Candidates, stop campaigning! Poll says you're going backwards | Wis.Community

Candidates, stop campaigning! Poll says you're going backwards

After months of trashing the Rasmussen Reports polls, what a surprise to find that they look pretty credible compared with the latest one from the University of Wisconsin survey center.

Judging from those numbers, pretty much all of the campaigning anyone has done up until now has been a waste of time and money. Three and a half months before the general election, they say, no one knows who's running, and if they do know they don't care.

A dozen previous polls in the governor's race, summarized on, have had Democrat Tom Barrett somewhere between 34 and 46 per cent of the vote, with Republicans Scott Walker and Mark Neumann in a range between 34 and 49. (One from St. Norbert College had Barrett lower, but it's an outlier -- or it was until the UW effort came along.) 

The UW poll would have us believe that Barrett has 15 per cent of the vote, while 32 per cent say they'd vote for a Republican (no one asked them which one.)

In the Senate race, they say Russ Feingold leads Ron Johnson 25-19. Four previous polls have had both candidates in the mid-to-high 40s.

This isn't really worth taking any more time to debunk. It was conducted over a month's time, and only 300 likely voters were interviewed, for starters. It simply is not credible. But it was on the Journal Sentinel website this morning and no doubt will spread.

What's missing here is any kind of reality check.  How could someone release a survey which is so far off from everything else that's been done?  Are people supposed to believe this is right, and all of the others are wrong?  The odds against that being true are a lot higher than any margin of error in this poll.

If you believe Tom Barrett, after months of campaigning, has 15 per cent of the vote, please email me about a bet on the election. I assume you'll be willing to give a big point spread.


July 15, 2010 - 3:11pm