(WSAU) The standard lines are: Walker holds a small lead, voter turn-out is key. Agreed.
So, imagine Tom Barrett wins. The take away would be that democrats had a better ground-game and did a better job getting their supporters to the polls. But that wouldn’t be the lesson I’d come away with.
I’d think that polling – which we devote a lot of news coverage to – is junk.
Every independent poll shows Scott Walker leading. Some give him a lead that’s just outside the margin-of-error, some are just within the margin. Most of these polls ask screening questions, ‘are you a registered voter?’ or ‘are you likely to vote in the recall?’ New voters and early voters are part of the calculation.
There are no polls – anywhere – that show Tom Barrett ahead. Even his own internal polls, which show a tighter race, have Scott Walker in front. Those internal polls are an interesting tightrope walk. On the one hand, a party pollster must deliver results that their client can embrace. No, the numbers are not fundamentally cooked. It’s more likely that a more-favorable sample is used, perhaps younger voters from southeastern Wisconsin. But even a private polling firm employed by democrat groups can’t risk the credibility of their company by showing the wrong candidate winning.
People are forgetting something about polls that show the race ‘within the margin of error’. A poll that shows a 52-49 race with a three-percent margin of error could, in reality, be 49-52 the other way. But the race could also be 55-46. The margin-of-error could also indicate the race is further apart that the poll indicates.
If every poll gives a result that’s incorrect – which would be the case if Tom Barrett pulls out a victory on Tuesday – then newspapers, televisions, internet pundits, and radio broadcasters have spent an awful lot of time and attention on a weathervane that points in the wrong direction.
Operations Manager,Midwest Communications-Wausau