October 29, 2010

In Wisconsin, a mandate conferred by apathy

For those of us who would prefer that Wisconsin retain for another term the most principled member of the U.S. Senate, another trend-affirming poll and a grim assessment:
Wisconsin has one of the largest enthusiasm gaps of any State in the country. Although it appears Democrats will have turnout issues pretty much everywhere the problem is unusually severe in Wisconsin.
What springs immediately to mind is an episode the Recess Supervisor highlighted several weeks ago, after Obama appeared with Russ Feingold at a rally in Madison:
Emily Lawless, a UW-Madison junior from Lakeville, Minn., waited in line five and a half hours for the chance to see the president live. . . . [But] Lawless admitted she would likely not vote. "It's too much work with the absentee ballot," she said.
I've never absentee voted, but I can't imagine it's much more trouble than paying the cable teevee bill or choosing from a restaurant menu.

Less than 5-1/2 hours exertion, surely.

What the Public Policy Polling report is saying is that the electoral success of the vapid Ron Johnson will be determined not so much by Wisconsinites voting for him as Wisconsinites not voting for anyone.

It's the self-described "likely voters" who are driving these polls whereas among the larger pool of registered voters, the contest is much closer. That is, the polled respondents who favor Russ Feingold are also admitting that they are not going to vote anyway.

No good will come of that.

1 comment:

Jim said...

That quote from Ms. Lawless was a kick in the guts when I read it back then, and is even more so today.