Polling Evidence Doesn't Support Cieslewicz's 'Swing Voters Hate Public Sector Unions' Theory | WisCommunity

Polling Evidence Doesn't Support Cieslewicz's 'Swing Voters Hate Public Sector Unions' Theory

According to former Madison Mayor Dave Cieslewicz, Tom Barrett is the best candidate for one main reason:  The public perception is that Kathleen Falk is the ventriloquist's dummy of the "big government unions" and the eight percent undecided swing voters (who Cieslewicz refers to as "independents") have sooooo much distaste for public sector unions that they will tip the toss-up election in Walker's favor if Falk is the nominee.

The only problem with Dave's theory is that its not based on anything but his own conjecture.

First, let's look at who makes up the "undecided" swing vote in this election. Cieslewicz incorrectly assumes that pro-Walker contingent is all Republican and the anti-Walker is all Democratic and the people in the middle are all independents.  According to the most recent Marquette law school poll, however, the breakdown of the undecided voters actually goes like this:

24% Republicans

50% Independents

26% Democrats

For sure, independents are the largest group among the undecideds, but they are only half of the undecided voters. The other half is almost exactly split been Dems and Republicans.

Next, in order to make Cieslewicz theory work, we must presume that all the undecided voters will be "one issue voters," and will be voting mostly on their opinion of public sector unions-- an absurd posit. But, for the sake of argument, let's humor Dave and go down that road.  

I contacted Charles Franklin and he said that the universe of undecideds is too small to glean cross tabs, but we can gain some degree of insight of how Republicans, Independents and Dems answered about their view of public sector unions (favororable/ don't know / unfavorable):

Republicans:    14% / 18% / 71%

Independents: 40% / 16% / 44%

Democrats:      67% / 18% /15%

And here is the breakdown of favorability of public sector unions among conservatives/moderates/liberals universe (favorable/ don't know/ unfavorable):

Very Conservative 14% / 13% / 73%

Conservative        20% / 15% / 65%

Moderate             48% / 18% / 34%

Liberal                 75% / 11% / 14%

Very Liberal          73% / 24% /  3%

ALL VOTERS:      41.2% /17.2% /41.5%


Clearly, there is no evidence to support Cieslewicz's theory that independents or moderates will have a gag reflex at the very mentions of public sector unions-- in fact, the evidence is that a majority of moderates and independents either have a favorable view of public sector unions or have no opinion, meaning that the notion that Kathleen Falk is somehow damaged goods because she's being backed by unions is completly absurd.

Cieslewicz is a classic "Let the GOP Frame the Debate" Democrat that wrings their hands over anything the Right spews out: Because Walker is saying that being associated with public sector unions is a bad thing, it must be a bad thing. He fails to understand that the reason why Walker is spending truckloads of money trying to paint unions as the bad guys is because he can't win the recall election without framing the argument that way and driving-up the negatives on unions.

What Cieslewicz is essentially suggesting-- locking away our crazy aunt public sector union up in the attic until the company leaves-- is exactly what Walker wants us to do, because it allows him to frame the debate of what this recall is about!

News flash:  Everybody in Wisconsin knows why we're having a recall election.  This notion of trying to change what this recall is about is absurd-- because we couldn't change it, even if wanted to change it.  Walker certainly understands this and that's exactly why he's bashing the unions.



April 15, 2012 - 3:48pm