20 Aug 2014
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Political Insiders Feeling Good About Their Candidates

In final Patch survey of influencers, Republicans predict a close race in Wisconsin, while Democrats seem sure of Obama’s victory here.

Political Insiders Feeling Good About Their Candidates Political Insiders Feeling Good About Their Candidates Political Insiders Feeling Good About Their Candidates Political Insiders Feeling Good About Their Candidates Political Insiders Feeling Good About Their Candidates Political Insiders Feeling Good About Their Candidates

Perhaps unsurprisingly, Patch’s final survey of Wisconsin political insiders reveals that party influencers believe the presidential candidates they support will previal in Wisconsin and nationwide in Tuesday's election.

However, Democrats insiders seem a bit more confident that President Barack Obama will take Wisconsin, while Republicans are projecting a close race with Mitt Romney ultimately winning, with many saying polls that show Obama in the lead will be proven wrong.

As it has throughout the campaign, Patch sent its "Blue Wisconsin" and "Red Wisconsin" surveys to more than 150 activists and insiders of both parties, and 60 and 40 Democrats participated in this survey.

Most Republican insiders — 70 percent — predicted that Romney will win Wisconsin. Fifteen percent of GOP respondents said Obama would win Tuesday. When it comes to who will win the election, 88 percent picked Romney.

“For the first time in history, the conservative base is organized, not merely motivated. I expect similar returns and turnout as 2008, but in Romney’s favor this time,” wrote one Republican insider.

Republicans call for a close race here

Republican respondents predict a close race in Wisconsin, with one-third saying Romney will carry Wisconsin by less than 3 percentage points and 13 percent saying the race was too close to call. Twenty-eight percent of those surveyed said Romney will win Wisconsin by 3 to 5 percentage points, while 10 percent believe he'll take the state by more than 5 points.

Nine Republicans, or 15 percent, said they think Obama will win Wisconsin and three people, or 5 percent, think he will win the national popular vote.

Poll predictions doubted

Republican insiders said they were skeptical of recent polls that show Obama in the lead, saying that Republican energy and turnout for the election is being underestimated, nationally and Wisconsin. Of 21 polls taken in Wisconsin since September, Obama has led in 19 of them, while two have shown the two candidates tied.

In Wisconsin, because of their success in the recall election, “Republicans will be out in droves – they are motivated and they smell success,” wrote one Republican respondent.

“The Republicans will win larger percentages than the talking heads are forecasting. This is because the Republicans are much more enthusiastic than the Democrats,” another insider said.

Democrats convinced of Obama’s success

Democratic respondents are a bit more confident their candidate will prevail in Wisconsin, according to Patch's survey results.

Among Democrats, 95 percent said they think Obama will win Wisconsin and only two, or 5 percent, said the race was too close to call.

The majority of Democrats, 78 percent,  responded that they thought Obama would win Wisconsin by 3 or more percentage points, and 18 percent seeing Obama winning by 5 points or more.

“In every presidential election since the landslide of 1984, Wisconsin has voted Democratic and this year shall be no different,” wrote one Democrat.

For the national popular vote, Democrats aren’t as certain.

Although 92 percent predict Obama will win the national popular vote, they predict a closer race: 37 percent, predict that Obama will win the national popular vote by less than 3 percentage points, while 53 percent think Obama will win by 3 or more points.

Other survey results also broke down along party lines:

  • 93 percent of Democrats said Obama had the better "ground game" during the campaign, while 93 percent of Republicans said it was Romney.
  • 73 percent of Democrats said Obama had run a better advertising campaign, while 60 percent of Republicans said the same of Romney.
  • When asked what was most key to winning Wisconsin, 70 of Democrats said it was turning out the Democratic base; 30 percent said it was convicting undecided voters to vote for Obama.
  • When Republicans were asked the same question, 60 percent turning out the GOP base was most important, and 40 percent said convincing undecideds to vote for Romney.

Tammy vs. Tommy

The Patch survey also asked the insiders about the close U.S. Senate race between U.S. Rep. Tammy Baldwin and former Gov. Tommy Thompson.

Among Democrats, 88 percent predicted Baldwin would win, with 12 percent saying the race was too close to call. The results were almost identical on the other side, witih 87 percent of Republicans saying Thompson would take the race, and 10 pecent saying it was too close to call. Three percent (two people) predicted a Baldwin victory.

Eighty percent of the Democrats surveyed said the turnout in the presidential race will result in more votes for Baldwin, while 42 percent said it would benefit Thompson.

Some common ground

Despite their differences, Patch’s political insiders may have found common ground on two points about this election.

Respondents on both sides of the aisle predict a delay in finding out definitive results for the election.

“Odds are that we still won’t know who the president will be on Wednesday morning,” wrote one Republican polled.

“Likely we won’t know the final presidential results for some time,” wrote a Democratic respondent.

Also, whatever political differences divide them, Republican and Democrats alike are looking forward to the end of an end to what they called an exhausting and negative election cycle.

“I’ll be glad when it’s over. I’m exhausted,” wrote one respondent.

“Hallelujah and pass the gin! I’ve lived through another one,” wrote another.

Patch's Red Wisconsin Survey participants are:

Jim  Bender, president of School Choice Wisconsin, former chief of staff for Assembly Republican Leader Jeff Fitzgerald; Bill Berdan, first vice chairman, Wauwatosa Republicans; Keith  Best, public relations chairman for Waukesha County Republicans;  Bob Bradley, party activist; Charles Brey, field director for state Assembly candidate Tracy Herron; Tracy Brodd, Republican campaign worker; Paul  Bucher, former Waukesha County district attorney and candidate for Wisconsin attorney general; Roy Catron, Tea Party activist; Andrew Cegielski, former Milwaukee County Board candidate; Sara Conrad, party activist; Bill Cosh, spokesman for the state Department of Natural Resources; Michael Crowley, Waukesha County supervisor; Jake Curtis, former state Assembly candidate; Lou D'Abbraccio, board member, Racine County Republican Party;  Brian Dey, Racine County Tea Party member; Fred Dooley, conservative blogger; Steven Duckhorn, former Republican candidate for Milwaukee County sheriff; Bill Folk, chairman of Racine County Republican Party;Elisabeth Friesen, Republican activist; Jesse Garza, chairman, St. Croix County Republican Party; Mark Green, senior director of the U.S. Global Leadership Coalition, former U.S. ambassador to Tanzania and former congressman; Chris Haines, longtime campaign volunteer and former GOP campaign manager; Deb Hawley Jordahl, conservative strategist and consultant; John Hiller, co-chair of Scott Walker's transition team as governor; Sandra Hollander,  member of Mitt Romney's  “Juntos con Romney” leadership team; Ethan Hollenberger, former chairman of the College Republicans at Marquette University and staff member on several legislative campaigns; Mark Honadel, state reprsentative, 21st District; Marguerite Ingold, party activist; Valerie Johnson, former GOP fundraiser and staffer for various campaigns; Thomas J. Keeley, political consultant; Scott Kelly, communications director for former state Sen. Van Wanggaard; Cindy Kilkenny, conservative blogger; Rik Kluessendorf, attorney and former state Assembly candidate; Dan Knodl, state representative, 24th District; Tif Koehler, campaign volunteer and civic leader; Johnny Koremenos, regional field director for Tommy Thompson campaign; Gordon Lang, member of North Shore Republicans; Chris Larsen, trustee in Village of Sturtevant Trustee; Noelle Lorraine, field coordinator for Americans for Prosperity; John P. Macy, first vice chairman of Waukesha County Republican Party; Kathleen Madden, Waukesha County Clerk of Circuit Court; Ginny Marschman, party activist; Jessica McBride, conservative columnist; Bill McCoshen political consultant and; former cabinet secretary for Gov. Tommy Thompson; Joe Medina, party activist; Randy Melchert, field director for Mark Neumann's campaign; Gerald Mellone, Brookfield alderman; Ryan Morgan, conservative blogger; Dean Munday, conservative blogger; Mark Neumann, U.S. Senate candidate and former congressman; Kelly O'Brien, founder of Shorewood Citizens for Responsible Government; Eric Wm. Olsen, conservative activist; Nick Oliver, state Assembly candidate, 22nd District; Victoria Ostry, treasurer of the Wisconsin Federation of Republican Women.; Rick Owen, Brookfield alderman; Monnine  Parnitzke, party activist; Steve Ponto, mayor of Brookfield; Don Pridemore, state representative, 99th District; Paris Procopis, grassroots activist; Jim  Pugh, director of public relations and issue management for Wisconsin Manufacturers and Commerce; Denise Rate, Tea Party member; Bob Reddin, Brookfield alderman and executive director, Jobs First Coalition; Pam Reeves, treasurer, Waukesha County Republicans;  Joe Rice, former county supervisor and member of North Shore Republicans Executive Committee; Nate Ristow, candidate for 13th District State Assembly; Brandon Rosner, Wisconsin Republican consultant;  Bill Savage, aide to state Rep. Don Pridemore and  officer of Menomonee Falls Taxpayers Association; Jim  Schaefer, Muskego-Norway School Board president; Josh Schimek, conservative blogger; JB Schmidt, conservative blogger; Christian Schneider, senior fellow at Wisconsin Policy Research Institute and former policy analyst for Wisconsin State Legislature; Ashley Schultz, state director of the Recall Action Fund;  Nick Schweitzer, Libertarian pundit and blogger; Tim Schwister, former State Assembly candidate; Dan Sebring, vice chairman, Milwaukee County Republicans and candidate for 4th Congressional District; Cathy Stepp, Wisconsin Natural Resources secretary and former state senator; Jeff Stone, state representative, 82nd District; Jonathan Strasburg, attorney; Dave  Swarthout, board member, 1st Congressional District Republicans; Charles Sykes, conservative talk show host for WTMJ Radio;  Steve Taylor, Milwaukee County supervisor; Jenny Toftness, executive director of the Republican Assembly Campaign Committee; Greg Torres, Jefferson County supervisor; Jim  Villa, former chief of staff to County Executive Scott Walker and Alberta Darling; current CEO of Commercial Association of REALTORS® Wisconsin; Robin Vos, state representative; 63rd District; Dan Vrakas, Waukesha County Executive; Yash Wadhwa, former State Assembly candidate; Jeff Wagner, conservative talk show host, WTMJ Radio; Tom Weatherston, candidate for 62nd Assembly District and Village of Caledonia trustee; Steve Welcenbach, head of the Menomonee Falls Taxpayers Association and Tea Party activist; Todd Welch, Wisconsin state coordinator at Campaign for Liberty; James Wigderson, conservative blogger and columnist for Waukesha Freeman; Eddie Willing, conservative columnist in Racine County and executive director of FoundersIntent.org; Chris Wright, Sturtevant village trustee and former candidate for State Assembly; Phil Ziegler, CEO of InPro Inc. and party activist.


Patch's Blue Wisconsin Survey participants are:

Kelley Albrecht, candidate for 63rd State Assembly District; Mandela Barnes, candidate for 11th State Assembly District; Ron Biendseil, vice chair for membership, Dane County Democratic Party; Tammy Bockhorst, membership secretary/membership chair, Milwaukee County Democratic Party; Randy Bryce, candidate for 62nd State Assembly District; Brian Carlson, liberal blogger; Sachin Chheda, chair, Milwaukee County Democratic Party; Jeff Christensen, chair, 5th Congressional District Democrats; Mark Conforti, chief negotiator for the Fox Point-Bayside Teachers Association; Rick Congdon, former judge and former chair, Democratic Party of Waukesha County; Deb Dassow, progressive and labor activist, and semi-retired educator; Victor Drover, liberal blogger; Dale Dulberger, party activist; Perry Duman, candidate for the 60th State Assembly District; Brett Eckstein, Democratic attorney; Waring R. Fincke, vice chair, Washington County Democratic Party; Stephanie Findley, chair, 4th Congressional District Democrats; Kelly Gallaher, founding member, Community for Change; Heather Geyer, liberal columnist; Ginny Goode, Grassroots North Shore; Darcy Gustavsson, party activist; Kristin Hansen, neighborhood team leader, Obama for America and co-host, Drinking Liberally Waukesha; Robert Hansen, co-chair of Progressive Democrats of America in Milwaukee County; John Heckenlively, secretary, 1st Congressional District Democrats; Kelly Herda, treasurer, Democratic Party of Wisconsin Women's Caucus and political consultant; Robert Heule, Region 5 Chair, Democratic Party of Milwaukee County; Peter Knudsen, legislative aide and longtime Democratic staffer; Marga Krumins, candidate for 97th State Assembly District and associate chair Democratic Party of Wisconsin Women’s Caucus; Bill Kurtz, candidate for 21st Assembly District; John Lehman, state senator, 21st District; Matthew Lowe, youth outreach director, Waukesha County Democratic Party; Fran Martin, election observer for the Democratic Party and appeared in Wangaard recall ads; Tom Michalski, Oak Creek alderman; Bridget Moen, chair, Democratic Party of Ozaukee County; Meg Moen, treasure, Democratic Party of Ozaukee County; Rick Moze, party activist; Lisa Mux liberal blogger, and co-founder and co-host of Drinking Liberally Waukesha; Thad Nation, political consultant and former aide to Gov. Jim Doyle; Larry Nelson, former Waukesha mayor, current County Board supervisor and delegate to Democratic National Convention; Jason Patzfahl, liberal blogger and founding member of the Progressive 28th Political Action Committee; Jeffrey Perzan , attorney and party activist; Colin Plese, Shorewood School Board member; John Pokrandt, candidate for 13th State Assembly District; Steven Potter, communications aide, state Democratic Party; Jason Rae, Democratic National Committee member; Aaron Robertson, party activist; Chris Rockwood, candidate for 14th State Assembly District; Kristopher Rowe, party activist; Keith Schmitz, member, State Democratic Platform Committee and founding member, Grassroots North Shore; Richard Schwalb, party activist; Erin Sievert, chairwoman, Jefferson County Democrats; Kathleen Slamka, party activist; Eilene Stevens, party activist; Mike Tate, chair , Democratic Party of Wisconsin; Melissa Ugland, business owner and party activist; Sarah Wagner, community activist for Wisconsin Jobs Now; Jamie Wall, candidate for 8th Congressional District; Jim Ward, candidate, 28th State Senate District; Jane Witt, chair of Racine County Democrats; and Graeme Zielinski, communications director, Wisconsin Democratic Party.

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