Wednesday, September 28th, 2016

Some of you have already voted

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Many of you have already heard about the PPP poll in Wisconsin released on Thursday for the US Senate race and for the race for governor.  According to the poll, both Ron Johnson and Scott Walker lead their Democratic opponents 53-44.  Interestingly, the poll shows that a number of you have already voted, and you’re voting Republican.

PPP reports that 13% of those surveyed have already voted.  By comparison, Senator John Cornyn of Texas reported that by this morning 15% of Texas registered voters had voted early, too.  So given when the PPP poll stopped, we’re probably a little bit ahead in our voting.  Not surprising given Wisconsin’s reputation as a somewhat higher turnout percentage state.

According to the PPP poll report, of those that voted early, 54% said they voted for Johnson, and 55% said they voted for Walker.  These are votes “already in the bank” for the candidates, meaning Democrats would need to get more out with their GOTV efforts on election day.  It also means the crucial enthusiasm gap is already showing in ballots cast.  And obviously because these votes are already cast, it’s not like some last-minute campaign development will cause these voters to change their minds.

It’s probably prudent not to read too much into these early voting numbers, as Nate Silver points out for the New York Times, but for Wisconsin Republicans it’s definitely better to be on the positive side of the numbers rather than the negative side.

By the way, here’s an early indicator on the race for Milwaukee mayor.  Tom Barrett’s approval rating among African Americans is at 77%, and that’s in a race against a Republican white guy from the ‘burbs.  Some of my Democratic friends are going to have to tell me if that’s a troubling number going into a race against African American Common Council President Willie Hines.

(My final race predictions will appear Monday morning.)

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