’ even as we fall further behind…This is President Obama’s economy. Demand better.” The buy signals that, with Paul Ryan on the ticket, Restore our Future continues to see the Badger State as a prime pick-up opportunity.

State of the Battlegrounds: Six Toss-ups and Three Leaners for Obama — Stu Rothenberg

Jon Ralston blogs about the latest assessment of the Battleground states from Stu Rothenberg who drops North Carolina (Romney), Michigan (Obama) and Pennsylvania (Obama) from the discussion leaving only 6 toss-ups and Obama crossing 270 electoral votes with Ohio, Virginia and Wisconsin as leaners:

In the latest edition of his weekly report, nationally respected pundit Stu Rothenberg says there are only 54 electoral votes in five states that are up in the air now — and Nevada’s six are among them.

Rothenberg has the count at 278 electoral votes for President Obama (237 solid and 41 lean) and 206 for Mitt Romney (191 solid and 15 lean). The remaining 54 are: Nevada (6), Florida (29), Iowa (6), Colorado (9) and New Hampshire (4).

Of course, if Rothenberg’s count proves prescient, Nevada will not be a factor because Obama already has the 270 needed to win. But because the three “Lean Obama” states — Ohio (18), Virginia (13) and Wisconsin (10) — are relatively uncertain, any one of them going the other way could put Obama under 270. It is interesting that Nevada remains in the toss-up category despite no public poll showing Romney ahead — although many that have been released indicate the race is within the margin of error.

HAHAHAHAHA Washington Post Swing State Poll was 161 People

I may just poll my comment section and pass that off as a Battleground State poll.  The Washington Post explained that rather curious “Swing State” subsection in today’s national poll where Obama had an incredible 11-point lead relative to his national lead of only 2-points:

The WaPo-ABC ‘swing state’ poll numbers, explained

Monday’s Washington Post-ABC News poll adds to the evidence of an emerging, important dynamic in the presidential contest showing closer parity nationally than in key battleground states, where President Obama has had clear leads.

The designated swing states were: Florida, Ohio, Virginia, Colorado, Iowa, New Hampshire, Nevada and Wisconsin

Pulling out respondents in these eight states — all of which Obama won in 2008 — from the new national poll, shows Obama at 52 percent and Romney at 41 among likely voters. We report these numbers to help connect the dots between the clear Obama leads in the collection of states and the continued closer parity nationally, not to suggest pinpoint precision on what’s happening now in any particular state.

Out of 929 registered voters in the new poll, 161 live in one of these eight states, with a margin of sampling error of eight points. The likely voter sample in these states is about nine points, making the 11-point gap an apparent edge. That margin is significant at the 80 percent confidence level, not a standard, conservative 95 percent threshold

This wholly unreliable subset is the basis for inclusion in an otherwise credible national survey. This has to be one of the more embarrassing media contortions by the media to put Obama in the most favorable light possible. Remember, they are not journalists who vote for Democrats. They are open advocates for one candidate.

Obama’s 1st Stop After the Debate is Wisconsin … I Guess it’s Not As Safe as the Polls Say

Could be those union members have long memories after getting stiffed by a President who said he’d march the picket lines with them and then found himself too busy in every state around Wisconsin to stop in to support their recall efforts:

President Barack Obama will hit the campaign trail following the Wednesday presidential debate, stumping in four states rated on the CNN Electoral Map as toss ups, according to schedules released by his campaign and the White House. On Thursday, Obama will hold an event in the debate host city – Denver – then continue on to Madison, Wisconsin, to meet with supporters, his campaign said.

He will then return to Washington before holding events in Virginia and Ohio on Friday. His Virginia event will be in Vienna, the White House said, before an event in Cleveland. Obama’s campaign said it was rescheduling a previously announced event in Columbus, Ohio, for the following Tuesday.

His Republican challenger, Mitt Romney, has not yet announced post-debate campaign plans. Both candidates are in debate preparation mode. Romney is in Massachusetts but plans to travel to Colorado on Monday, while Obama heads to Nevada for debate prep on Sunday.

Put Your Money Where Your Mouth Is XV

Very disappointed this feature fell by the wayside.  But we are at the mercy of publicly disclosed information and for two weeks during the Convention and then again last week NBC did not publish the data (UPDATE: Props to NBC, Mark Murray says he is shooting me last week’s data.  Big ups to the guy!).  As such we have gaps and the thread in ad buying trends gets harder to piece together.  One thread this that isn’t hard to piece together is the recurring absence of North Carolina. The only reason the state appeared in the top 10 over the last 2 months was due to spending from the Romney campaign to put the state to bed while Team Obama slowly left the state.  The drop is ad dollars every week told us this but since our data lately is sporadic we can only comment that North Carolina is not in the top 10 and won’t be again as evidenced by the recent Obama ad buy leaving North Carolina on the chopping block.

Below, we see Wisconsin resting comfortably in the King’s throne thanks to Obama’s recent visit and also the Milwaukee market bleeds into Paul Ryan’s district. After that we get few surprises:  4 Virginia (DC market in Northern Virginia), 2 Ohio and 2 Florida. That said here is this week’s top 10:

Below are this week’s 10 hottest TV markets in the presidential contest (in terms of advertising points from September 24-September 30).

Hottest Markets for the week 9/24-9/30 Hottest Markets for the week 9/10-9/16
1. Madison, WI: Obama 1540/Restore 1480/Romney 940/Priorities USA 860
2. Orlando, FL: Obama 1700/Romney 1240/AJS 890/Crossroads 620/Priorities 250
3. Cleveland, OH: Romney 1540/Obama 1500/AJS 710/Priorities 440/Crossroads 400
4. Tampa, St. Pete, FL: Obama 1710/Romney 1300/AJS 670/Crossroads 480/Priorities 280
5. Washington, DC: Obama 1800/Romney 1500/AJS 570/Crossroads 250
6. Roanoke-Lynchburg, VA: Romney 1500/Obama 1340/AJS 670/Crossroads 530
7. Norfolk-Portsmouth, VA: Obama 1450/Romney 1440/AJS 730/Crossroads 215/Priorities 200
8. Dayton, OH: Romney 1540/Obama 1390/Crossroads 570/AJS 360
9. Richmond-Petersburg, VA: Romney 1475/Obama 1360/AJS 490/Crossroads 400/Priorities 230
10. Toledo, OH: Romney 1500/Obama 1110/AJS 680/Crossroads 270/Priorities 330
1.  Columbus, OH (Romney 1200, Obama 800, Priorities 500, American Crossroads 250)
2. Des Moines, IA (Romney 1100, Obama 1000, American Crossroads 270, Priorities 245)
3. Richmond, VA (Obama 1100, Romney 1100, American Crossroads 220, Priorities 180)
4. Norfolk, VA (Obama 1200, Romney 1000, American Crossroads 200, Priorities 100)
5. Cleveland, OH (Obama 1200, Romney 780, Priorities 270, American Crossroads 180)
6. Raleigh, NC (Romney 1200, Obama 880, American Crossroads 365)
7. Tampa, FL (Romney 1000, Obama 880, American Crossroads 250, Priorities 230)
8. Toledo, OH (Obama 1000, Romney 815, American Crossroads 340, Priorities 240)
9. Reno, NV (Romney 980, Obama 845, American Crossroads 545)
10. Las Vegas (Obama 1000, Romney 800, American Crossroads 500)

MSNBC takeaways:

It’s worth noting that Obama’s lead in the current polls comes as the GOP continues to enjoy an ad-spending advantage in the presidential race. This week — from Sept. 24-30 — Team Romney (campaign and outside groups) are outspending Team Obama (campaign and outside groups), $24.4 million to $18.6 million. Last week’s GOP edge was a bit smaller, $22 million to $19.3 million. In the general election to date, more than $650 million has been spent on ads, with Team Romney at $356 million and Team Obama at $308 million.

How Big Was Obama’s Crowd in Wisconsin? MSM says 18,000, actual was 5,000 (photos and analysis)

UPDATE: Brilliant work in the wee hours of the night by our commenter cliftonchr.

Partisan hacks in the national media openly advocating for Obama say 18,000 attended President Obama’s rally today in Wisconsin with no evidence whatsoever.  Local press who are pleased to see the President but who also do their job and report on the actual event say 5,000. Thankfully we have commenter “cliftonchr” breaking down the conundrum.

After fishing around the internet cliftonchr dug up first a crowd shot (from the Democrat Underground) of Obama’s actually rally at the BMO Theater whose maximum attendance is 5000. And although there are reports of some empty seats in the nether regions (no overflow crowds like the Romney rallies in Cincinnati) we’ll give them the benefit of the doubt about rounding up to 5000. No problem there.

But compare that with the second photo which is a generic crowd shot of the Marcus Amphitheater next door which holds 23,000 even though the national media reports 18,000 (acknowledging the empty seats in the back?). These are two dramatically different crowd sizes yet the national media does not report of the factual crowd size and fabricates an enormous number which never occurred.

What Barack Obama’s crowd actually looked like What 18,000 people looks like

So Barack Obama who did fill the 23,000 seat amphitheater in 2008 (September 1, 2008 to be exact) before achieving his Democrat advantage in the state of D +6 at the voting booth could not even fill the 5,000 seat theater next door for his first visit to the state in 220 days during peak election fervor yet the media are polling this state as if he will achieve an even bigger turnout advantage in November? They’re not journalists, they’re partisan advocates.

Here were cliftonchr’s original links:

So recently I’ve started looking for pics and attendance stats for both sides at rallys, I think this is your real indicator for enthusiasm. Since Obama was having one in Milwaukee at the Summerfest festival grounds (Hank Aaron presenting him) and hadn’t been there in 220 days, I thought I’d watch for stories and pics on it. You would think it would be a big draw (Milwaukee pop is 600k), he won the state by 14 in 08′, Dem enthusiasm is supposed to be way up according to recent polls and he hasn’t visited in 2/3 of a year.

First couple articles I’ve seen said he had a crowd of 18,000 (I almost spit out my drink) and one said thousands, but I didn’t see any pics and thought man 18,000 people, pics would be popping up everywhere. Wow that would be pretty impressive.

[quote]Obama, speaking to an energized throng of 18,000 people in an at-times-rainy outdoor amphitheater[/quote] wow, the ampitheater capacity is 23k by the way. No pics to suggest this is true.
Read more here:

[quote]As he addressed the crowd estimated at 18,000 people at the Henry Maier Festival Park, the rain came down and the wind picked up.[/quote] again no pics suggesting this

[quote]There were no drums or guitars on the main stage, but the thousands of Democrats who packed the Summerfest music festival grounds Saturday greeted President Barack Obama like a rock star.[/quote] Now it’s a 73 acre complex so they didn’t pack it, lol Some of the pics in the gallery of this link aren’t even at that rally although the captions say they are.

Turns out he was actually at the Harris BMO pavillion at the Summerfest music festival grounds, which holds 5,000, it did rain at one point halfway through the speech but it’s covered so no one got wet unless they stepped out in it.

This video has a part that looks like they took it right before it started and there were empty seats, there are 2500 seats and 2500 can fit on benches, it hardly looked overflowing, so i bet thousands is correct and give him the benefit of the doubt and say 5000

This video draws back and it doesn’t even look like a very big crowd

[quote]Obama energized his supporters who filled the 5,000-seat BMO Harris Pavilion, along with thousands more who sat in bleachers and stood on the pavement beyond the protection of the roof, even as wind and rain lashed down in the latter moments of the near 30-minute speech.[/quote] strangely absent pics to back up the overflowing crowd…..

I looked at numerous articles and was really looking for pics to back up the size of the crowd, I posted the ones I found that made the crowd look the biggest, can’t really tell if there is 5000 or not, either way D+6 (2008 turnout) would have packed that ampitheater at 23k. Unless big crowds start showing up I do not think there will be a D+anything turnout, right now there isn’t.

It also seemed like the local media articles didn’t stray from thousands or 5000, but some of the national articles said 18,000.

Here’s a link to a pic of the pavillion with a great angle so you can see how big it really is, most of the press pics (in the articles) I saw are tight angles and you can’t see how big the crowd is. I think the place was probably only half full or they would have used an angle like this.

Note: I changed the title and moved the lead sentence since multiple people got confused until they got deeper into the story.

President Obama Has a Wisconsin Problem

With the President lowering himself to actually campaign in Wisconsin for his own job, unlike when he wouldn’t help Democrats in the June recall, Team Romney and the RNC are ready to welcome him to the Badger State with open arms:

When President Obama arrives in Milwaukee today, it will be his first visit to the Badger State in 220 days. In 2008, he carried Wisconsin by 14 points – no surprise, since Democrats have won Wisconsin in every presidential election since 1984. President Obama has yet to give an explanation for this dramatic decrease in support. But the fact is that voters are disappointed that he has not lived up to the promises he made four years ago. Consider what has happened in Wisconsin since he was last here in February:

  1. More than 23 million Americans are still struggling for work – and the nation experienced its 43rd straight month of unemployment above 8%.
  2.  The U.S. Census Bureau released new data, which showed incomes in decline and poverty at record levels.
  3. Food-stamp enrollment climbed to a record 46.7 million.
  4. The national debt surpassed $16 trillion – driving every Wisconsinite’s share of the debt to over $51,000.
  5. The federal government officially reported its fourth straight trillion-dollar deficit, all under President Obama.

President Obama’s failure to turn around the economy and get America working again is the reason Wisconsin voters are looking for a different path. It is one reason Republicans in the state have made significant gains in recent years. For example, since 2008:

  1. Scott Walker was elected Governor by nearly 6 percent.
  2. Ron Johnson defeated three-term incumbent Senator Russ Feingold by nearly 5 percent.
  3. Republicans gained control of the State Assembly.
  4. Republicans won two congressional seats previously held by Democrats.

Since President Obama’s last visit, volunteers have made millions of voter contacts that helped Scott Walker become the first governor in history to beat back a recall effort. President Obama was notably absent during the race, deciding not to appear with the Democratic candidate, Milwaukee Mayor Tom Barrett. Our grassroots campaign was so effective that Scott Walker went on to defeat his 2010 opponent by a wider margin than when he was first elected.

Mitt Romney has been dedicated to winning Wisconsin since day one. He has already made two post-primary campaign visits to the state to discuss his five-point Plan for a Stronger Middle Class, which will create 240,000 jobs in Wisconsin.  Since Paul Ryan joined the ticket, he has been on the stump in the Badger State three times. Just this week, Ann Romney visited Wisconsin to rally supporters.

Obama Forced to Campaign Today in a State He Won by 14 Points in 2008

And the pollsters are modelling that he will have a larger turnout advantage in 2012 than he did in 2008… Riiiiiiiiiiiiiiiight

It’s been 220 days since President Obama last visited Wisconsin. He avoided involvement in the state’s high-stakes gubernatorial recall earlier this year, has not campaigned for re-election here, and has spent little cash on TV ads, all largely because he hasn’t had to. Until now. Wisconsin was supposed to be a reliable foothold for Obama, who won it by 14-points over Sen. John McCain in 2008. Democratic candidates for president have carried the state in every election since 1984. Now it’s a hotly contested battleground.

Ground Game

The Romney campaign says the fight of Walker continues to energize state conservatives, yielding the most robust grassroots operation in Wisconsin in a generation. Millions of voter contacts made during the recall campaign have been rolled over to the general election, officials said. Gov. Romney has held 17 events in Wisconsin since Obama’s most recent visit in February, an official stop in Milwaukee to promote his manufacturing agenda.  He has been in state nine days, according to his campaign, to Obama’s one.

Nervous Team Obama

The Obama campaign began running TV ads in the state for the first time this campaign 10 days ago and have stepped up appearances by Obama surrogates across the state.  Vice President Joe Biden’s two visits this year – to Eau Claire and Green Bay — have come in the past three weeks alone.  First Lady Michelle Obama held her single Wisconsin rally of the campaign in Milwaukee in late August and later met with victims of the Sikh temple shooting in Oak Creek.  Former President Bill Clinton appeared in Wisconsin in June.

Field Offices (see caveats below)

Democrats have also assembled an aggressive grassroots organizing operation for voter registration and turnout that Obama aides regularly cite as one of their greatest assets in Wisconsin ahead of Election Day.  The Obama campaign has 54 field offices in Wisconsin compared to Romney’s 25 so-called “Victory Centers” across the state.

A couple quick points about field offices.  The field offices disparity is bunk.  Many of those are virtual filed offices out of people’s homes — not actual office space.  Second, those Romney Victory Offices?  They are the exact Scott Walker Victory offices he used for his big recall win.  The day after the election each Walker office immediately flipped to Romney Victory offices.  I kinda like Scott Walker’s ground game prowess…and so do the Democrats.

Obama’s Achilles Heel Continues to Grow

From the start of this cycle, there has been no question that Obama’s Achilles heel will be the weak economy looming over any distractions he and the media can create. We’ve blogged about some of the underlying weak economic data before but the horrific unemployment situation always looms largest.

Many times you have been told (never by pro-Obama talking heads though) that the unemployment rate only dropped because people were giving up looking for jobs or ran out of benefits — not because people were actually getting jobs. Every Obama shill in the media would trumpet the falling rate even if more Americans were actually out of work.  Now that statistical trick isn’t showing gains for Obama and we are seeing the unemployment rate drift back up — especially in the Battleground States.

Last month we showed the unemployment rate increasing in every Battleground State (save Ohio where it was flat). Now we have the latest data and the results are still not pretty:

  • One state saw a drop of 0.1% in unemployment (Colorado)
  • A large majority of the states have horrible unemployment rates (anything above 7.0%) and climbing
  • The national unemployment average dropped from 8.3% to 8.1% last month because an estimated 368,000 people gave up looking for work
  • Only media and political spin can believe the President benefits because a state’s individual rate is marginally better than the nightmarish national average of 8.1%

Battleground State Breakdown of Unemployment Increase:

Battleground State Unemployment % Monthly Change 2-Month Change
Nevada 12.1 +0.1 +0.5
Michigan 9.4 +0.4 +0.8
Florida 8.8 unchanged +0.2
Colorado 8.2 -0.1 unchanged
Pennsylvania 8.1 +0.2 +0.5
Wisconsin 7.5 +0.2 +0.5
Ohio 7.2 unchanged unchanged
Virginia 5.9 unchanged +0.2
New Hampshire 5.7 +0.3 +0.6
Iowa 5.5 +0.2 +0.4

Republican Ground Game to Make the Difference in November

I make fun of the absurdity of polls showing Obama outperforming his 2008 turnout advantage for three main reasons:

  1. First. it is based on sensationalistic hype surrounding an allegedly never-before-seen micro-targeting that will revolutionize turnout. I don’t buy sensationalistic marketing claims in any aspect of my life and especially when it comes from a guy who claimed he could cool the planet and push back the tides when he was running last time.
  2. Second, the enthusiasm among Obama’s “coalition of the ascendent”[the predicate for Democrat talk of dominance for decades to come] no where near matches 2008 levels, yet polling models assume even higher rates of these minority groups will turn out this year despite far lower enthusiasm.
  3. Third, the GOP ground game is vastly superior to its 2008 half-hearted effort. We’ve blogged dramatic shifts in voter registration in Iowa, a net change away from Democrats to Independents of nearly 1,000,000 registrations among Colorado, Florida, Iowa, Nevada, New Hampshire and North Carolina since the 2008, and serious ugliness for Democrats in Ohio yet our friendly unbiased pollsters see huge Democrat turnout advantages everywhere they look.

Now the Washington Post is picking up on this third point with a write-up on GOP successes on the ground this Fall that could add as much as 3% to Romney’s total:

Organizers from both parties report growing evidence that new voter-outreach programs funded by conservative groups could give GOP nominee Mitt Romney an edge if the race is close. In the key battleground states, Obama’s celebrated network of organizing experts and neighborhood captains is being challenged by a conservative coalition that includes the National Rifle Association, the billionaire-backed Americans for Prosperity and a newly muscular College Republicans organization with a $16 million budget The conservative groups “are fully funded and ready for hand-to-hand combat,” said Steve Rosenthal, a Democratic organizer.

  • Florida — Republican legislation effectively dampened pro-Democratic voter registration efforts during critical months in 2011 and 2012, resulting in registration gains for Republicans in the crucial Tampa Bay area since the 2008 election.
  • Ohio — the evangelical group behind a successful anti-same-sex-marriage amendment that helped mobilize conservative voters in 2004 says it has a network of 10,000 churches and a database of millions of rural voters who will be targeted with in-person visits and voter guides.
  • Wisconsin — conservatives have built a house-by-house turnout machine already tested in the successful campaign to fight a union-backed recall of GOP Gov. Scott Walker in June.

Experts say that if Obama’s lead in key states extends beyond a few percentage points, even the most effective field operation on the right may not be enough to prevent a Romney loss. But, they say, the operation can add two to three points to the Republican’s total and, in a close contest, that could be a significant difference…”It’s a much more robust field operation than the 2008 McCain campaign had, that’s clear,” said Jim Messina, Obama’s campaign manager.


One of the major players on the right is Americans for Prosperity, a group co-founded by conservative billionaire David Koch. The group plans to spend $125 million on the 2012 campaign, half of it devoted to field organizing in political battlegrounds. AFP has 116 staff members on the ground targeting 9 million voters the group has found to be “up in the air” about how to assess Obama’s economic record, said its president, Tim Phillips. The group has honed many of its techniques in Wisconsin, where it spent millions on the effort to keep Walker in office. The group there is deploying a new smartphone application, Prosperity Knocks, to guide canvassers to the right doors. Of the group’s 120,000 members in Wisconsin, it has 4,000 super activists, dubbed “Prosperity Champions,” who have participated in multiple actions, the group says. “This is a totally new ballgame,” said Luke Hilgemann, the Wisconsin director for AFP, who oversees 12 full-time staff members and thousands of volunteers in his state. “We’re matching the left and exceeding them in lots of things that we’re doing.” Wisconsin Family Action, another social conservative organization in the state, is sending voter guides and DVDs to its network of 3,000 churches, said Julaine Appling, the group’s president. “Here in Wisconsin, we’ve become pretty well-schooled in ground games,” she said.


Activists report similarly honed skills in Ohio. Phil Burress, chairman of the group Citizens for Community Values Action and the leader of the marriage campaign in 2004, said he has been operating half a dozen phone-bank centers since May. He said he has a database of 8.4 million Ohioans and plans to distribute 2 million voter guides to 10,000 churches, with a focus on rural parts of the state that he said posted low turnout in 2008. Burress said many of his activists are motivated by Obama’s recent announcement supporting same-sex marriage. “It’s like 2004 all over again,” he said.

College Republicans and the NRA

In Ohio and other states, an emerging force in conservative voter outreach is the College Republican National Committee, which has expanded this year to 63 paid, full-time field staff members and has formed a joint super PAC with American Crossroads, the group founded in part by Karl Rove, who was an adviser to President George W. Bush, to target young voters. Gun enthusiasts will be hearing with greater intensity this year from the NRA, which spent $30 million in 2008 and plans to focus less this year on television advertising and more on voter recruiting. The group has hired 25 campaign field directors and posted them in battleground states, while it has begun churning out hundreds of thousands of pieces of targeted literature, said Chris Cox, the group’s chief political strategist. Cox said advancements in technology have improved the organization’s voter-targeting abilities “from a traditional shotgun blast into more of a rifle shot.”


In Florida, the Atlas Project has identified Democratic vulnerability in critical areas of the state. For example, the organization found that Democratic Party registration in the counties in the Tampa-St. Petersburg area has dropped by about 64,000 since the 2008 election, while Republican registration has increased by more than 50,000. Obama campaign officials point out that registration in Florida and many other states will continue for several more weeks and that Democrats are on track to make big gains. For the past two months, they said, the number of registered Democrats has increased more than the number of registered Republicans in Florida and other key states with party registration. Even in 2008, a large share of the Democratic registration gains did not occur until the final push.

Daniel Smith, a political scientist at the University of Florida who has studied the effects of voter laws, said his data show that Florida’s Republican-backed legislation dampened registration in 2011 and early 2012, as some liberal groups stopped signing up voters. But since the courts rejected the law in May, Smith said, “I think we are seeing an effective effort to catch up.” Democrats on the ground remain worried. “There’s no question the legislature and the governor made it more of a challenge” to register Democrats this year, said Dan Gelber, a former legislator from Miami Beach who has been assisting the Obama team with voter registration. “I would not counsel overconfidence in Florida, notwithstanding the daily missteps of the Romney campaign.”

NBC/WSJ/Marist Question Why Romney is Even Still Bothering to Campaign

Last week I said the race was over because NBC/WSJ/Marist polled the DNC and that’s what they told me. Now I think Mitt Romney needs to drop out.  His arrogance and relentless gaffes are bringing down the national economy and if we could just let President Obama get back to work, we’d all have jobs forever, pay raises to make Chicago teachers blush, and Islamsists wouldn’t hate us so much (do you think they’re protesting Romney challenging Obama?  Could be).

We’ll break down the party IDs first since that is where most of the noise comes from.

Colorado: Obama leads by 5 (50 to 45) with 4 Undecided

  • Party ID: D +2 (Dem 34, Rep: 32, Ind: 32) versus 2008 R +1 (Dem 30, Rep: 31, Ind: 39) and R +9 (Dem: 29, Rep: 38, Ind: 33) in 2004
  • After the peak of hopey-changey in 2008, Obama is going to stretch his turnout margin another 3 percentage points?  Not happening
  • Too many Democrats, too few Independents — can’t see how Inds voted but it is pro-Romney based soley on the top-line Obama lead (I wrote that too quickly, Inds should be close and probably slightly for Obama).
  • Also 3% drop in White demographic. Fairly aggressive for Colorado when Hispanics are only up 1% in the survey and African-Americans are down 1%

Wisconsin: Obama leads by 5 (50 to 45) with 4 Undecided

  • Party ID: D +5 (Dem 33, Rep 28, Ind 38) versus 2008 D +6 (Dem 39, Rep 33, Ind 29) and R +3 (Dem 35, Rep 38, Ind 27) in 2004
  • Nearly full hopey-changey in a state going through a full political transformation over the last two years and a popular native son on the opposition ticket in a swing district? Hmmm
  • Too few Republicans and too many Independents.  Can’t wait to see how they voted
  • Race demographics are clean

Iowa: Obama leads by 8 (50 to 42) with 7 Undecided

  • Party ID: D +5 (Dem 36, Rep 31, Ind 33) versus D +1 (Dem 34, Rep 33, Ind 33) in 2008 and R +2 (Dem 34, Rep 36, Ind 30) in 2004
  • In the state with probably the least movement this year, a large evangelical base and massively increased Rep voter registration Team Obama will have a FAR superior turnout than 2008?  Keep dreaming
  • Too many Dems and too few Reps
  • Race demographics are mostly clean with a shade high on the white vote but in Iowa that doesn’t have the same impact  (state is 90%+ white) as elsewhere in the country

More to come when I get Independents.

Obama +3 in Wisconsin — Rasmussen

The latest from Rasmussen, America’s most accurate pollster, shows Barack Obama with a 3-point lead in Wisconsin, 49 to 46.  Let’s all watch the media and Left (redundant, I know) denounce him as a witch for not sampling Democrats +47 since that is their favorite number this week:

President Obama has regained a slight edge over Mitt Romney in Wisconsin’s presidential race. The latest Rasmussen Reports telephone survey of Likely Voters in the Badger State finds Obama with 49% support to Romney’s 46%. Two percent (2%) prefer some other candidate, while another two percent (2%) are undecided. In mid-August, following Romney’s selection of hometown Congressman Paul Ryan as his running mate, it was Romney 48%, Obama 47%.  Prior to that survey in late July, Obama led Romney 49% to 46%. The president has earned 45% to 52% of the vote in surveys since October of last year, while Romney has picked up 41% to 48% of the vote in that same time period.

For President Percent
Barack Obama 49
Mitt Romney 46
Other 2
Undecided 2

Romney Supporters Wooing Black Voters

Specifically in Milwaukee. David Fredoso has the goods:

When President Obama arrives in Wisconsin on Saturday, he’ll be greeted by a cable ad buy aimed at black voters in Milwaukee. The spot, funded by the Black Republican PAC, intersperses statistics on the economic well-being of African Americans in the Obama era — “unemployment, home foreclosures and food security” — with clips from Obama’s speech to the Congressional Black Caucus, in which he famously urged his audience to “quit complaining.” The cable ad buy is for $100,000, according to the group, which will cover spots on BET, ESPN, MSNBC, The Oprah Winfrey Network and Oxygen.

Obama Running New Ads and Making New Campaign Stops in State He’s Leading by 14 — Marquette Law

That’s what today’s Marquette Law School poll would have you believe. No one credible with a foot on this planet thinks this poll is remotely close to accurate. I’ve complimented Marquette Law before but this is a joke. I’m deeply curious who they surveyed because Obama got a HUGE jump in support from Independents (now +15) which runs contrary to every other state and national poll.

A new Marquette Law School Poll finds … President Barack Obama has seen a large post-convention bump, with voters preferring him to former Massachusetts Governor Mitt Romney, 54 percent to 40 percent. In August Obama led 49 percent to 46 percent… The presidential race saw similar shifts among independents, with Obama increasing his lead of 45 percent to 43 percent in August to 53 percent to 38 percent in September. Partisans continued to support their party nominee by 92 percent among Republicans and 95 percent among Democrats, unchanged from 93 percent and 97 percent in August.

The party ID split was Dem 34, Rep: 27 and Ind 37 or D +7 which is wholly unrealistic (2008 was D +6 and 2004 was R +5) but still does not account for all 14 points nor the jump in support from Independents. The lead still remains Obama +8 if they re-weight it to D +3 to match their prior surveys.

Franklin cautioned, however, that there was also movement in the makeup of partisanship in the poll. In September Republicans made up 27 percent of the likely voter sample, down from an average of 30 percent across all eleven Marquette Law School polls conducted since January. Democrats made up 34 percent, up from an average of 32 percent. Independents were 37 percent of the September sample, the same as their average for the year. “Our September poll makeup is about two points more Democratic and three points less Republican than average, which is within the margin of error,” said Franklin. If the sample were adjusted to match the yearlong average partisan makeup, both margins would tighten, with Baldwin leading 48 to 43 percent and Obama leading 51 to 43 percent. The poll of both landline and cell phone users was conducted September 13-16. The November matchups, based on a sample of 601 likely voters, have a margin of error of +/- 4.1 percentage points. Other results are based on 705 registered voters, with a margin of error of +/- 3.8 percentage points.

Romney Super-PAC Running Ads in Wisconsin and Michigan

Wisconsin has been unsurprisingly percolating with President Obama stumping in the state he won by 14 points four years ago but Michigan has received scant attention by the campaigns. Now the pro-Romney Super-PAC Restore Our Future (this PAC are run by ex-Romney people) is putting up a major ad buy of $2.2 million across the states:

For July, the latest figures available, Wisconsin’s unemployment rate was 7.3% (up .3% since June) but still below the national average of 8.3%. Michigan stayed above that mark at 9.0% – up four tenths of a point from the previous month. Restore’s buy comes after both presidential campaigns last week invested in Wisconsin, and both Vice President Joe Biden and GOP vice presidential nominee Paul Ryan, who represents Wisconsin in the House, visited the state this week. In its electoral map, CNN rates the state as a toss-up. Michigan is rated as “lean Obama” on CNN’s electoral map. Romney was born in the state, and his father served as governor of Michigan. This is the first buy for Restore Our Future since before the Republican convention last month.

Paul Ryan: “Right Solutions”

This is Paul Ryan’s first ad for his congressional campaign that is running simultaneously with the Presidential campaign.  What is hugely important about these ads is they will run in the exact markets Mitt Romney needs to do well in to win Wisconsin.  It’s not an accident Ryan is using his Congressional race to double-dip for the national ticket.  It’s a smart, efficient and strategic advantage to the great selection of Paul Ryan for Vice President: