In the latest letter from DFA all their subscribers received, Kaili Lambe first tells us, "A new poll out this week shows right-wing Gov. Scott Walker just a few points ahead. But more importantly -- it shows there are virtually no undecided voters left in the recall race".
True. But then Kaili prescribes this as the solution:
"This is a base election and whoever best turns out their supporters wins".
This makes no sense. Kaili correctly points out that Walker's base is now larger than ours. But then suggests that all we need to do is get out our base to win.
Am I the only one who notices the fallacious logic there?
Trust me, Walker's supporters are just as passionate and committed as we are, and they will have no trouble turning out their base. All we have to do is look at the 2011 Recall results (when Walker's support was lower than it is now!) to know this is true.
So if we resign ourselves to having only a "base election" - WE WILL LOSE.
First off, we need to ask ourselves: How did Walker's base of support grow so large? How did Walker get to 50% approval, with ever-growing approval amongst independents? Even with so much intense and passionate opposition to him from our side?
The answer is crystal clear and should provide an obvious lesson to all of us:
Unlike us, the Walker campaign and it's supporters ventured outside of their existing base and put enormous focus on messaging and persuasion of the majority of voters who are persuadable. And this has produced incredibly successful results for Walker & his GOP allies.
In other words, the very reason there are almost no undecideds left is because Walker took them all to his side. So for us to win, we need to get them back! (and then some)
This should be obvious to all the professionals at DFA, We Are Wisconsin, & the Dem party but shockingly & distressingly isn't.
Mark my words: If all we do is focus solely on our base, while Walker continues to GROW his base, we will lose all 6 recall elections on June 5th.
It doesn't have to be that way. We CAN turn this around in time. But to do that, we need to employ smart, strategic actions to persuade not just the few remaining undecideds, but even a good chunk of Walker's current base. Think about it: A lot of Walker's base used to be undecided before the pro-Walker propaganda persuaded them. We can get them back!
But how, you might ask?
I offer several ideas here:
Don't like my ideas? Fine. Come up with better ones. And use them.
After all, what do I know? I'm just a high-school dropout. I'm sure the well-educated pros at DFA and the Dem campaign leadership could come up with some great ideas for expanding the base if they simply saw the urgent necessity of it. Why don't they???
EDIT: I often hear predictable responses about this topic from people that fall into 2 categories:
1 - "Oh, don't pay attention to polls, they don't mean anything, or they're biased" or some variation thereof
2 - "Yeah, but don't forget John Doe, when that comes out, Walker's cooked" or some variation thereof.
I debated whether to include my thoughts on these common arguments in my diary, but decided not to muddy it up.
Well, sure enough, they're the very first 2 comments I received. (facepalm)
So I'll respond here.
1 - Most of the polls I've seen over the last couple years have been remarkably accurate, within the margin of error, regardless of source. And the Kos pollsters referenced here have been amongst the most accurate of all. For example, they released a poll last year for the six 2011 recall races at least 2 months before the election date and it ended up being exactly what the election day turnout produced. The 2 Dems that were ahead in the poll had won. And the 4 Dems that were behind had lost. And by almost the exact margins predicted in the poll. Therefore, we can not afford to dismiss these polls as irrelevant! We must take them seriously and take steps to change them. ASAP.
2 - We can not afford to sit back and wait for The John Doe investigation to explode and take down Walker for us. First off, the pro-Walker base has been convinced by right-wing media that it's just a groundless witch hunt and the Dems are only making it a story because we "can't win on the issues." Secondly, when and if the true facts of the case do come to light and take down Walker, it will most likely be long after June 5th.
So in answer to both 1 and 2: We can not afford to be complacent right now! We must take pro-active steps to increase our base (and then, yes, our poll numbers) between now and June 5th. There is simply no way around this fact.