I am not going out on a limb when I say that most people voting for Walker are doing so out of a conservative background, family ties, or upbringing. There is a certain segment of the population that would vote for Walker regardless of his failings, because they agree with his pursuits. It’s much like how I would probably vote for Mary Burke regardless of how Walker performed as Governor, because I disagree with his radical conservative agenda. Liberals will turn out for Mary Burke because of their anger over Walker’s controversial policies, and Conservatives will turn out for Walker precisely because of those policies. Duh.
But let us talk about the mythical undecided voter; the independents who value being courted for their claimed fair-mindedness; the swing voters that help create upsets. How will they vote?
It’s the economy stupid. The people who do not vote based on an ideological attachment to a political party will most likely vote by their confidence in the economy. And right now Wisconsin’s economy is sub par. We lost 4,300 private sector jobs in August, roughly maintaining our poor 8 out of 10 rank in the Midwest, or 33rd nationwide. Walker made a campaign promise of creating 250,000 jobs, when we only have about 100,000 since then. His campaign has boasted this as a comeback, but his controversial budgetary cuts and tax breaks he made coming into office were touted as a necessary sacrifice that would bring prosperity and budget surpluses. We bore the sacrifices to our education funding and state services, but without the result we were promised, and a projected $1.8 billion deficit to boot that he is now trying to hide with false numbers. How does anyone with an impartial mind claim to look at this in a positive light? How does one justify this as a step in the right direction, when far less draconian policies in every bordering state have done so much more good?
Walker rejected federal funds consistently on ideological grounds. That included expanding medicaid for 200,000+ residents, 90% covered by the federal government. Also blocked was the $800 million in free funds for high speed rail infrastructure. And frankly this argument being pushed by Walker and Republicans that the federal government might not pay for things in the future is utter nonsense. Why in the hell would you reject no strings attached money that would give a desperately needed injection into the Wisconsin economy? Why would you not use that to fill budget shortfalls? If the money is gone in the future (unlikely), then so be it! But accepting these funds would have done major good. All of this stupidity was down out of conservative principle, but it has done visible harm to Wisconsin’s citizens and economy.
And thats just the economics side of things. Walker has a horrendous environmental protection record as he has relaxed standards to try and expand frack mines to little job gains. Do fair minded independents just not care about the environment?
Walker adopted legislation aimed at restricting women’s reproductive rights by closing Planned Parenthood clinics, including their access to affordable family planning, screenings, and checkups, especially for poorer women, which is literally 99% of the services the agency provides. How are those actions moderate?
The person that is swayed by our dismal progress in Wisconsin government is he or she whom is an ideologically safe conservative. There is no rationale for a so called moderate or independent to vote for Scott Walker on any factual measure, because fair minded people vote on results, not on ideology.
Wisconsin has consistently trended wins for the Democrats in big general elections. This is by tradition and root a liberal state that votes rationally against the Tea Party strand of conservatism that Scott Walker brings. With enough backlash and energy, the Republicans have little hope in statewide general elections when a positive track record is absent from their policies. This state as a whole is sick of the hard lined, uncompromising politics that Walker brings.This race may be a dead heat, but if anyone with half a brain looks at the facts, it shouldn’t be.