Friday, November 10, 2006

Sensenbrenner, SpiceBoys, Correct

On Wednesday morning Charlie Sykes interviewed Jim Sensenbrenner, who is an astute politician as well as an excellent representative of his District. This occurred while I was taking my sick new computer to the computer-hospital (drat you, SBC.)

And Sensenbrenner said, out loud, that 'putting the Gay Marriage and Death Penalty referendums on the November ballot contributed to the defeat of a number of Republican candidates.'

Almost drove off the road, computer and all...

The SpiceBoys got the same quote.

Get the proposed same-sex marriage constitutional amendment on the November ballot to drive up the Republican vote while driving Democrats out of office.

"The timing ended up backfiring," said U.S. Rep. Jim Sensenbrenner, a Menomonee Falls Republican. "I think the opposite worked out this time."

So happens a couple of Little Birdies from the Legislature told me that they REALLY wanted the Gay Marriage and DP questions on a Spring or early-Fall ballot--separated from the general election. Both those Little Birdies are conservative stalwarts.

In what can only be called a Delicious Irony, the Pubbie Pol responsible for forcing these items onto the November ballot was none other than:

John Gard.

The very same John Gard who fought to keep Taxation Without Representation gas-taxes. The very same John Gard who had his ass handed to him by a political novice (and a not-too-bright one, at that.)

Other VERY interesting material from the SpiceBoys:

Before the election, [Republican] data concluded that Green needed 940,000 votes to unseat Doyle. In the end, Green topped that goal by 36,000 votes, yet he will soon be out of work.
"Usually, if you exceed your vote goal," said Republican Party executive director Rick Wiley, "you win."


So much for conventional wisdom.

The turnout was most impressive on college campuses.

Wiley said he witnessed this firsthand at UW-Milwaukee on election day. Some 30 UWM students waited in line to register to vote while he was there, he said, and more than 1,000 ended up signing up to cast ballots Tuesday.

According to the left-leaning Wisconsin Public Interest Research Group, 16,837 people voted this week in the 10 wards in and around the UW-Madison campus, compared with 10,140 in the same wards in 2002 - a whopping 66% increase.

Here's something that I can personally confirm, at least anecdotally:

By putting the same-sex marriage and death penalty measures on the same ballot, Sensenbrenner said, Republican leaders in the Legislature ended up drawing the wrong type of voter to the polls - Democrats, especially conservative ones. Those people voted for the ballot proposals but against Republican candidates.

His proof: About 275,000 people cast ballots for the ban on same-sex marriages but not for Green.

I was a poll-watcher in a north-central Waukesha County district. My job was to keep track of "our" voters--the reliable Republican/conservatives--so that if they had NOT voted, the Party could call 'em up and get them out to vote.

In this district, there were 1300 eligible voters. By 6:15PM, the District had well over 800 electors cast votes, a rate of 64%. But only 50% of the people on our 'list' had showed up to vote.

In other words, the "turnout" which defeated Gay Marriage was NOT just the "turnout" which elects Republicans. They elect Democrats, too.

I'm sure that Mark Green will meet John Gard in a coffeeshop in the next few weeks--after all, neither of them has a lot to do--

It should be a very strained conversation.

1 comment:

M.Z. Forrest said...

It wasn't you, but someone on a forum we were both on said Green would easily carry the valley. Green managed to win Brown County by 2K, and Outagamie County went for Doyle by 2K. The picture was actually a lot worse than it initially appears.
These are all the counties that Green won by at least 3K votes:
Dodge (4k)
FDL (5k)
Ozaukee (10k)
Sheboygan (4k)
Walworth (5k)
Washington (18k)
Waukesha (51k)

For those keeping score at home, we were only able to net up 97K votes in our best counties. The dems were net up 91K in Dane county alone.