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Pay no attention to the people behind the curtain

Monday, April 17, 2006

Scott Walker Drops Out; Jim Doyle Gets More Popular?

I'm trying to think of some other explanation for the new SurveyUSA poll, which features a 16% jump in the favorability/ unfavorability margin for for our beloved J-Dizzle. Forever, the poll has basically just shown statistical noise within a narrow band. Not this time; look at the pretty picture:


If you click to enlarge, you can see that, yes, that's a 52% approval rating--the highest the Dizzle has had in a year of monthly SUSA polling.

The internals of the poll are also surprising to me; they have Doyle at a net favorable for virtually every subgroup. For example, Doyle is up with every racial demographic except African Americans (is Mark Green thinking of them as his base yet?). And Doyle is even ahead with the regular church-goers and Southeast Wisconsin voters for the first time that I remember in following these polls.

I'm not entirely sure I buy these numbers--the graph sure makes them look like outliers, eh?--given the UW-Milwaukee poll out last week. Here's what it says:
“Do you approve of disapprove of the way Jim Doyle is handing his job as governor?”
Approve ........... 45%
Disapprove ....... 33
Don’t Know ..... 22
Immediately, you'll notice that SUSA has many fewer at "not sure" that UWM, but UWM's approval number here seems much more in line with previous SUSA "favorable" numbers.

One thing that SUSA does not do is a head-to-head against Mark Green. UWM's head-to-head showed Doyle beating Green in numbers just like the approval: Doyle wins 44% to 33%, with 21% undecided (the rest said they wouldn't vote).

The new St. Norbert/ WPR poll was also out last week, and their head-to-head is quite similar:
Democrat Jim Doyle ................................ 43%
Republican Mark Green ........................... 35%
A Third Party or Independent Candidate .... 6%
I do not plan to vote in the election ............ 3%
Not Sure ................................................ 14%
This poll, though, has favorability numbers closer to the new SUSA, with the Dizzle at 53% favorable to 29% unfavorable. Green's numbers in the poll show that people don't know him enough yet not to like him. I hear he's working on that, though.

All of this requires the caveat that we are still six months from the election, and a lot can change between then and now. For example, Mark Green, who never met a Congressional spending bill he wouldn't vote for, is making a doomed effort seem fiscally responsible in order to veer right and appease the Charlie Sykes Stormtroopers . . .

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