May 8, 2012

Anti-Walkerites will have a tough time celebrating a Falk victory.

UW-Milwaukee political scientist Mordecai Lee expects 95% of Republicans voters to cross over in today's recall primary and vote for one of the Democrats — most likely Kathleen Falk, who stands to the left of her Democratic opponent Tom Barrett, because she polls much worse against Scott Walker. But Barrett has been so far ahead of Falk in recent polls, that if Falk wins, it should be interpreted as a victory for Scott Walker, even though Falk has campaigned as an embodiment of the values of the anti-Scott Walker protests.

Ironically, the anti-Walkerites might need to protest.

72 comments:

AJ Lynch said...

Open primaries are dumb.

Douglas2 said...

What happened to the other guy who was running for the spot in the Republican primary?

David said...

So is Mordecai Lee the only political scientist in Wisconsin that has views on this stuff? Why is he quoted so often?

Mitchell said...

The pending rape of Kathleen Falk.

purplepenquin said...

95% of Republicans voters to cross over in today's recall primary

If that really happens, then the election next month will be Falk vs. Kohl-Riggs.

Would Walker then launch a write-in campaign? I reckon he has plenty of funds to do so, but I ain't convinced it is a good strategy to take a dive in the primary in order have a write-in against a perceived weaker opponent for the general.

Original Mike said...

Given the monopoly held by political parties, open primaries are essential.

I decided at the last minute to vote for Falk. Hope I don't come to regret it.

James said...

Mordecai Lee is overestimating badly. If 95 percent of Republicans cross over, Kohl-Riggs would stand a great chance of defeating Walker and Republicans wouldn't allow that to happen.

That said, I voted for Falk for Governor, Issac Weix for Lieutenant Governor, and Tamra Varebrook for State Senate.

traditionalguy said...

Who first said politics makes for strange bedfellows?

Now Falk and Walker are getting into bed together to make Barrett the odd man out.

Then the glass ceiling will suddenly heal itself with Koch glue.

I am starting to get really worried about Garage. Oh well, he has his brown lab to love him.

Curious George said...

No way that 95% of Republicans cross over...won't even be half of that.

Mordecai Lee is an idiot. A partisan idiot.

Pastafarian said...

I don't understand. Doesn't Walker face a primary too? If 95% of Republicans vote in the Democrat primary, won't Walker lose his primary, if just 6% of Democrats cross over to vote against him?

Is this misinformation, deliberately planted to make a large number of Republicans vote in the Dem primary? Or am I paranoid?

Bob Ellison said...

What AJ Lynch said.

TosaGuy said...

I suspect few will cross over to vote for Falk. The gap between Barrett and Falk is large enough that GOP voters are not as inclined to participate in shenanigans.

Bushman of the Kohlrabi said...

I considered crossing over but:

a.) Falk is so far behind that it won't matter.

b.) I'm not so sure Barrett would really be the stronger candidate than Falk in the final race.

c.) Should Barrett win, he is unlikely to make more than a half-heated attempt to get collective bargaining reinstated.

Michael Haz said...

Ninety-five percent?

Because Mordechai Lee self-describes as "UWM professor and political expert Mordechi Lee" reporters take at face value the nonsensical pronouncements he routinely makes, which are almost always wrong.

Dan from Madison said...

The fake Republican on the ballot is definitely costing Falk this primary. If there was no Republican challenger there would be tons of crossover for Falk. As is, the R's have to stand pat and vote for Walker to avoid Riggs winning.

roesch/voltaire said...

Be careful think of all the folks who might cross over and vote for Riggs!

Original Mike said...

"Be careful think of all the folks who might cross over and vote for Riggs!"

Unlikely, given that there is a real race on the Democrat side.

Rob said...

In the event she wins, would you say Barrett has been Falked?

EMD said...

If Democrats were smart, they would cross over to the tune of 95% and try to beat Walker in the primary.

Then run either Falk or Barrett against Abe Lincoln, Jr.

Paul said...

Well if the Republicans do as he says, then what goes around.... comes around.

Dems cross over all the time to torpedo Republicans in primaries, so turnabout is fair play.

alan markus said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
alan markus said...

95% sounds way too high, especially since there has been no organized effort to do this, and some conservative blogs/talk radio have been saying not to do it - that it's important to go out and vote for Walker.

Someone trying to rationalize away a Barrett loss? i.e, "it was because of Republicans playing havoc with the election process"

MadisonMan said...

It won't happen, but Walker losing in the Primary because of crossover voting would be hilarious, IMO.

How effective could a write-in candidacy be with just a month to go? At least his name is 'Scott Walker' -- pretty easy to vote. What if it were Scott Lautenschlager?

chickenlittle said...

EMD said...
If Democrats were smart, they would cross over to the tune of 95% and try to beat Walker in the primary.

That would be sadly hilarious--every voter trying out disingenuous manipulation.

Synova said...

Being able to vote in the other party's primary is the most gawd aweful STUPID thing that the "democracy uber alles" people have ever brought to pass.

Idiots.

All of them.

And when the same impulses push for breaking up state electoral votes or for using the popular vote and doing away with the electoral, all the rest of the idiots should think about that a bit and say run them out of town.

AllieOop said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
AllieOop said...

I agree with Madison Man, it would be funny as hell if Kohl-Riggs won. I can Imagine the headlines, hehe. We live in interesting, but strange times,

Synova said...

You know what it is? It's people who want the moral self-righteousness of calling themselves an "Independent", totally above the fray and the dirty coarseness of politics, hate the idea of being left out of that muck and dirt. So they want to have their cake and eat it too.

I'm registered with a third party, and that's my choice. I don't get to vote in primaries. I get to watch while the Dems and Republicans, with their dominance, run their circuses to figure out who will be their candidates. When I decide I can't live with that any more I'll register as one or the other.

Deciding that I ought to have it both ways, to me, is a violation of personal integrity. Like making my stand, politically, without having to pay for making that stand.

And so I watch the circuses turn into farce as a stupid system of people trying to do good, is corrupted, on purpose, by people from the other party who are trying to do evil.

Bravo!

alan markus said...

Kohls-Riggs had a hard time coming up with 2000 names for his nomination paper. I would love to see those signatures cross-checked against the recall petition signatures. I wouldn't be surprised if he doesn't get 2000 votes in Dane County, let alone statewide.

Synova said...

"I agree with Madison Man, it would be funny as hell if Kohl-Riggs won. I can Imagine the headlines, hehe. We live in interesting, but strange times,"

Would it still be funny if Kohl-Riggs was your next governor?

Original Mike said...

"I'm registered with a third party, and that's my choice."

Bully for you.

AllieOop said...

Synova, he wouldn't be. He would probably endorse his opponent, now how funny would THAT be?

Synova said...

Original Mike, I'm not saying it's a smart thing to do. I'm saying that people ought to pick a party, or *not* pick a party, and then pay for their choice either way.

If the cost is too high for them, they should make a different choice.

But feeling that one should be able to have voting rights in an organization they've got no "skin" invested in, is wrong.

And we're seeing why it's wrong. It opens the doors to the vandals. We've got a hard enough time trying to get the most qualified person or even an *adequately* qualified person on the ballot...

... imagine an America where every state has open primaries, one party has an incumbant President so they don't run *any* primaries, and ALL of those voters cross-over and vote for Ron Paul.

Original Mike said...

No, Synova, what you're saying is "[I] want the moral self-righteousness of calling [myself] an "Independent""

bagoh20 said...

This is Fen's law on steroids. The recallers hate their own champion - the one most like themselves.

Then again, the right just picked Romney.

Original Mike said...

If a party wants a closed primary, they can damn well pay for it themselves. As long as my tax dollars are funding the election, I want a say.

Synova said...

"Synova, he wouldn't be. He would probably endorse his opponent, now how funny would THAT be?"

Well, sure.

Wisconsin being a national laughing stock would be hysterical.

Synova said...

OM, I'm not an "independent". I'm registered with a national party.

All it's gotten me so far, though, is election season spam from Democrats.

And I will agree with you 100% that EVERY party should fund it's own primaries. And if they want to decide who runs for their party in a smokey back-room then they should have every right to do so. There's no reason at all for so much as over-sight when a party is picking it's own candidates.

Stupid waste and governmental intrusion.

AllieOop said...

Whatever Synova,
If you don't like our politics, then don't involve yourself in them. This is Wisconsin, we do things our way, strange as it may be, but it's our state and we love it.

Original Mike said...

"OM, I'm not an "independent". I'm registered with a national party."

I guess you didn't notice. I was quoting you.

Original Mike said...

Maybe this will be more clear:

No, Synova, what you're saying is "[OM] want the moral self-righteousness of calling [himself] an "Independent""

Synova said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Thorley Winston said...

We have open primaries in Minnesota but I’ve never crossed over even when my party’s candidate had no serious primary challenger. Part of it is that I think that crossover voting is unfair and that the people who actually support a particular party should be able to pick who they want to be their candidate without this sort of shenanigans. The other part is that there is always the chance that I may vote for a candidate in the other party’s primary who I think is less electable against my real candidate but who goes on to win the general election and gets to govern.

Oh and I second the call for having political parties pick up the cost for the own primaries. And while we’re at it, federal taxpayers should not be picking up the cost of national conventions nor should federal or state taxpayers be paying for the cost of additional staff for any leadership position that has the words “Majority Party” or “Minority Party” in the title which is IMO another taxpayer subsidy for political parties.

AJ Lynch said...

OM- I am OK with having the organized parties pay the cost of the primary elections.

Synova said...

Oh, ok, I see.

And I can see wanting a "say" if your tax money is paying for something. This is a sentiment I have a lot of sympathy for.

But whatever the motivation of changing the rules (or deciding on tax funding to start with) I just can't see anyone looking at the shenanigans and nodding sagely and saying, "Yes, this works well."

James said...

Here's the thing some folks seem to be missing; there's no requirement to identify with a political party when registering to vote. Absent that requirement, no one really "crosses over" in Wisconsin.

Curious George said...

"AllieOop said...
Whatever Synova,
If you don't like our politics, then don't involve yourself in them. This is Wisconsin, we do things our way, strange as it may be, but it's our state and we love it."

Please don't use "we" when referring to WI when you are simply expressing your opinion. You are an idiot. Not all of us our.

sk said...

You are an idiot. Not all of us our.

We all are, in some fashion...

chickenlittle said...

@sk: Don't interject levity into serious threads!

LOL!

Original Mike said...

"I just can't see anyone looking at the shenanigans and nodding sagely and saying, "Yes, this works well.""

That's because you look at it from the perspective of the parties. I look at it from the perspective of a citizen. I see nothing wrong with strategic voting designed to maximize the chance of who I think would be best for the state/county, irrespective of party affiliation.

teriobrien said...

Hey there Althouse,
From one attorney to another, let me tell you how much I like your blog. I like it so much that it is "Blog of the Day" at teriobrien.com

I'll be watching what's going on behind the Cheddar curtain as Scott Walker's recall election approaches, so keep up the great work.

teriobrien said...

Hey there Althouse,
From one attorney to another, let me tell you how much I like your blog. I like it so much that it is "Blog of the Day" at teriobrien.com

I'll be watching what's going on behind the Cheddar curtain as Scott Walker's recall election approaches, so keep up the great work.

teriobrien said...

Hey there Althouse,
From one attorney to another, let me tell you how much I like your blog. I like it so much that it is "Blog of the Day" at teriobrien.com

I'll be watching what's going on behind the Cheddar curtain as Scott Walker's recall election approaches, so keep up the great work.

Scott M said...

I like it so much that it is "Blog of the Day" at teriobrien.com

It's so good, apparently, it's three times dope.

Synova said...

How does that work, OM?

How does strategizing to get the weakest candidate (Obama) on the ballot help the country?

I have always had a visceral reaction against Hillary, but from from my perspective she was a better candidate, better known and unlikely to make mistakes out of ignorance. I may be politically opposed to just about anything and everything the Democrats come up with, but if I have to put up with it all for a term or two *anyway* isn't it better that I put up with the person on their side that is actually best?

I don't know that these cross-over shenanigans cost her the state primaries that would have put her over, or given her the momentum she'd have needed or not. But it *could* have.

And I think my hypothetical about Ron Paul is sound. If all the states had open primaries, and given a primary season that excluded an incumbent president, why would not *all* of the voters without their own primary vote the other side in support of the incumbent? Could that not put someone like Ron Paul in possession of the Republican nomination?

It's bad enough that everyone is already second-guessing "who can win" over "who I like the best". Stick in a system where voting for the fringe candidate running for the other party (or an outright ringer) is normal, and how does that result in anything like "the best candidate?"

Explain the process, because I'm missing it.

Original Mike said...

How does strategizing to get the weakest candidate (Obama) on the ballot help the country?

Let's stick with the Wisconsin recall. If I think Walker is the best candidate, then it makes sense for me to vote for Falk, so that Walker has a weaker opponent in the recall election. I see absolutely nothing wrong with this. I owe nothing to either party. My loyalties are to the State.

Scott M said...

My loyalties are to the State.

Fascist.

Synova said...

The thing is, you can't just stick with Wisconsin.

If the majority of people think that it's more *fair* to have open primaries what we'll be dealing with is a morphing of the entire process on a national level.

Just like how a few states have passed laws dividing up their electoral college votes because the rank and file find the whole concept incomprehensible and anti-democratic. It can't be "just Colorado" in the end. It's a change in the national political landscape that will change the foundations, the deep currents, not just some little fluff floating up top in Wisconsin.

AJ Lynch said...

Synova:

OM is suggesting he should have the freedom to choose which party's primary he will cast a vote. And yes, it could be construed as just mischievousness or ,as someone called it, vandalism. IOW, OM wants to view the field of both parties and decide if he wants to improve the chances of a Dem or a Repub candidate. The problem is this bug or feature [OM is an engineer and altruistic so he would say feature], let's malevolent voters screw with the outcome of a party for which they would never vote in a general election. This is my two cents.

Synova said...

There is a danger to "these rules are in my favor, so I support them" in that when rules change they apply to everyone else, too.

And what might help you today, could hurt you badly tomorrow. The rules that are actually in your favor in the long term may make things more difficult today.

Deliberately limiting the scope of consideration to only the short term benefit is sort of like sticking your fingers in your ears and going "la la la la la la."

Synova said...

And I'd think that an engineer would be intimate to the point of sleeping-with the concept of "what are all the ways in which this can potentially f*ck me over."

Original Mike said...

"Fascist."

Yeah. I kinda threw up a little when I wrote that. Best I could do in a hurry.

I gotta run. I'll look at your other hypotheticals this evening, Synova. But AJ expresses my opinion well:

"OM wants to view the field of both parties and decide if he wants to improve the chances of a Dem or a Repub candidate."

Exactly.

"The problem is this bug or feature [OM is an engineer and altruistic so he would say feature], let's malevolent voters screw with the outcome of a party for which they would never vote in a general election."

My initial reaction is, "So what?" But, maybe we don't let registered party voters cross-over. That would address that problem.

Original Mike said...

"There is a danger to "these rules are in my favor, so I support them""

What? "What is in my favor" has nothing to do with it. My (and everybody else's) right to vote is the heart of the issue.

I think you have a problem with democracy.

Pragmatist said...

So Walker cannot win unless the Republicans rig the Democratic primary???I thought he would run away with it regardless of who is running against him.

Synova said...

"I think you have a problem with democracy."

I do.

Democracy is two wolves and a rabbit voting on who is going to be supper.

This is why we have a Republic.

If we can keep it.

Synova said...

We've had at least two if not more generations of "civics" instruction that is no more challenging than "democracy=good".

Why have primaries at all? Or term limits? Or a constitution? Lets just all vote the "will of the people" for however long those in power can hold off the violent revolution. Democracy, you know.

Like they've got in Venezuela.

Obama could be our president FOREVER. Wouldn't that be wonderful? So long as he keeps getting elected it's the will of the people. Majority rule. Term limits are VIOLENTLY anti-democratic.

Yes, I have a *problem* with democracy.

Kirk Parker said...

But Original Mike, you're not just any old citizen, you're a citizen who wants to use the coercive power of the state to destroy the free association rights of others.

Now, on your other point, I'm 100% with you. Not a single penny of tax money should be spent on any political party's nominating process.

MadisonMan said...

Would it still be funny if Kohl-Riggs was your next governor?

I don't see how AK-R could do worse than an average politician.

It's admittedly a very low bar.

Danno said...

I don't know why some of you folks are whining about open primaries. The biggest problem in Wisconsin voting is your stupid recall rules where one doesn't even have to violate the law to be recalled.

chickenlittle said...

Yes, I have a *problem* with democracy.

Lots of people are having problems with democracy lately. The result?Another flirtation with dictatorship (benevolent and malevolent) like in the 1930s.

Having these permanent campaigns and elections? Worsens things. Eventually people get fed up...fed up with people who won't stop whining.

/Carol_Herman

EMD said...

Synova shoud clarify she has a problem with direct democracy.

Synova said...

Heh, should I?

Because no one would say I had a "problem" with democracy from what I said unless direct-democracy was, in fact, the definition being used to start. So if there is some other definition of "democracy" that includes "limited", "representational", or "within the protections for individuals provided by a constitution," that everyone else *means* when they use the word, it's certainly not apparent to me.

I don't know why I ought to carry the burden of clarity while the "democracy=good" people can go on being as lazy and intellectually weak as they like and act like they're super smart because, well, DUH, "democracy=good" and someone saying otherwise is shocking, like advocating eating babies or something.

Democracy is not automatically good. Most of what we do, and must do, to obtain and retain freedom is about restraining the will of the majority, which is every bit as tyrannical as a strong-man, king, oligarchy, or dictator. Democracy as a *thing* does not guard or guarantee liberty, it displaces the king, nothing else. It does us no good to throw out those oppressive rulers just to hand over power to the mob.

The most important thing, the *singularly* important thing, is making it safe to lose an election.

So we have a Republic.

We have a Constitution and Bill of Rights.

We have a number of governmental structures designed to smooth the will of the people, to mute the excesses of the majority, and balance the interests of people with vastly different lives, wants, and understandings.

And those structures are assailed on the basis of not being democratic enough by people who think no more deeply than "democracy=good."