The Contrarian

Walker’s Reelection Now A Certainty

Foxconn deal would make him a 10 point favorite if Las Vegas offered odds.

By - Jul 28th, 2017 12:23 pm
Gov. Scott Walker. Photo by Jeramey Jannene.

Gov. Scott Walker. Photo by Jeramey Jannene.

Governor Walker’s three statewide election victories were by margins of 5, 7, and 5 percentage points.

Prior to the Foxconn deal a reasonable forecast for 2018 would have been for another victory in that range. Despite the empty Democratic bench, and the absence of any clear agenda, a hardcore retains a strong dislike of the Governor. In my opinion that would limit any talk of landslide re-elect numbers for Walker.

Foxconn obviously changes the outlook. If Las Vegas were to take bets the opening line now would be -10, meaning Walker is a 10-point favorite to win. That would be the number likely to get enough bets on both sides that bookmakers could make their desired commission profit.

That line will move if the Legislature OKs the necessary special legislation and if there is a clear vision of when a shovel would turn earth for a Foxconn site.

Could Walker approach Tommy Thompson landslide numbers from his last three elections (+16, +37, +21)? The answer depends on whether Wisconsin Democrats can descend to an even lower level of ineptness.

Following Tommy’s 7-point margin over incumbent Tony Earl in 1986 he clobbered a credible candidate in Tom Loftus and then simply swamped Chuck Chvala and Ed Garvey.

A factor helping Dems next year is the unity they will have in support of Tammy Baldwin. That will help in turnout, something that otherwise could be dampened if their candidate for Governor is weak.

And then of course there is the wild card of all times: Donald Trump. It is impossible to predict what might occur in the next year on the national level that could re-align the Wisconsin electorate, one that voted for him (and Ron Johnson) just nine months ago.

The Journal Sentinel’s Craig Gilbert has chronicled Wisconsin’s sharp partisan divisions, perhaps the greatest among the fifty states. That was not the case in the Thompson years, a factor that keeps Walker safely in the re-elect column but not yet approaching serious landslide speculation.

19 thoughts on “The Contrarian: Walker’s Reelection Now A Certainty”

  1. Duane Snyder says:

    I like what Rep. Jimmy Anderson said and also think he should consider running against Walker next year…

    “Wisconsin taxpayers should not be subsidizing private corporations at the expense of our children, schools,
    and roads. And despite Governor Walker’s alleged fiscal conservatism, the truth is that he is fine with spending
    money so long as it doesn’t go to you, the real hard-working taxpayers of our state. The Republican-controlled
    legislature and Governor Walker have consistently asked you to tighten your belt or have rejected other
    opportunities to create family sustaining jobs, but when a multinational corporation wants a multibillion-dollar
    handout, Governor Walker more than bends over backwards. All the while, our schools struggle to stay open,
    Main Street is littered with potholes, and huge numbers of Wisconsinites cannot even drink the water coming
    out of their taps. That’s not leadership”

  2. Jason Troll says:

    What about the city of Milwaukee tax payers, did they not subsidize, Boston Store, ASQ building, the new Bucks Arena, the Grand Avenue, Manpower, the Intramodal, the Coulture, Miller Park, the Riverwalk, the Trolley,…..nice Argument, Rep. Anderson.

  3. Observer says:

    I’d put his odds at winning as dogcatcher in 5 years at 5% when all the bills and bonds start coming due. You can only play the Wizard of Oz for so long before someone sees behind the curtain.

  4. Jake formerly of the LP says:

    So Jason- You have a problem with corporatism and subsidizing companies at the expense of property taxpayers? Then you must hate the Fox-con, because it allows for TIF districts to last UP TO 30 YEARS.

    Let me remind you that George Mitchell was probably one of those clowns who was saying “This cements George Bush as a transformational, great president” when Dubya was standing in front of that “Mission Accomplished” banner in 2003. Do not get swept away by the GOPperganda and corporate cheerleading for this boondoggle that will make this already deficit-ridden state near broke within 2 years.

  5. Observer says:

    But Jake formerly of the LP, we have a unique opportunity to be the new Kansas but one without those pesky pollution laws.

  6. Jake formerly of the LP says:

    Aka- “Bobby Jindal’s Louisiana,” Observer? Without New Orleans culture and with brutally cold winters? Sounds swell!

  7. Observer says:

    Perhaps Walker will authorize taxpayer money for a retractable dome over the complex. Hmm Brownback’s Kansas versus Jindal’s Louisiana would be a pickle but Louisiana has elected a Governor, John Bel Edwards, that has rejected Jindal’s changes. He is raising taxes and intends to cut the number of persons incarcerated for petty crimes.

  8. Bruce Thompson says:

    If I were a Republican legislator outside the Racine and Kenosha area, I would be afraid that voting for this could leave me open to an attack similar to the one that took down George Petak.

  9. George Mitchell says:

    Hi Bruce,

    First off, great piece on city debt and MacIver.

    I don’t see a parallel between subsidies to Foxconn and the sales tax vote for Miller Park that took down George Petak. Opponents of the Foxconn deal will have trouble linking its supporters to a tax hike.

    Devil’s in the details. I am ill-informed about the package that will be voted on next month.

  10. George Mitchell says:

    BTW Bruce, my prediction about the outcome of next year’s election should not be construed as an endorsement. Only a prediction.

  11. Ted Chisholm says:

    It’s certainly possible that the publicity and accolades will help Walker. But let’s say you live in western Wisconsin or the Fox Valley and found Trump’s faux populism enticing. How does a project in the southeast corner of the state, which is not scheduled to be completed until 2020, and which will require an influx of workers from elsewhere because Wisconsin lacks a workforce with the requisite experience, help you? I think it’s plausible that this won’t affect hte election much one way or another, except for giving Walker a line similar to his infamous “250,000 jobs” from 2010.

  12. Vincent Hanna says:

    The bigger issue is the lack of a viable opponent (again). The Dems don’t have one. Evers has won a statewide election but I can’t imagine him beating Walker in a very different type of race. The rest have no chance whatsoever. Walker doesn’t need Foxconn to win next year.

  13. Observer says:

    I would think that if the Foxconn deal does not play out as expected but it still proves to be a tax burden for the entire state, Walker could be in real trouble. I think a Kathleen Vinehout could easily beat Walker. She’s not from Milwaukee or Madison. She’s a farmer. She’s a populist. She’s relatively unknown but still has more recognition than Mary Burke did when she was appointed as the Dem candidate. A successful Foxconn, of course, would change that.

  14. Vincent Hanna says:

    What is Vinehout’s name recognition statewide? 5% I don’t see how she beats a formidable incumbent. Beating Walker easily is never going to happen.

  15. Jason Troll says:

    Walker is in trouble. If look purely at state history only once in the last two generations did we have a president and governor of the same party whether Republican or Democrat share power together. (Thommy Thompson and G.H. Bush 88-92). Second, do not underestimate the left and its hatred for Trump. Will Trump campaign with Walker and is that a good thing. Third, the state economy seems to be surging in areas Trump did poorly in (Madison and Milwaukee) where he lost to Hillary 80-20. Walker may do better 75-25 but he needs to drum up the rural vote where the economic out look is fare at best. Fourth, Tammy Baldwin is on the same ballot as Walker and she is a fighter. My guess Walker and Baldwin both do not win. Who’s base will show? There are very few supporters of both Walker and Baldwin.

  16. Vincent Hanna says:

    I think you mean the nation’s hatred of Trump.

  17. duncan says:

    Walker will win by 3-4 points. I used to think Baldwin would lose by 5+, but the Trump Whitehouse is far more catastrophic than expected. I think Baldwin still loses, but it’ll be close.

    The electorate for mid-term elections are decidedly GOP, and Wisconsin has turned to a red state. Democratic candidates who attempt state-wide races will have to be rock stars to win.

  18. Vincent Hanna says:

    Baldwin beat Tommy Thompson. So far there isn’t a Tommy Thompson in the GOP field. Not even close. Plus with Trump’s unpopularity and history showing that the party in the White House always loses seats, I think Baldwin wins (and so does Walker).

  19. Jason Troll says:

    Baldwin did not beat Tommy Thompson. Obama beat Tommy Thompson. Obama was a unique politician such that he was able cobble together a juggernaut of political groups that could not be beaten. He was unique. I cannot see Walker winning by four points. If I was Tammy Baldwin’s manager I wouldn’t care who the Republican’s put up. Attack Walker and Trump. I would go to La Crosse, Janesville, and the northwest parts of Wisconsin and show how Walker took care of SE Wisconsin and left you with Crumbs. Bring up, freeway money, the Buck’s arena, Fox Conn, and Barrett’s silly Trolley to nowhere. Baldwin is running against the Walker wave of 2010 and 2014….that wave is flat in 2018.

Leave a Reply

You must be an Urban Milwaukee member to leave a comment. Membership, which includes a host of perks, including an ad-free website, tickets to marquee events like Summerfest, the Wisconsin State Fair and the Florentine Opera, a better photo browser and access to members-only, behind-the-scenes tours, starts at $9/month. Learn more.

Join now and cancel anytime.

If you are an existing member, sign-in to leave a comment.

Have questions? Need to report an error? Contact Us