Marquette Poll Shows Cieslewicz's Anti-Union Theory Will Kill Dem Candidate in Recall | Wis.Community

Marquette Poll Shows Cieslewicz's Anti-Union Theory Will Kill Dem Candidate in Recall

According to master political scientist and former Madison mayor, Dave Cieslewicz, this recall election is all about the approximately eight percent of undecided voters in the middle and those eight percent have a gag reflex when it comes to public sector unions.  So if you want to win the recall election, Dave's advice is to keep crazy ol' uncle public sector union locked up in the attic until after the electon.

The recent Marquette Law School Polls shows that Dave isn't making an evidence-based argument when he gives his anti-union advice. In fact, not only is his advice way off the mark-- it is so wrongheaded that if Dems follow it, it will actually kill them in the recall election.

According to the poll, a majority of Wisconsites have a favorable view of public sector unions and only 39.7% have an unfavorable view. An overwhealming majority also support having a special session to restore collective bargaining rights to public sector unions.

More importantly, the poll says that in match-up with Walker, 81.2% of Barrett voters have a favorable view of public sector unions and only 11.9% have an unfavorable view and Walker's total are the mirror opposite: 14.9% favorable versus 83% unfavorable. 

In other words, Walker's camp is overwhealming anti-union and Barrett's camp is overwhealmingly pro-union, which is going a long way toward giving Barrett 47.2% of the overall vote, versus 45.7% for Walker-- giving Barrett a narrow 1.5% margin.

So, as it stands now, 7.2% are up for grabs.  Here's what we know abou these handful of uncommitted voters that are up for grabs:

24% have a favorable view of public sector unions

28% have an unfavorable view of public sector unions

48% have neither a favorable or unfavorable view of public sector union

In other words, about 3/4 of undecided voters either don't have a swayable opinion on public sector unions or they favor public sector unions.  The other side of that coin is that about 3/4 of undecided voters either don't have a swayable opinion on public sector union or don't favor public sector unions.

While some would look at that data and argue that we shouln't put any eggs in the union basket, because a majority don't care or don't like public sector unions, that would be a sure-fire recipe for defeat.

Here's why:  Barrett has a narrow, 1.5% lead and nearly all of his supporters have a favorable view of public sector unions.  You may lose approximately a quarter of the undecided voters by tying-in collective bargaining rights into your key talking points, but you also stand to pick up a quarter and thee rest of the undecideds don't have swayable opinions on unions, so it doesn't really matter. More importantly, though, by including collective bargaining in your message you are keeping voters you already have in your camp on your side and motivated to go out and vote. 

Some will argue that talking about collective bargaining too much will fire up Walker's base too much. It will, but it will also fire up our base.

What Cieslewicz is doing is assuming that since Walker is attacking the Democrats for being beholden to "big government union bosses" that government unions must be bad. That's not it. The reason why Walker is constantly talking about public sector unions is because he is trying to fire up his own base and trying to persuade those that don't have an opinion about public sector unions to have a negative opinion of public sector unions.

The answer, therefore, is not to talk about public sector unions. That's the exact opposite of what we should do, because it will allow Walker to define public sector unions to those in the middle that don't have a strong opinion formed. 

If Walker is allowed to fire up his base define public sector unions to those in the middle, we most certainly lose. But, if we fire up our own base and simultaneously define public sector unions to those in the middle, we have the best chance of winning.

Published

May 5, 2012 - 10:50am

Author

randomness