Show Us Your Poll
While Media Reports Republican Voter Suppression Efforts, Democratic Party Focuses on Building Grassroots Voter Turnout Machine
Many polls have been released in the last few weeks about Wisconsin. Few have been released by campaigns, and fewer still have been conducted by pollsters whose work factors in things that set Wisconsin apart from many other states.
Take the latest CNN poll, for example. For the second poll in a row, CNN has no sample of 18 to 34 year old voters in its poll.
In Wisconsin, this is a critical omission. Wisconsin has a history of higher than average youth voters turning out in both midterm elections. For example, according to the Center for Information and Research on Civic Learning and Engagement in 2006, the turnout of voters between ages 18 and 29 was 40 percent in Wisconsin, 14 points higher than the nationwide average. That pushed Wisconsin to the second-highest youth turnout in the nation in 2006. Youth voter turnout was similarly high in 2008 in Wisconsin.
Even though Republicans appear to be engaging in voter caging efforts to suppress turnout — it's also true that the state's progressive same-day registration makes automated polling less accurate. Wisconsin is one of just nine states that allow same-day registration.
It's time to cut through the noise of national pollsters. Both Tom Barrett and Russ Feingold have released their own polls showing that momentum is on our side. If Republicans Ron Johnson and Scott Walker really think they're ahead, they should have no hesitation releasing their own polls to back up their claims rather than on relying on polls that leave out whole sections of the electorate, don't call residents with cell phones, or rely on automated calls.
It should be noted that just yesterday, the nonpartisan Pew Center found that polls such as Rasmussen, that don't call cell phone numbers, produced a bias of between four and six points toward Republican candidates. The study notes that the bias holds whether the sample is registered or likely voters.
Republicans Focus on Voter Suppression, Democrats Focus on Youth Voter Turnout
Democrats are poised to turn out young voters again in Wisconsin. The Democratic Party of Wisconsin is home to one of the largest coordinated campaigns of any state in the nation, with 50 working field offices throughout the state.
The Democratic Party of Wisconsin also has paid organizers on most major campuses in Wisconsin. We're already seeing results: When President Obama visited Madison, 26,500 students and members of the community turned out to hear him speak. The line to enter stretched more than a mile long according to media reports.
Enthusiasm has built since then. On the Saturday after President Obama's visit alone, the Democratic Party knocked on 6,787 doors and made 10,170 phone calls to voters.
Finally, as Politico reports, Democratic candidates like Russ Feingold are encouraging voters to use Wisconsin's early voter provisions, which includes "A special website—included on all campaign literature and appearing in the senator's radio and television ads—[that] provides users with a Google map of their early voting polling location."
While Democrats focus on building our grassroots network of support, Republicans are focused on a negative campaign, dancing in the end zone before they've won, and according to multiple media reports, engaging in voter suppression efforts to try to deny young people who are frequently mobile, their right to vote by questioning their addresses through a sophisticated — and illegal — voter caging scheme.