Go to HHH home page.
Smart Politics
 


Jim Doyle's Biggest Threat: The Greens or Mark Green?

Bookmark and Share

Despite voting democratic in the past five presidential elections and 13 of the past 15 U.S. Senate elections, Wisconsin is far from a safe 'blue' state for democratic candidates for governor—especially incumbent Jim Doyle. Democrats have not fared well in gubernatorial elections in the Badger state in recent years, garnering more than 46% of the vote only once in the seven such elections since 1978.

Doyle himself only narrowly won the state's open seat in 2002, beating Republican Scott McCallum by 3.7 points thanks in large part to the strong showing by Libertarian candidate Ed (brother of former governor Tommy) Thompson—who won 10.5% of the vote. Having a second, legitimate right of center candidate on the ballot in that election splintered the conservative vote, allowing Doyle to eke out a plurality vote victory.

This time around, however, the shoe is on the other foot. There is only one third party candidate on the ballot, and this time it comes from Doyle's left: Wisconsin Green Party candidate Nelson Eisman. If the race between Doyle and GOP challenger Mark Green is close (and it is—Doyle has failed to garner a level of support of 50% in any of 12 polls conducted by six pollsters since November 2005), Doyle will need to win over a majority of independent voters as well as protect his left-wing base.

If Eisman's candidacy gains any traction Doyle may be forced to continuously carve out his stance on hot-button referenda issues like bringing back the death penalty to Wisconsin and defining marriage. If Doyle doesn't back these referenda he risks losing votes from the public on issues that enjoy majority-status support. If he does back the amendments, his more liberal supporters might flock in greater number to Eisman.

In a race projected to be as close as the Doyle-Green matchup, a pull to the left on Doyle's candidacy by the Eisman campaign could signal big trouble for the sitting governor.

Previous post: Battle for the Statehouse: Minnesota's State Senate Races
Next post: Immigration: The Invisible Issue in the MN US Senate Race?

1 Comment


  • Listening to the We The People Governor's debate between Gov. Doyle and Rep. Green, Doyle comes off more articulate and Green less effective. I think one reason for this is that Green comes from Bush's Washington and therefore his constant talk of cutting taxes, and "bureacracy" and "leadership" sounds fishy - our nation's capital is perceived as a place of dishonesty corruption and incompetence, and the Democrats will probably win a lot of seats in these mid-term election because of that perception by many on all sides - including many Republicans.

  • Leave a comment


    Remains of the Data

    No Free Passes: States With 2 Major Party Candidates in Every US House Race

    Indiana has now placed candidates from both major parties on the ballot in a nation-best 189 consecutive U.S. House races, with New Hampshire, Minnesota, Idaho, and Montana also north of 100 in a row.

    Political Crumbs

    Gubernatorial Highs and Lows

    Two sitting governors currently hold the record for the highest gubernatorial vote ever received in their respective states by a non-incumbent: Republican Matt Mead of Wyoming (65.7 percent in 2010) and outgoing GOPer Dave Heineman of Nebraska (73.4 percent in 2006). Republican Gary Herbert of Utah had not previously won a gubernatorial contest when he notched a state record 64.1 percent for his first victory in 2010, but was an incumbent at the time after ascending to the position in 2009 after the early departure of Jon Huntsman. Meanwhile, two sitting governors hold the record in their states for the lowest mark ever recorded by a winning gubernatorial candidate (incumbent or otherwise): independent-turned-Democrat Lincoln Chafee of Rhode Island (36.1 percent in 2010) and Democrat Terry McAuliffe of Virginia (47.8 percent in 2013).


    An Idaho Six Pack

    Two-term Idaho Republican Governor Butch Otter only polled at 39 percent in a recent PPP survey of the state's 2014 race - just four points ahead of Democratic businessman A.J. Balukoff. Otter's low numbers reflect his own struggles as a candidate (witness his weak primary win against State Senator Russ Fulcher) combined with the opportunity for disgruntled Idahoans to cast their votes for one of four third party and independent candidates, who collectively received the support of 12 percent of likely voters: Libertarian John Bujak, the Constitution Party's Steve Pankey, and independents Jill Humble and Pro-Life (aka Marvin Richardson). The six candidate options in a gubernatorial race sets an all-time record in the Gem State across the 46 elections conducted since statehood. The previous high water mark of five candidates was reached in seven previous cycles: 1902, 1904, 1908, 1912, 1914, 1966, and 2010.


    more POLITICAL CRUMBS

    Humphrey School Sites
    CSPG
    Humphrey New Media Hub

    Issues />

<div id=
    Abortion
    Afghanistan
    Budget and taxes
    Campaign finances
    Crime and punishment
    Economy and jobs
    Education
    Energy
    Environment
    Foreign affairs
    Gender
    Health
    Housing
    Ideology
    Immigration
    Iraq
    Media
    Military
    Partisanship
    Race and ethnicity
    Reapportionment
    Redistricting
    Religion
    Sexuality
    Sports
    Terrorism
    Third parties
    Transportation
    Voting