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Wednesday, June 6, 2012

Don't Let The Media Spin Away Scott Walker's Victory

Congratulations to Scott Walker for a decisive recall election victory!

Here we are on the day after the recall election and as the dust settles, the media tornadoes are kicking it up again. The liberal media truly seemed prepared for this. They were making claims and publishing headlines well before the polls even opened. It's as if they knew Walker would win (pretty much every poll confirmed this), and they were ready with the follow-up spin. As expected, they now highlight and broadcast a hot-button issue and one that played an important roll in this election: campaign finance.

From CNN:

          - "Unions pointed to Walker supporters' outspending his opponents by a more than 7-1 margin, 70% of it from outside the state."

          - "Republicans poured $45.6 million into the election and Democrats spent $17.9 million. The cash disparity was even greater when comparing what the two campaigns raised, without factoring in all the outside cash: Walker had a nearly eight-to-one advantage."

These are just a few arguments being made. Regardless, don't let the liberal media spin this victory away from Scott Walker, and certainly don't let them point to the money spent as being the main cause. 

Let's look at the results (click image for pop-up view): 

Source: Wikipedia

Some key data points stand out: 

- Voter turnout increased almost 16% from 2010.
- Walker's vote total increased by 17.9% while Barrett's increased by 15.34%.
- Walker's percent of total votes earned increased by 1.67% while Barrett's decreased by 0.54%. 
- Out of the 344,771 new votes cast, Walker picked up 58.63% while Barrett picked up 44.68%. 

Now the big question is: WHY?

The left is already pointing to the money raised and spent by the Walker campaign. I think this is a fundamentally flawed argument for a couple reasons: 

1 - The main reason: According to CNN exit polls aired during their election coverage last night, 88% of voters made their mind up before May. Only 5% of voters made their decision in May, 4% picked within the last week, and 3% picked their candidate on the day of the election. What does this mean? Well, considering most campaign spending, get-out-the-vote initiatives, and efforts of the like were conducted in the last week, most of it seemed moot. Voters had, for the most part, decided who they were voting for regardless of the money that was spent. Either way, let's do some math:

- We will assume the 4% that picked last week does not include (though I think it does, but we will let it go), the 3% that picked on election day. This is a total of 7% of voters who decided within a week of the election. 7% of the vote (2,503,745) is 175,262 voters. Let's now assume (because, as the left claims, heavy campaign spending pulled these voters to Walker) that a whopping 70% of these "decided within the last week" voters voted last night for Walker and only 30% voted for Barrett. If we flip the numbers (let's make that 175,262 have a 70% vote rate for Barrett and only a 30% vote rate for Walker instead), Walker would still have won 50.4% to 49.1% (1,260,971 to 1,228,442). The numbers don't lie. 

2 - The smaller but still significant reasons: 

A. Walker ran a campaign in 2010 and told the people what he would do. He did what he said he would do, and many people respect that in a politician.
B. Wisconsin is in better shape financially under Walker.
C. Unemployment in WI has improved, and it has done so at a rate that is equal to or slightly better than the US average.
D. 36% of voters who were in a union STILL VOTED FOR WALKER. Liberal pundit Paul Begala equated this to "the chickens voting for Colonel Sanders."

All these points paint a compelling case for why Walker won. It truly appears that money did not play a roll in this election as much as the left likes to claim it did. I do want to point out another fact as well: no one stopped the left from raising and spending campaign money. No one. They could have done it if they wanted to. They didn't. It was probably a smart, calculated move, too. Even though the left claims elections are "bankrolled by Wall Street and GOP billionaires," Obama and the democrats have taken more donations from Wall Street than the GOP, and for every Sheldon Adelson out there on the right exists a George Soros (and hundreds of Hollywood types, too) on the left. But yes, I think this was a calculated move. Why would anyone pour money and resources into a race where there wasn't a single poll showing Barrett would win? Even the liberal polling company PPP had Walker besting Barrett by 3 in the finals days up to the election. To not raise and spend more money was actually a smart move by the democrats. 

Lastly, I find it odd that liberals complain about the spending in this election when their president claims he will have a billion dollar campaign and is currently out-raising Mitt Romney nearly 7 to 1. Ohh, I get it! It's okay to have $15 million celebrity dinners and $40k per plate fundraisers (6 in one day) when it helps your guy, but if the other side plays the same game, it's a crime, huh? I see the left's logic now . Okay, I'm being facetious, but yes, in all honesty, to complain about the financing in this campaign, in my opinion, is silly. I think Obama didn't step foot in Wisconsin for a reason: he knew campaign finance would be an issue, he knew his horse was going to lose, democrats were discouraged from spending gobs of money, and between now and November, his campaign will have to play the exact same game. He didn't want to be associated with a group that is railing against campaign finance when he himself would be playing the game. I guess what's good for the goose isn't good for the gander. 


  1. Good morning. :)

    I'm genuinely interested in a response to this hypothetical:

    If Obama ended up outspending Romney 7 to 1 in the upcoming presidential election, and then ultimately won the race by a very close margin, would you chalk it up completely to it merely being a result of the will of the people or would you also hold the spending partially (if not near entirely) suspect? And would you still feel the similarly about our political campaign financing system being OK as it is?

    Honest question; not meant to be a 'gotcha!' or attempt at mocking or anything.

    I just feel that this type of a scenario isn’t too unlikely, and I think it could raise the importance of the campaign finance issue further and perhaps change opinions or even bring both sides together more on finding a solution.

    1. Good morning RKen.

      First of all, 0bama outspent McCain 4 to 1 in 2008. Second of all a federal prison inmate in Texas got 40% of the vote in West Virginia without ever campaigning, a super PAC, or any ads, mailers or robo calls.

      I don't think we need a solution but I do have a couple of suggestions. For one, we could combine the candidates money and split it equally. The candidate that is subsidized by his competitor has to clear all his ads with his opponent. How about that? The other suggestion is to tax all campaigns at 100%.

      Where does all the "fairness" and "equality" end? Is it fair that one campaign has more people driving around with one campaigns bumper sticker than the other? How about yard signs, should we ensure that there are an equal number of Republican and Democrat signs in each neighborhood?

      I think people just need to accept defeat and stop making excuses. Libreralism is not wanted in Wisconsin right now it has nothing to do with money spent on campaigns.

  2. The Top Ten Reasons the Democrats Failed in the Wisconsin Recall Elections

    10. It’s George Bush’s Fault.

    9. Mickey Mouse, Scooby Doo and Adolph Hitler didn’t vote even though they signed the re-call petition.

    8. It was too hot.

    7. It was too cold.

    6. The poor and minority voters were disenfranchised because they had to actually leave their house and vote instead of texting it in from their smart phone.

    5. The Koch brothers rigged the election.

    4. It’s Grover Norquist’s fault.

    3. The ballots were confusing and half of the people that voted for Walker really meant to vote for Barrett.

    2. Apparently our union dues were too low.

    1. Our voter turnout was low, for instance, we only had 119% voter turnout in Madison.

  3. Good morning LME. I agree 100% with your assessment.

    1. One of the best analyses I've seen on this blog.

  4. Good morning, RKen -

    In all honesty, to me, it's the will of the people. To imply that spending matters that much (especially entirely), implies that Americans are mindless. Keep in mind, though the Walker campaign outraised and outspent the Barrett campaign significantly (again, I think the Barrett campaign and other democrats held off on purpose), the anti-Walker campaign got a LOT of "free" coverage. The anti-Walker protests were widely covered and for months they received a lot of free coverage. People had the opportunity to make up their minds well before the election, and they did.

    Again, half of the campaign finance issue, to me, is that it's non-discriminatory. Democrats, republicans, and anyone else can raise and spend money freely and as they see fit. The law is an equal opportunity law, and it protects free speech.

    1. Also RKen - I owe you a response to your comment from yesterday. You said:

      "That's actually my biggest problem with the current structure of our system, in that Super PACs do not have to disclose their donors or amounts. At the very, very least this aspect should be revisited and properly addressed.

      As you said, there is no violation of free speech/rights in requiring that donations are disclosed. And it is certainly an open area for possible exploitation.

      I'd even argue that we all have a right to know where this money comes from when it involves electing the people that represent us and our government, regardless of the methods that brought it forward (whether directly from a candidate, their campaign, their party, a PAC, or a Super PAC)."

      As you know, my support for the CU decision stems from the protection of free speech. If I myself owned a corporation, and my income is drawn from that, and I want to spend $25 mil to make an anti-Obama video, and the government prohibits it, to me, that's very, very dangerous. That's all redundant, however.

      I do believe, as we talked about, we can restrict money coming in from outside the country. I'm sure there is a way to do that. Our Constitution doesn't protect non-Americans.

      The last thing I toil with is the anonymous donations. Is part of free speech making a painting or political movie being able to do it without anyone knowing? Is part of free speech silence with source? I'm not totally sure. I would say I disagree (but not entirely) that we have the RIGHT to know a donor's source... because what about the donor's right to remain private. This is one that yes, I'm not fully decided on, and I have gone back and forth. But as far as free speech protections, I do fully support CU and stand up for free speech, no matter how much of a problem it can be perceived to be. :-)

  5. This is pure genius. Made my day. It's refreshing to know someone is willing to speak it like it is.


  6. Sorry but this sounds like another situation were you are throwing rocks from a glass house

    I agree with RKen

    If Obama outspent Romney dramatically and won the election I would bet my paycheck you guys would be on here posting all kind of spending stats on how the corrupt liberals purchased their way into power.

    Both sides of the party point fingers when there is a dramatic difference in money spent on a campaign (even within their own party)
    - rush speaks about romney spending

    1. Loyal Watcher - good morning.

      I'm not sure how this is a situation where I'm throwing rocks from a glass house. I do NOT support campaign finance restrictions and I do support the CU ruling. I always have. I have absolutely no problem with the amount of money being spent for campaigns, and I think I correctly pointed out the hypocrisy on the left and how they (and Obama) rail against the gobs of money pouring in, yet the play the game themselves.

      It appears that the democrats are the ones "throwing rocks from a glass house." Did they complain when Obama vastly outraised/spent McCain in 2008? Did they complain while he is blowing away Mitt Romney? Do they complain that while he claims Mitt Romney is "out of touch" with the regulars, he attends 6, yes SIX $38,500 per plate fundraisers in one day? No, no, no, and no. But you know what the left DOES do? They complain when republicans finally play the game. After being outspent in the last presidential election, and are being currently outspent in this election, the republicans finally step up to the plate and raise/spend some money. It works against the democrats, who again, are the kings of campaign funds raising/spending, and they COMPLAIN?! What?! Seriously. I'm not really sure you have a leg to stand on.

      And no, I'm sorry, I can't live in a world of "you probably would." If the democrats outspend Romney (which they are doing, and will continue to do... of course, while complaining about "money in politics") I won't complain. Free speech is a protected right. I've said it the whole time.

    2. Loyal you never cease to amaze me. You come in here with the most hollow spouts of crap and you got completely smacked down.

      "It appears that the democrats are the ones "throwing rocks from a glass house." Did they complain when Obama vastly outraised/spent McCain in 2008? Did they complain while he is blowing away Mitt Romney? Do they complain that while he claims Mitt Romney is "out of touch" with the regulars, he attends 6, yes SIX $38,500 per plate fundraisers in one day? No, no, no, and no. But you know what the left DOES do? They complain when republicans finally play the game. After being outspent in the last presidential election, and are being currently outspent in this election, the republicans finally step up to the plate and raise/spend some money. It works against the democrats, who again, are the kings of campaign funds raising/spending, and they COMPLAIN?! What?! Seriously. I'm not really sure you have a leg to stand on."

      This is probably one of the biggest, nuclear, smackdown rebuttals I've ever read. Give it up, Loyal, and learn something. These people are wise. No matter how much you hold on, you're 1000x more intelligent if for once you just say, you know, there are other correct opinions out there besides my own.

    3. anne mabee you missed were i posted

      "Both sides of the party point fingers when there is a dramatic difference in money spent"

      You all are on here acting like this is a one party issue.....
      You guys are all gona just be complaining to yourselves the rest of your lives until you realize most the problems you have are issues with both parties.

      But yall constantly complain about situations as if they are a one party issue....

      The point i was trying to make is both parties complain and both parties have brought this issue up it is not just an issue for the "left"

      There will always be sore loosers.....

    4. Campaign finance reform isn't just a recent Democratic platform. It has been a part of both parties for a long time, stemming back to the mid 1800s and then the first real attempts at it in the early 1900s. The first movements were actually pioneered by both Democratic and Republican presidents.

      It's an ever-evolving subject that has had a multitude of different acts/laws/amendments and Supreme Court decisions surrounding it, and particularly over the past 30 years. The past 30 years have seen more activity on this subject than in our entire history combined; and it's certainly not going away anytime soon.

      I find it to be a bit of a weak argument though, to try to use the Democratic position on this against them in some of the ways I’ve seen. I mean, how can one realistically argue that Democrats are attempting to limit excessive spending for their benefit, when they’re the ones benefiting most excessive spending? If Democrats are consistently pulling in exponentially more money than Republicans as of late, and legislation was brought around that would effectively level the playing field more, how would that benefit Democrats? Especially when any realistic campaign reform would affect both parties equally (does anyone really believe a bill would say “Only Democrats can receive money from X”?).

      Likewise on the topic of being against it while still participating.

      I understand the calls in hypocrisy, but at the same time that’s just about as much of an example of ‘cutting off your nose to spite your face’ as it can be. It’s not realistic to expect one party to disadvantage themselves that much towards a cause, in a presidential election no less, no matter how much they may oppose it.

      It would be ridiculous for me to tell a Republican teacher or government employee, that they have no right to speak out against unions, vote Republican or protest against the Democratic Party until they quit their profession and seek another career. That isn’t a realistic expectation.

      Likewise, it wouldn’t be realistic to expect Republicans campaigning on budget cuts and SS/Med/payroll reform to all forgo their SS/Medicare/government benefits for the cause. It’d be nice, sure, and may even help reinforce their point. But to hold them to it? Again, unrealistic.

    5. LME you are right on this one. This is a very strong analysis. And no, Rken, you aer wrong on this. You might have missed the key argument. In spite of what you said that democrats are trying to limit campaign finance, they aren't. They only complain when it hurts them. They cry and whine about it when they get blasted in Wisconsin, but they dare not say anything about it when obama is winning. I'm not sure, but how have you missed this? They are not trying to cut off money that benefits them. They don't want that at all. if they did, Obama would get smoked. They just want to complain and "try" to reform it when it hurts them. Come on now.

      And yes, this article backs EXACTLY what LME wrote about:

    6. That's why it's incredibly hypocritical.

      Obama DWS and the dems: YOU ONLY WON BECAUSE OF THE MONEY YOU SPENT. WE NEED TO LIMIT THIS!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

      Obama DWS and the dems: come join our fundraisers, our galas with celebrities and our dinners at $38500 a plate.

      If that's not hypocricitcal I don't know what is.

    7. Texas: This is where I would have to politely call for sources on your reasoning/points here. :)

      I have seen countless statements, speeches, articles, and comments from prominent Democrat figures speaking against the power of Super PACs specifically (it was even in the SOTU address). I don't think any of you would disagree with that being the case? And that is the main topic here when it comes to campaign financing.

      Super PACs don't benefit any one party more than the other, but are what is leading the majority of the campaign financing as of late. And this is what Democrats have specifically targeted as part of campaign finance reform; I would have to see sources for any recommendations as to otherwise as this would be the first I’ve heard of them focusing mainly on anything other than Super PACs in particular.

      By that of course, I mean from some kind of a prominent Democrat figure, and not some homeless guy in an occupy wall-street protest saying “no corporate contributions!”

      And, to revert back to the point in my original post, once more as far as unregulated Super PAC spending goes that again is still primarily benefiting Democrats.

    8. Backing up the statement I made previously:

      Of the top 20 PACs by spending listed there from 2009-2010, the totals are:
      - Democrats

      - Republicans

      Essentially, Democrats were able to raise 63% more funds. No question that they benefited more from this area of campaign financing, which is also the area that Democrats are scrutinizing the most.

      I ignored 2012 numbers, as it's obviously skewed towards the GOP due to the exhaustive primary process this year with them keeping amongst each other. We'll have to see how those work out.

  7. Check out this whining and crying defeated liberal bemoaning the "death of democracy" after 2.5 million voters voted.

    Check out Ed Schultz's reaction. Pay attention to the 4:50 mark where he suggests Walker may be indicted. Can anyone say sour grapes? LOL

    Check out some of the "grown up" liberals tweets talking about killing Scott Walker.

    Where is all the civility? Just imagine if ONE conservative acted like this.

    1. Hi Slim,

      I channel surfed LameStreamMedia last night (I just HAD to ; ) and ALL they could talk about was the money spent. Rachael Maddow also hinted about a 'possible indictment' of Walker, but never said what his 'crime' might have been. Shultz cast aspersions about a 'defense fund' that Walker supposedly has.

      (If true, I think it's an intelligent move - given the vicious attacks the left has and will undoubtedly continue to lob at him.)

      Maddow posted a chart of the top ten donators, and lamented that the unions were fourth through sixth on the list. She claimed that if the D's couldn't get this changed, (pretty sure she was talking about CU) that the country was pretty much doomed.

      It's true, a lot of money flowed into WI for this election. Walker supposedly spent 35M and Barrett 3.9M. A couple of things have not been addressed in this conversation.

      1. Walker has been defending his job for almost a year, so it would stand to reason that he'd have spent more money campaigning - again - for a seat he'd already won, but was challenged due to the unions' tantrum tactics.

      2. Barrett ran and won just last month, he had LESS time to raise money... also note that the unions had spent another 5M - backing a DIFFERENT D candidate - who ended up losing to Barret. Was this mentioned at ALL... *crickets*

      and 3. Perhaps - it was NOT JUST 'e-e-evil corporations' doing the donating... maybe some of that money came from 'regular citizens' (like me, from the sticks in NEVADA) who scraped together their pennies and sent it off to Walker's campaign - because we saw this as a VERY important election - going forward NATIONALLY?

      4. OR maybe campaign money had NOTHING to do with the win. Maybe the people of WI woke up and SAW their state moving in the right direction? And maybe they CHOSE NOT to return to the 'same old, same old' cycle of fiscal irresponsibility that they'd labored under for decades?

      I missed the twitchy posts last night. Good Lord! Since when did it become legal - or acceptable - to make threats on the life of a sitting politician... or ANYONE for that matter?

      This goes way beyond simple civility - this is pure barbarianism.

    2. Hello Dara. Good afternoon (for me in TN, good morning for you in NV).

      I believe it is number 4.

      What a contrast we have in Scott Walker and Barack 0bama. Walker inherited a deficit and bad unemployment and improved the situation. All 0bama can do is offer excuses and blame Bush, Europe, tsumnamis, ATM's, and Republicans. Walker has had to deal with Democrats that flee the state and then the three ring circus of union thugs and derelicts.

      Maybe I am a little sadistic or something but I have enjoyed watching the media squirm on this. I knew at lunch time yesterday the Dems were in big trouble. I saw this story at lunch time yesterday:

      This was supposed to be their excuse for low turnout. Then the turnout in Madison (heavily Democrat area) was projected to be between 110% and 119%. Oops, that kind of wipes out the "low turnout" excuse.

      Today they are touting some crap about 0bama leads Romney in WI exit polling by a 51% to 44% margin. Ironically, their same exit polls told them the Walker-Barrett race was 50% to 50%. Walker won by SEVEN. I wonder if they are mixing up the polls. Maybe their exit polling said Walker 51 -44 and the 0bama-Romney at 50-50. Either way it goes, they were off by 7 points and want to boast about a 7 point lead. Looks like a toss up to me. Hopefully they all believe that, it is kind of funny watching them whine and cry hysterically.

      The calls for death and shooting are more than alarming. To answer your question, "Since when did it become legal - or acceptable - to make threats on the life of a sitting politician... or ANYONE for that matter?". Apparently since the New Black Panthers put a bounty on George Zimmerman.

      Have a great day Dara.

    3. "I missed the twitchy posts last night. Good Lord! Since when did it become legal - or acceptable - to make threats on the life of a sitting politician... or ANYONE for that matter?"

      Never is, and it's always incredibly disappointing no matter what side it comes from.

      The lack of respect for the POTUS, regardless of if you agree or disagree with them, is sickening as of late.

      I was particularly upset with Ted Nugent's comments.

    4. RKen, Ted Nugent did NOT threaten to kill 0bama nor did he threaten him in any way shape or form. I am assuming you refer to his comments a month or so ago. Or has he said something else that I am not aware of? I believe his comments back then were, "If 0bama is re-elected I'll be dead or in jail next year", or something to that effect.

      There are comments from people saying they were going to shoot Walker, another said they had already paid for the hit, another said they were going to shoot his family members, I could go on an on.

      What exactly was it that Ted Nugent said that rivals that?

      Also, RKen I looked something up. In 2010 Ron Johnson beat the incumbent Russ Feingold in Wisconsin (for Senator). The challenger (Johnson) spent $14 Million to Feingold's $13 Million. That is pretty even although the challenger did spend a million bucks more. The Democrat lost 52% to 47%. That same year Walker beat Barrett 52% to 46%. Last night it was 53% to 46% (there were 2 independent and 1 libertarian candidates in addition to Walker and Barrett in 2010). I think the money is a by product of the political climate not the vote a by product of the money.

      At the end of the night they were counting VOTES not campaign contributions.

      You know, repealing the 17th Amendment would cure a lot of your issues with campaign finance. At least on 100 politicians. What are your thoughts on that?

    5. I didn't say that Ted Nugent threatened to kill Obama, I just found it incredibly crass, disrespectful, and threatening.

      And, the fact of the matter is, that if you search for it you'll find people making threats against Democrats/Obama just as easily as you will find people doing it for Republicans. It's unacceptable either way; but certainly not isolated to one side.

      To clarify, I'm not on the side of this issue that blames or faults election results on spending. I don't argue with the results of an election, ever, regardless of who spends more.

      But, that doesn't mean that I don't believe the current system is a far cry from perfect. I'd even say broken to an extent.

      As far as the 17th Amendment, I'm not sure I'm following you completely there? The 17th has to do with how Senators are elected; not how campaigns are financed. As far as the amendment itself, I do believe it addressed a real problem, though perhaps not in the best fashion. But that's another debate.

    6. RKen, Sorry I didn't clarify further. Prior to the 17th Amendment Senators were appointed by your state legislature. There wasn't all this campaigning and promising the electorate a bunch of stuff and there wasn't really a need for campaign funds.

      So, if we reverted back to the original intent of the founders there would be no need for them to finance a campaign, at least in the Senate.

      That would also cut down on a lot the grandstanding that goes on in the Senate too, in my opinion. Plus it may get rid of 5 and 6 term (30-36 years) Senators.

    7. Ah, I see your point there slim. I hadn't considered that aspect; good point. I think that could indeed be a potential step in the right direction, though I'd have to give it more thought to feel certain.

      Thanks for clarifying.