Don’t get too excited about the Obama/Romney number. Wisconsin hasn’t turned red since 1984, so if Mitt ends up winning there this year it’ll likely be because he’s riding a landslide wave that’s sweeping all sorts of unlikely states into his column. It’s not going to decide the election, in other words, unless Obama holds onto it and wins with just slightly more than 270 votes.
The recall vote is another matter. Tom Barrett just won the Democratic recall primary and, according to this poll, has gotten an exciting zero-point bounce from it. Barrett is also mayor of Milwaukee and lost to Walker in 2010 — which is to say, Wisconsin voters have had a long time to value his stock. Like John McCormack says, there’s no reason to think anyone’s opinion of him will change over the next three weeks so, barring a turnout effort by big labor that’s somehow even more superhuman than the superhuman effort that’ll be turned in by Walker’s supporters, how exactly does Barrett win this?
A few things to note:
There does appear to be an enthusiasm gap that’s favoring the GOP right now. Among registered voters (as opposed to likely voters), the race was a point tighter, with Walker up 49-45…
As a consequence, the numbers in the presidential race are far, far closer than anyone expects to see this fall, with Barack Obama leading Mitt Romney just 47-46 among RVs (and the same spread among LVs). But that further buttresses the notion of an enthusiasm gap for the recall, because the June electorate is definitely looking more Republican-friendly than the November one.
Could be that I’m reading the crosstabs wrong or that dKos made a mistake in transcribing them but it looks to me like the sample is 28D/35R/37I, which is wildly different from the 39D/33R/29I from the 2008 Wisconsin presidential exit poll. Is that sample specially weighted for the recall, possibly to reflect greater GOP enthusiasm? And is GOP enthusiasm really that much greater? Good lord. Also, how can it be that Obama leads Romney by fully 18 points among independents and yet by just one thin point overall? I’m missing something here, obviously.
For your viewing pleasure, via the Examiner, enjoy the surreal spectacle of an Obama campaign official complaining about the results of … a New York Times poll. Note to Team O: If you don’t like the fact that people perceive O’s gay-marriage “evolution” as opportunistic, why not try to find the silver lining in that result instead of whining about it? Debbie Wasserman-Schultz did!