Dems Have Swagger in October; Republicans Point to 'Poll'-a-Tricks
In Patch's latest survey of political insiders, Democrats are riding a wave of confidence as Obama leads in polls. GOP insiders say that's a result of faulty national and swing state polling — and the "liberal" media.
Heading into the final weeks before the presidential election, it appears the Democrats are feeling better than Republicans when it comes to whose going to win in November — at least according to Patch latest survey of political insiders.
However, many of the GOP insiders say that Democratic confidence is built on a foundation made of sand. For them, the latest national and swing state polls showing President Barack Obama with a widening lead over Republican Mitt Romney have been faulty at best.
Patch's GOP insiders also say Romney is not only fighting Obama in this election, but a liberal media that “exalts” the current president.
Throughout the campaign, Patch has polled both Democrat and Republican influencers in its "Blue Wisconsin" and "Red Wisconsin" surveys to gather insight about issues surrounding the election.
You're invited: Watch Wednesday's presidential debate at Patch's viewing party
Unlike a scientific poll of voters, which typically surveys hundreds of people, the Patch surveys take the pulse of some of Wisconsin's most influential Republicans and Democrats.
For the latest survey, Patch asked insiders to gauge if confidence in their candidate has wavered or strengthened from where it was before the two national conventions.
62% of Democrats say they are 'much more confident' about Obama's chances of winning than they were before the conventions; 15% of Republicans said the same of Romney
Patch sent questionnaires to 99 key Republican activists, elected officials, bloggers, and others who agreed to anonymously give their opinions in a series of surveys between now and the November election. Patch received completed surveys from 66 people — or 68 percent of those surveyed.
A total 42 Democratic insiders responded to the survey, a 66 percent response rate.
Democrats Feel Good About Obama's Chances
From the responses, it’s clear that Democrats have some October swagger. Roughly 62 percent said they were "much more confident" in Obama’s re-election chances than they were before the August conventions. And 71 percent strongly agreed with the statement that Obama would win the election, if it were held today.
By contrast, 15 percent of GOP insiders felt "much more confident" about Romney’s chances of victory since the conventions. And 24 percent strongly agreed that Romney would win if the election were held today. Most GOP insiders — 41.5 percent — said their confidence levels remained the same as it was before the conventions.
When it comes to who is going to carry Wisconsin, GOP influencers were feeling a bit better about Romney's chances, with 24 percent "strongly agreeing" that he would win the state. However, 71 percent of Democrats surveyed said the same about Obama.
Poor Polls, Maligned Media
GOP insiders contend that the Democrats’ confidence is simply a castle made of inflated poll numbers, and a liberal media that paints a rosy picture for Obama. Roughly 89 percent of all GOP insiders agreed or strongly agreed that the national and swing state polls are skewed, and do not reflect the closeness of the election.
Nearly 90% of Republicans say the polls are skewed and don't reflect the closeness of the race
“There is an over sampling of Democrats because pollsters are using projected turnout numbers based on 2008. That inherently is flawed,” said one GOP insider. “People understand that Obama can’t stop the seas from rising. In fact, many people understand that Obama can’t even manage a lemonade stand.”
Other GOP insiders claim Romney is facing two opponents in this election: Obama and the media. Insiders claim the media is regurgitating spoon-fed information from the Obama administration, and the media are doing what they can to spin Obama’s presidency in a positive light.
“The media is working overtime to not only convince Americans that the president has done a good job, but are also the ones taking the polls; therefore, are trying to prop Obama up in them,” one GOP insider said.
Romney Is Romney's Worst Enemy
However, Democrats claim Romney has no one to blame but himself. Democrats say Romney’s gaffes are the reason Obama has rallied in the polls, and has increased their confidence in his re-election chances. Democrats pointed to Romney’s largest “gaffe” in what has become known as the “47 Percent” video.
“The primary reason for Obama’s significant gains in the recent polls is the terrible Romney/Ryan campaign — especially the ’47 Percent’ video,” said one Democrat insider. “It was devastating to Romney and has turned into a very effective ad by the Obama campaign.”
On Democrat insider said the video, in which Romney told a group of wealthy supporters that 47 percent of Americans will back Obama and are government freeloaders who pay no income taxes, articulated a stronger message.
“Romney’s video showed him as either a man who literally disdains half the country, or a man who wanted to come across as such to a rich donor,” the Democratic insider said. “In either case, it shows a flawed character. He has started to self destruct.”
Opinions on the race from both Democrat and GOP insiders could drastically change after the first head-to-head debate between the two candidates Wednesday. Join Patch for a viewing party at 7:30 p.m. Wednesday at the Rosebud Theater in Wauwatosa.
Patch will be conducting Red Wisconsin and Blue Wisconsin surveys throughout 2012 in hopes of determining the true sentiment of active members of both parties in the Badger State.
Participants in Patch's Red Wisconsin Survey 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.