Weekly Update September 20th, 2015

Walker now in last place after support slips to under 1 percent after debate

by Louis Weisberg

Wisconsin Gov. Scott Walker has slipped from having the support of 5 percent of Republican voters to just .5 percent, according to a CNN/ORC poll released on this morning’s new shows.

Walker’s fall in the race for the Republican nomination was the largest of any of the 11 candidates who participated in the Sept. 16 CNN presidential debate at the Regan Presidential Library in Simi Valley, Calif. He now stands in last place in the field of 16 candidates.

Conducted Sept. 17–19, the CNN/ORC poll has an error margin of 4.5 percentage points for Republican respondents.

Former Hewlett Packard CEO Carly Fiorina gained the most from the heavily watched debate, moving up from 3 percent to 15 percent to take second place in the race. Fifty-two percent of people who watched the debate named her as the winner.

Dr. Ben Carson, who formerly was running second to Trump, slipped to third place — from 19 percent to 14.

Florida Sen. Marco Rubio jumped 8 points to grab the fourth place in the poll with 11 percent. Like Fiorina, he showed great skill as a debater and a commanding knowledge of foreign policy. Democrats say Rubio is the candidate they fear the most, due to his appealing youthful wholesomeness, polished presentational skills and strong personal narrative.

Donald Trump retained his frontrunner status following the debate, with his fans remaining loyal despite a performance in which he gave no substantive answers to policy questions and spoke mostly about his greatness and other candidates’ flaws, including Rand Paul’s physical appearance. Still, Trump lost 8 percentage points following the debate, falling from 32 percent earlier this month to 24 percent.

Unless Walker can turn around his downward trajectory, he likely won’t appear on the main stage in the third debate. During the past two debates, Fox News and CNN have held shorter and smaller debates preceding the main event in order to avoid preventing candidates with poor poll numbers from being excluded entirely. It’s unclear whether CNBC will do the same in the next debate, which it is hosting on Oct. 28 at the Coors Events Center at the University of Colorado in Boulder.

The third debate will be titled: “Your Money, Your Vote: The Presidential Debate on the Economy.” It will focus on the economy, jobs, taxes and the national deficit.

At the same time Walker has lost standing in the presidential race, his protracted state budget battle within his own party in June, combined with his long absences from the state to run for president, have eroded his popularity in Wisconsin. In a state poll taken by Marquette University School of Law following the budget battle, only 39 percent of Wisconsin voters said they approved of the job he was doing.

On Friday, a former Walker contributor said that the governor's credibility in the state has dropped so low that Lt. Gov. Rebecca Kleefisch should be allowed to write the 2017–19 biennial budget.

Read the original post at Wisconsin Gazette.

Assembly Democrats Unveil Bring Back The Middle Class Agenda

Statement from Representative 
Katrina Shankland

"I was proud to stand with my awesome Assembly Democratic colleagues today. We are champions of Wisconsin workers and urged the legislature to bring back the middle class. In addition to the jobs bills we’ve introduced this year, the legislation we talked about today will provide economic opportunity for everyone to succeed – from children to retirees. We highlighted the following bills: 

*Childcare Affordability (Reps. Sargent & Genrich) - this provides a tax credit for childcare services and much-needed relief from the high cost of childcare

*Higher Ed, Lower Debt (Reps. Mason & Kolste) - this bill allows people to refinance their student loans like they can a car or mortgage, and also provides a tax deduction for the loan payments

*Earned Sick Days (Reps. Mason & Sargent) - this bill would allow workers to earn up to nine paid sick days each year to be used to recover from their own illnesses, access preventive care, and/or provide care to a sick family member.

*Retirement Security (Reps. Genrich & Jorgensen) - over 4 in 10 (42%) working Wisconsin registered voters age 45 and older said their employer does not offer a retirement plan such as a 401K. This bill would create the Wisconsin Private Retirement Security Board to offer low-cost plans to people. 

We are proud of our hard work ethic in Wisconsin – it’s time to recognize the value of that hard work. We believe that everyone who works hard has earned time to spend with their families, and that they deserve to have affordable child care, accessible higher education, and retirement security."

Grassroots South Shore Meeting
Monday Sept. 21st 6pm
Cudahy Family Library
3500 Library Dr.
Grass Roots at South Shore has been busy organizing. We are sponsoring a booth at the Bay View Bash and have been registering voters on the South side. We are stepping up efforts to register Hispanic voters realizing this is critical for 2016 elections. Come to this meeting to find out how to help on National Voter Registration Day September 22. You will not want to miss our featured guest speaker Marina Dimitrijevic who has just been named Wisconsin Director for the Working Family Party. She will explain the goals of the WF and how you can get involved. We will also hear from Elena Noyes from the Wisconsin League of Conservation Voters. She will also tell us how to get involved. Lots of exciting initiatives happening this is one meeting you will not want to miss.
Aides Rush On Stage To Rotate Scott Walker Back To Direction Of Audience

Upon noticing that the Wisconsin governor had become disoriented during one of the moderator’s questions and begun delivering his response while facing the set’s backdrop, several of his aides rushed on stage during Wednesday’s GOP primary debate to rotate Scott Walker back in the direction of the audience. “It’s not unusual for him to get a little confused up there, what with all the bright lights and people talking on all sides, so if we see him starting to drift away like that, a couple of us will just hop up there and turn him back the right way,” said senior aide Kyle DeBacker, who added that Walker campaign staffers were almost always able to catch the presidential candidate before he’d wandered too far from his podium and could often redirect his gaze by snapping their fingers in the direction they wanted him to look. “The only time it’s a real problem is when he meanders too far from the microphone in the middle of an answer and we have to stay at his side until we can coax him to repeat whichever part the audience didn’t get to hear. Otherwise, we’re just glad he’s stayed standing for the whole debate so far tonight instead of lying down on the floor while the other candidates are talking like he usually does.” At press time, a distracted Walker had taken a seat on the edge of the debate platform and was absentmindedly banging his feet against the side of the stage.

From The Onion.
He's ready: Russ Feingold joined the Senate race hoping to revive Wisconsin's progressive tradition

by John Nichols

The fact that Russ Feingold is running for the U.S. Senate in 2016 delights his fellow Democrats, who see in Feingold’s solid poll numbers and energetic campaigning the prospect for reviving a party that has been battered over the past five years. It also excites a number of non-Democrats, who imagine that the fiercely independent former senator’s return to the political fray could steer the state back toward the civic and democratic values, and the commitment to putting principles ahead of political calculations, that characterized the state’s progressive tradition at its best.

But Feingold’s run has frustrated Republican political consultants, who are determined to prevent his return to the chamber where he served for 18 years — not merely out of disagreement with an opponent but out of fear that his election could help tip control of a Senate currently controlled by Republicans to the Democrats.

Shaken by polls that have Feingold running ahead of Republican incumbent Ron Johnson, the consultants have struggled to develop themes that might alter the trajectory of the 2016 race. One of these themes is an argument that Feingold is a political obsessive who has, since his defeat in 2010, been desperate to get back on the Senate floor.

"Russ Feingold is a career politician," said Johnson. "He's addicted to it. He just can't stand being away from it …”

Mention Johnson’s “addicted to politics” line to Feingold and he sits back in his chair and chuckles. It’s not the forced laugh of someone who is trying to make a point. It’s the relaxed, easy amusement of a man who is entirely comfortable with the subject at hand.

“Frankly,” explained the Janesville native, who since leaving the Senate has earned recognition as a writer, college lecturer and diplomat, “my whole feeling in the last few years has been that I can be completely happy not being in politics.”

Feingold has returned not to feed an ambition, he said, but to fight for renewal of the sense of community and public purpose that has historically extended from the Wisconsin progressive tradition in which he was raised. It is the tradition that inspired his grandfather, the owner of Janesville’s Blackhawk grocery store who purchased the first Chevy truck produced at that city’s GM plant in 1923, and his father, an attorney and Progressive Party candidate for Rock County district attorney. It is the tradition Feingold carried forward into the 21st century to a greater extent than any other modern political figure in the state where Robert M. "Fighting Bob" La Follette, who served both as governor and as a U.S. senator, battled the robber barons in the 19th century and transformed the politics of the 20th century.

Read more at The Cap Times.
Statement from Michael Tyler, DNC Director of African American Media on GOP Debate:
“Last month’s opening debate was certainly a doozy.  They chose Cleveland as their debate site in part in an effort to reach out to minority communities that they have typically ignored over the years…With all of the fanfare of their minority outreach rollout, we expected the candidates on stage to at least make an effort to mirror that outreach.  But the rhetoric and ideas advanced on stage erased any pretense of broadening their appeal to African Americans, Latinos, women, young people, or anyone else who would suffer as a result of their disastrous policies. On the anniversary of the Voting Rights Act, you didn’t hear Republican presidential candidates talk about expanding ballot access or even mention voting rights. In fact, just yesterday John Kasich touted his endorsement from a Georgia politician openly derided efforts to expand ballot access in that state for minority communities.  No surprise coming from a governor whose own adviser said the exact same thing and whose ballot restrictions are being challenged in court.”

You didn’t hear Republican presidential candidates fighting for quality affordable health care – they’re more interested in restricting access to care for women. You didn’t hear Republican presidential candidates fighting to increase the federal minimum wage – John Kasich is the latest Republican to make absolutely clear that he does not support such an increase. You didn’t hear Republican presidential candidates commit to enact paid family leave – or increase overtime pay. You didn’t hear Republican presidential candidates tout their commitment to protecting our planet so that current and future generations of Americans have healthy and flourishing communities to grow up in. You didn’t hear Republican presidential candidates discuss how to make higher education more affordable for young Americans trying to get ahead. And you won't hear it tonight, nor will you hear it throughout the duration of the Republican nomination process because on all of these issues – issues that disproportionately impact African American families – Republican candidates choose to cling to policies that are outdated, out of touch, and favor the wealthiest and most powerful.  They would rather look out for their allies and special interests than work to lift up all Americans.”
Copyright © 2015 Southwest Regional Democratic Organization, All rights reserved.

Founded in 1952, The Southwest Regional Democratic Organization represents Region 5 of The Democratic Party of Milwaukee County.

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