Did the GOP Steal the Wisconsin Recall Elections? A True Vote Analysis

11 Aug

Did the GOP Steal the Wisconsin Recall Elections? A True Vote Analysis

Aug. 11, 2011

Richard Charnin

In a pre-election post, I indicated that only election fraud could keep the Democrats from winning three of the six GOP recall elections. They won two. This post-election analysis indicates that they did much better than that. They may very well have won all six.

The Democrats were highly motivated to win the Senate based on Walker policies, but the GOP had the advantage of massive funding – especially in District 8. The problem is to determine the voter turnout rates and voter preferences required to match the recorded vote shares.

The analysis is based on the Wisconsin Recall True Vote Model.

In any election, there are two key factors: voter turnout and voter preference. We know how many voters returned from the previous election (as a percentage). But we must estimate the percentage mix of returning Democrats and Republicans. The number of new voters is just the difference between total votes cast in the current election and returning voters. In the recall analysis, we will assume that new voters were split equally between the Democrats and the Republicans.

Voter mix is the percentage of returning and new voters to the total vote. For example, assume that in a precinct there are 1000 voters (480 returning Obama, 460 returning McCain voters, and 60 new voters). Then the voter turnout mix is 48% Obama, 46% McCain and 6% new). Let’s calculate the Democratic vote share assuming that he/she wins 95% of Obama voters, 5% of McCain voters and 50% of new voters.

Democratic share = Dem mix * Dem % of returning Obama voters + GOP mix * Dem % of returning McCain voters + New voter mix * Dem % of New voters
Democratic share = 50.9% = .48*.95 + .46*.05+ .06*.50 = .456 + .023 + .030

In mathematical terms, vote share is a function of voter turnout mix and voter preference:
Vote share = f (turnout mix, preference)

Obama won each of the six districts by a total 53.0-45.7% margin. Therefore assuming a) an equal percentage turnout of Obama and McCain voters in the recalls,and b) no changes in voter preference, the Democrats would win all six elections (see below). But since the GOP won four, there had to be a higher turnout rate of McCain voters than Obama voters and/or a net defection of Obama voters to the GOP. It’s simple math.

In the first set of calculations, we reasonably assume that a) 60% of McCain voters turned out in the recalls and b) there were zero net defections (Democrats won 95% of returning Obama voters and the GOP won 95% of returning McCain voters). In order to match the average recorded vote, Obama turnout had to be 45% compared to 60% for McCain.

In the second set, we assume that a) 60% of McCain voters and 60% of Obama voters turned out in the recalls and the GOP won 95% of returning McCain voters, but b) there were net defections of Obama voters to the GOP. In order to match the average recorded vote, the average Democratic share of Obama voters was a low 83%.

The two sets of scenarios are implausible.

In District 2, if 60% of McCain voters turned out, then just a minsicule 33% of Obama voters turned out (assuming zero net defection of Obama and McCain voters).

Assuming equal 60% turnout of Obama and McCain voters, there had to be a massive net 25% defection of Democrats from Obama to McCain.

In District 8, if 60% of McCain voters turned out, then just 47% of Obama voters turned out (assuming zero net defection). Assuming equal 60% Obama and McCain turnout, there was a 10% net defection of Democrats from Obama to McCain.

Therefore, Pasch won assuming equal turnout and zero net defection.

District 18 was won by King, the Democrat. The required Obama 58% turnout nearly matched the McCain 60%, again assuming zero net defection. Assuming equal 60% turnout, there was a tiny 1% net defection to McCain.

Both results are very plausible. It is not surprising that the Democrats won the seat.

District 32 was won by the Democrats. Obama had 61% so it would have raised eyebrows if the Democrats lost. A low 47% Obama turnout was required to match the Democratic 55.4% vote share. Assuming equal 60% turnout, the required 8% net defection to McCain is higher than one would expect.

Therefore, the Democrat Shilling probably did better than her recorded margin.

This is an example of the minimum Obama voter turnout and maximum voter defection that the Democrats needed to win all six elections:
a) Obama voter turnout (60%) had to at least match McCain turnout.
b) Democrats captured 93% of Obama and 5% of McCain voters (net 2% defection)

The Democrats needed an average 52.3% vote share to win all six districts.
By comparison, Obama had a 53.7% two party-share in the six districts.

Sensitivity Analysis
It is instructive to determine the impact (i.e. sensitivity) of changes in percentage voter turnout, voter preference and election fraud (vote switching).

The tables below display the number of Democratic recall victories over a range of assumptions for each of the three parameters.

Link to the full numerical analysis:


43 responses to “Did the GOP Steal the Wisconsin Recall Elections? A True Vote Analysis

  1. danboylerealtor

    August 11, 2011 at 3:40 pm

    Impressive analysis. I wish we could prove the fraud that apparently took place here and everywhere else this is happening, as far back as the Florida Gore/Bush election.

    • Richard Charnin

      August 11, 2011 at 3:54 pm

      It has already been proven mathematically and documented anecdotal evidence all the way back to 1968. Check my website.

      • Nancy Dalley

        August 12, 2011 at 12:20 pm

        I think because these recall elections are “unprecedented” as the promoters of the recalls love to say, that your “documented evidence all the way back to 1968” cannot apply here. For many independents these elections were not a referendum on Walker, but a vote against Obama’s policies that have more than doubled the national debt since he took office. The nation and the states must control spending and their votes reflected this belief. As a mathematician, it is difficult to predict human behavior, so stop the whining about stolen elecdtions.

      • Richard Charnin

        August 12, 2011 at 1:14 pm

        1)I present the data and analyze it using a range of assumptions.
        2)I do not use 1988-2004 elections data; only the 2008 presidential election.
        3) Wisconsin Independents also see their jobs and benefits taken away by Walker. They could not vote Obama out today, but they could neutralize Walker by capturing the Senate.
        4) It appears that you are the one who is whining, blaming Obama but not a word about Walker and the GOP senate.
        5) Do you live in Wisconsin? Are you a union worker? Are you in favor of the recalls?
        5) I challenge you to specifically refute the data, logic and mathematical analysis used in the analysis – line by line.

  2. Guest

    August 11, 2011 at 3:55 pm

    Thanks so much – fascinating analysis. As someone who strongly supported the Dems in these races and worked to help them, I’m wondering about the assumption of zero net defection of Obama voters. I know that enthusiasm and energy among core Democrats in these races was extremely high; but I also recall that many new voters, Independents, and swing voters/late deciders came out for Obama in droves in 2008.

    Just playing devil’s advocate: is it possible that many of the 2008 Obama voters outside the traditional base defected or stayed home, given the potentially demoralizing influences of the debt ceiling debate and poor economy? Is there any exit polling on this? I did notice that the spread and total turnout in Waukesha County wasn’t big enough to change the results (assuming the reported results bear even the most nominal resemblance to accuracy). Thanks again for your analysis.

    • Richard Charnin

      August 11, 2011 at 4:07 pm

      The sensitivity analysis covers a range of defections and turnout. In the recalls, Obama voters were highly motivated to come out against Walker. The fact that they are disappointed in Obama regarding his (lack of) performance would not stop them from voting in the recalls -if anything, they would be further motivated. The recalls were a referendum on Walker and an attempt to regain control of the senate.

      There has been exit polling, Check the Election Integrity EDA Forum of Facebook.

      Check out the Wisconsin True Vote Model. It indicates that the Feingold, Barret and Kloppenburg elections were all stolen.

  3. Barb Caffrey

    August 11, 2011 at 11:18 pm

    Richard, my main question is, why isn’t anyone doing anything about this? You have mathematical models that make sense — and math can prove or disprove many things, right? So why is it that Kloppenburg’s people didn’t listen to you, or Feingold’s — I can see why most of these candidates here wouldn’t, because none of the 4 Dems who didn’t win are independently wealthy (not that Ms. Kloppenburg is, either, nor Feingold, but both campaigns had many people in there who felt the results made no sense).

    For that matter, if the 2000 and 2004 Presidential elections were stolen (as evidence showed they most likely were — especially the ’00 election), why was it that Gore and Kerry backed down? Kerry _is_ independently wealthy and his wife is even more so — why didn’t _he_ pursue this if he knew the result was wrong?

    • Richard Charnin

      August 12, 2011 at 3:52 am

      That is the question, isn’t it? Election Fraud is a third-rail topic – to the media and to all of the politicians in both parties. I don’t have the answer; there are probably a multitude of reasons.

  4. Tami Klumpyan

    August 11, 2011 at 11:50 pm

    I think the only way to stop this is with a paper vote again and dem “guards” watching every minute. I agree with you and your analysis is very interesting. I’ll check out the Wi True Vote Model. Thanks!

    • Richard Charnin

      August 12, 2011 at 3:54 am

      Thanks, Tami. Please do check it out and let me know what you think..

  5. Josiah

    August 12, 2011 at 4:54 pm

    While the math is correct (and impressive), you’re making some major assumptions here. You’re assuming that the numbers of the 2008 election are accurate and applicable. Unfortunately however they’re not.

    The tea party and ideals of fiscal conservatism have hijacked the Republican party and American politics. Previous to Obama winning the presidency, these issues weren’t nearly as prevalent as they are now.

    With fiscal conservatism being at the heart of modern day American politics, Doyle and the Democrats took a big hit from the independent voters who more than likely voted for Obama.

    As you can see, making an assumption that 2008’s numbers are accurate and trustworthy could be prove to be misleading and inaccurate.

    • Richard Charnin

      August 12, 2011 at 6:28 pm

      1) The Tea Party are just former Republicans. They did not just appear out of thin air.
      2) The size of the Tea Party has been magnified by the media (just look at the photos of those who actually show up at rallies).
      3) The number of progressives (the Democratic wing of the Democratic party) has been MINIMIZED by the CORPORATE media.
      4) The 2008 recorded votes always UNDERSTATE Obama’s True Vote. I am being CONSERVATIVE in using them as as baseline.
      5) The True Vote Model analyzes a RANGE of turnout and vote share assumptions..
      6) In order to MATCH the recorded vote, IMPLAUSIBLE assumptions are required that favor McCain voter turnout and Obama defection..

  6. Rusty Boersma

    August 12, 2011 at 5:29 pm

    Why can’t I reply to Nancy Dalley’s post? President Obama has NOT doubled the national debt. Not even close. Now Dubya did come close. He is personally responsible for over $6 trillion of our $14 trillion debt. About 44%. Get the facts Nancy before you make yourself look like an even bigger idiot.

    • Nancy Dalley

      August 12, 2011 at 6:49 pm

      According to the Treasury Department, the debt stood at $5.727 trillion on January 19, 2001, Bill Clinton’s last day in office, and $10.627 trillion when Bush left office eight years later. That’s $612.5 billion (or $0.6125 trillion) a year, during which we fought two major wars, had the 9/11 attacks, and at least two major bailouts to deal with a global financial crisis.
      We’re thus far averaging $1.92 trillion a year under Obama, or a factor of 3.146 more. And the government is projecting that we’ll continue spending at this crisis rate for the next decade, more than doubling the current record level?

  7. Barry

    August 12, 2011 at 7:10 pm

    Richard, I don’t think it’s a safe assumption that people who voted for Obama would automatically vote for the Dem in the recall race – can you back up that assumption?
    Also, it’s hard to justify election fraud based on a mathematical analysis. It’s much more compelling evidence when exit polls don’t match vote totals, as in 2004. I don’t disbelieve that there is systemic vote fraud – polls showed the worst Dem candidate down by 5%, and yet 2 of them lost by almost 20% – that’s a stark difference. Polls also showed Fred Clarke up by 3%, and yet he lost by 8%.

  8. Nancy Dalley

    August 12, 2011 at 7:43 pm

    Richard, I’m not sure why you asked in point #5 above if I live in Wisconsin, am a union member and am in favor of the recall. Does your math only make sense to those who would answer “yes” to these questions? I think perhaps you should go out in to the world and speak to the majority of people in Wisconsin who are happy with all of the recent elections in their state

  9. Richard Charnin

    August 12, 2011 at 9:03 pm

    Barry, I use the broader presidential 2008 numbers as a base, because

    1) historical presidential exit poll data provides a guideline as to voter defection rates. Typically, the Democratic candidate gets 90% of returning Democratic candidate voters and the Republican gets the same for returning Republican candidate voters. Obama had 89% of returning Kerry, and 17% of returning Bush. Kerry had 91% of returning Gore and 10% of returning Bush.

    2) My voter turnout rate assumptions are independent of the actual number.

    I have not done an analysis using 2008/2010 district vote shares. I leave that up to you.

  10. Richard Charnin

    August 12, 2011 at 9:09 pm

    Nancy, you have just revealed your bias. I asked you very relevant questions. You say that the majority of Wisconsin voters are happy? Really? How do YOU know that?

    The math makes sense to any impartial observer. It is an unbiased analysis. I challenge you to refute the logic – line by line. Just focus on the data, assumptions and logic – nothing else. And no ad hominems, please.

    • Nancy Dalley

      August 12, 2011 at 10:48 pm

      Again, I’m not sure why you asked me those questions. Had I answered “yes” to them, it would have been evidence of a bias in favor of the recall turnovers, so how could I then be an unbiased observer? The election results speak for themselves. Wisconsin voted Walker in last fall and retained 4 of the 6 recalled seats.

  11. Jody

    August 12, 2011 at 10:37 pm

    If the majority of people in Wisconsin are happy with what the Republicans have been doing, then holding an honest election would not require:

    Changing the districts, running phony Democrats in the run-up to the main recall election, changing the date of the election, intentionally lying to voters through mailers and phone calls, taking multiple millions of dollars from corporations and organizations from outside Wisconsin, creating barriers to reduce the number who could vote, and multiple other “tricks” to thwart the will of the “majority” from being expressed at the polls. It is the sign of a party that does not have confidence they reflect the majority of the voters. Then add on the electronic methods of voting that can be so easily manipulated, the criminal manner in which the chain of custody of the ballots is violated, and an elections official so arrogant in her not believing the law applies to her, and disdain for the voters who she is supposed to be the servant of, she has the gall to have the main program and database of the voters’ choices in her personal office.

    To engage in deception, misrepresentation, lying, gaming the system for self-interest, are reflections of a criminal mindset, and a person or group that is morally bankrupt. If any one professes to be a disciple of Jesus and engages in those actions they are intentionally sinning, and betraying their stated belief system, and their God.

    To spin information by carefully choosing words to create a misleading frame of reference is “bearing false witness”. To report evidence of criminal conduct, raise questions that reflect what one observes or analyzes, is not “whining”. Nor is wanting to insure that the will of the voters has not been thwarted by mistake or intention. Every citizen should want fair, open, and honest elections. If the election cannot stand a light shone on it, then those that oppose that investigation are themselves suspect, and definitely do not believe in the foundational principle of a representative government, the will of the majority, tempered by a constitution.

    • Nancy Dalley

      August 13, 2011 at 12:26 am

      Milwaukee – Imitating the infamous “smokes for votes” scandal of the 2000 election, a small left-wing Wisconsin front group has been caught handing out barbecue chicken dinners to those who vote early in the Wisconsin recall elections. During the 2000 campaign a wealthy liberal activist was caught passing out cigarettes to Milwaukee’s homeless in exchange for their vote in the all-important presidential election. Over a decade later, Wisconsin Jobs Now!, a small group sponsored by the union umbrella Citizen Action of Wisconsin, hosted “block parties” in northern Milwaukee and essentially paid citizens to vote.

      According to Wisconsin state law, it is illegal for anyone to pay or otherwise give someone something to induce or encourage them vote or not vote in an election. As the most recent round of Wisconsin Jobs Now! “block parties” took place on Monday, August 1, a Media Trackers source shared what happened. Voters were handed a ticket for the barbecue dinner and a raffle ticket after they signed in to the event. At some point each voter was asked to board a van with the organization’s logo emblazoned on the side. The vans ran round-trip transportation between the neighborhood party and Milwaukee City Hall, where there is an early voting location.

      The shenanigans did not stop with the food and prizes give-away back at the party. Once voters were hustled upstairs in the City Hall to the election commission office, union volunteers affiliated with Wisconsin Jobs Now! carefully explained how the process would work. Because Wisconsin Jobs Now! has clearly aligned themselves on their website and in public statements with the partisan campaign of Rep. Sandy Pasch, their presence inside the polling place violated state electioneering laws. That was strike two.

      As if that wasn’t enough, Media Trackers unearthed last week that Rep. Sandy Pasch (D) the liberal candidate running against Sen. Alberta Darling (R) (who supported Gov. Walker’s collective bargaining reforms) sits on the board of Citizen Action of Wisconsin. Translated, that means that the front group helping the liberal candidate is sponsored by the union umbrella organization that the same liberal senate candidate and incumbent state representative sits on the board of.

      When the murky ties surfaced, the Milwaukee Journal-Sentinel, WTMJ-TV, talk radio hosts, and others began to question whether or not Rep. Sandy Pasch and her senate campaign violated yet another state election law prohibiting coordination between campaigns and outside groups. After Media Trackers filed the first formal complaint alleging impropriety on the part of Wisconsin Jobs Now! with the Government Accountability Board, Wisconsin’s state government election watchdog, Pasch distanced herself from her work as a Citizen Action of Wisconsin board member. She definitively said that her work on the board did not have a political slant and she had broken all ties with them for the duration of the recall election.

      E-mails between Rep. Sandy Pasch’s official office in the state capitol and Citizen Action of Wisconsin were obtained by Media Trackers in an open records request. Released on Wednesday, the e-mails show Pasch being asked to help determine political endorsements for the liberal group as the executive director told the board, “You as the board of directors make the final decision on all endorsements.” Other e-mails included talking points, and even an attempt to coordinate communication between Rep. Pasch’s capitol office and Citizen Action of Wisconsin nearly a month into the Representative’s campaign for state senate.

      • Jody

        August 13, 2011 at 3:10 am

        I now better understand where you are getting your information. You repeatedly referred to Media Matters. The problem with so-called investigative journalistic websites is the ease by which they can be created. All it takes is money, and Media Matters has no problem obtaining that. It is very troubling how money combined with a a small network of unscrupulous people can suddenly give the impression of a grassroots movement. Follow the money and it quickly becomes clear that the same group of individuals continue to destroy our country, the middle class, and the American dream for their own personal greed.

        Media Matters was registered as a domain on Nov. 30, 2010 by Andrew “Drew” Ryun.
        American Majority sponsors Media Matters.
        Drew Ryun works for, and been a spokesperson for, American Majority.
        American Majority was founded (2008) and is run by Drew’s brother Ned. Ned was a former speech writer for George W. Bush. They both are sons of former Kansas Rep. Jim Ryun, himself linked to making a special deal with a so-called lobbyist linked non-profit).
        Drew Ryun was also the deputy director of grassroots for the Republican National Committee in 2004.
        Most of the American Majority’s funding comes from the Sam Adams Alliance.
        Sam Adams Alliance’s President is John Tsarpalas, former executive director of the Illinois Republican Party.

        American Majority purports to be: a non-partisan political training institute whose mission is to train and equip a national network of leadership committed to individual freedom through limited government and the free market.
        But, in 2010, they gave $117,000 to Republican candidates, and spent $41,000 in opposition to Democratic candidates. It does not disclose who its donors are. Also in 2010 the PAC paid a little over $100,000 (out of a budget of $175,000) for consulting, and almost $30,000 for travel. The American Majority is a partisan organization, as is Media Trackers.

        Drew and Ned also have been on the payroll (and or consulting for) the Madison Project who provide 100% of their contributions to Republicans, including a combined $12,500 to them on Nov. 15, 2010.

        Over the last thirty years our country has been attacked from within by a small group of people who are driven by greed. They have been ruthless, using any means necessary to obtain their goals, and are more dangerous than any foreign enemy. They do not respect their fellow citizens, the Bill of Rights, the rule of law, or our Constitution. The majority of votes in this country are controlled by one privately held company, who’s voting systems can be easily manipulated, especially by election insiders.

        In their race to accumulate wealth they are destroying our country, the environment, and our future.

        I raise the issue of organized front groups sending out mailers and making phone calls that intentionally mislead voters. Politicians that deliberately abuse their office to pass laws to disenfranchise voters. Your response is a claim of organizers giving out chicken dinners as an incentive to vote? Media Matters, the American Majority, and all the other front groups are nothing but shills for the elite of this country. They are contemptible humans who have sold out their fellow citizens, their country, and their children’s future in pursuit of greed.

        The citizens of Wisconsin are trying to make a decent living, have health care, enjoy life, and be prepared for their retirement years. Walker and those others act as if that is too much to ask for.

        If the Republicans in Wisconsin had the support of the majority, they would not need to do all the dirty tricks that has occurred.

        The evidence of multiple elections being stolen is overwhelming. I guarantee that if a forensic investigation was conducted on the Supreme Court election, and this election, people would be outraged. I thank citizens such as Richard for sacrificing their time and energy in trying to investigate how we are losing our country.

    • truthtility

      August 15, 2011 at 6:58 pm

      Jody I can’t reply to your second post because the reply isn’t showing for some reason.
      Nancy is talking about “Media Trackers”, not Media Matters. Media Matters is an excellent site.

      • Jody

        August 16, 2011 at 4:36 pm

        Sorry for the mistake. The information I obtained regarding the Ryun brothers was regarding MEDIA TRACKERS, not Media Matters.
        My second post does show when I bring up Richard’s blog. Perhaps he can edit the name in my second post to show the correct name.

      • Chuck Kalina

        September 14, 2012 at 3:02 am

        Yes…You are right. Media Matters IS a whole different animal. (thank-you for this clarification.) As you wrote, Media Matters is an “Excellent site”.

  12. Richard Charnin

    August 12, 2011 at 11:04 pm


    You said they voted in Walker. And that they retained 4 of the 6 senate seats.
    Now, that is true, the unverifiable machines sure did vote for them.
    But the voters didn’t.

    The machines also voted for Johnson and Prosser.
    But the voters didn’t. They voted for Feingold and Kloppenburg,
    Have you heard of Kathy Nickolaus?

    Election fraud is systemic. But you apparently believe there is no such animal.

    I suggest you look at the Wisconsin True Vote Model (all NINE elections are in there):

    There is really no point in us going any further on this.
    You can believe whatever you wish.

    On the other hand, my challenge still stands:
    Go ahead and refute the True Vote Model line by line: data, assumptions, logic

    • Nancy

      August 13, 2011 at 12:44 am

      And since my question to you remains unanswered, I’ll ask you: Are you from Wisconsin? Are you in a union? Are you in favor of the recalls? I don’t have the time or the data to try and refute what you say line by line, as it appears that this must be your livelihood. However, if you would submit your ideas on a blog with differing views, I bet someone else would.

      • Richard Charnin

        August 13, 2011 at 12:31 pm

        No, I do not live in Wisconsin. I’m in Florida.
        No, I am not in a union.
        Yes, I favor the recalls.

        I answered your questions, but you did not answer mine.

  13. Charles Kalina

    August 14, 2011 at 9:07 pm

    To Nancy Dalley: You do a good, if not propagandistic job, of creating hyperbolic, and trumped up accounts of Pasch’s involvement in liberal groups. (Too bad most of it is a crock, perpetuated by right-wing front groups, and presented by people like you, to keep the right-wing base full of non-factual baloney.) If we are to discuss organizational ties to “front groups”, perhaps we should start doing an in-depth analysis of ALEC, the WMC, and U.S Chamber Of Commerce. A lot of the TeaPublicans, both here in Wisconsin, and elsewhere, are tied to these billionaire advocacy organizations. But, even if your charges against Pasch’s affilliations are true, (They are’nt. And, there’s no proven illegality, even if she has affilliations with these groups) right-wing, corporate lobby groups, like ALEC, WMC, and others, are not even on the same playing field in terms of cash, and influence. The attack(s) on the middle-class, the union busting, attacks against public employees, the draconian budgets, and now attacks against, Social Security, and Medicare, can be directly traced to billionaire’s clubs, like ALEC. Conversely, these billionaire loving groups, constasntly push for more deregulation, and tax-cuts for those that are already living the fabulous life of the “rich”, and notorious. Our elected TeaPublicans get their lock-step marching orders from these slap-happy crooks. With a straight face, they will gladly villify the 47-thousand dollar a year snow-plow driver, and bemoan his pithy benefits, while ignoring 20-million dollar bonuses still being handed out to investment banksters. (The same investment banksters that crashed our economy. And, the same 47-thousand a year snow-plow drivers that risk their lives, and keep our roads clear of deadly snow, and ice, while most of us are safely asleep in our warm beds, at 2:30AM.) Yet, snow-plow drivers are bad, while investment banksters still bringing cash piles home?—- TeaPublican front groups will ignore that, and even cheer it on. These are the same people that have the gall to whine about unfair taxes, after decades of tax-cuts geared towards them, and have the unmitigated nerve to talk about “shared sacrifice”. Shared sacrifice???!!! I would love to see Nancy Dalley write an expose’ on Walker’s involvement, and many other TeaPublican legislators involvement with ALEC, (Going all the way back to Tommy Thompson.) and the subsequent Koch cash going to phony front-groups like ALEC. (American Legislative Exchange Council…Creates cookie-cutter legislation, from far out of state(s), then elected reps bring it home to fill in the blanks…No original thoughts, outside of protecting the treasure trove of super-wealthy folks, while devastating the middle-class in their robbery of the public square?) Nancy…. Please write, with the same zeal that you attack left-leaning organizations, about ALEC, WMC, Americans For Prosperity, Grover Norquist’s bizarre Taxpayer Alliance, the U.S. Chamber Of Commerce, and others. Please, by all means, feel free to point out the Wisconsin TeaPublicans strong ties, and yes, direct membership involvement with these organizations.

  14. Nancy

    August 15, 2011 at 10:33 pm

    These were your questions, not mine, dear.

  15. Trixie

    August 17, 2011 at 6:16 am

    Ok, I will admit upfront, without having gone into any of the details of your analysis, I am completely confused. Since when are national elections a predictor of local elections? Is that even a remotely valid assumption based on historical results? For any state for that matter?

    And that’s where I get lost right off the bat. I don’t have the data immediately available, but for instance, in District 2 (Nussbaum vs. Cowles), that district hasn’t seen a Democrat win in something like 100 years. That’s off the top of my head, and I could be way off on that number, but I know it’s been decades since it’s historically been a Republican stronghold (at least locally). Yet that district voted for Obama in 2008, by a sizeable number. I just don’t see how the two radically different types of elections are related.

    It’s entirely possible I’ve missed something obvious in your analysis, but based on how I am interpreting your assumptions, I don’t see the connection. I am not trying to be stupid here, but I just don’t get it. Feel free to educate me, I am always willing to understand these types of issues better. In fact, that’s what brought me to your site in the first place. 🙂

    • Richard Charnin

      August 17, 2011 at 2:14 pm


      Your questions are reasonable.
      I use the 2008 presidential election results as a base case only.
      1) The purpose of the model is not so much to project, but rather to determine the effects of a range of voter turnout and preference.ratios on the vote.
      2) in the nine recalls, 40-70% of 2008 election voters turned out. But we can only estimate the turnout percentages for Obama and McCain voters.
      3) Obama won District 2 with 52.5%. In fact, Obama won ALL nine districts..

      I suggest you look at the this sheet for the details on all nine recalls. You can enter your own assumptions as to turnout and voter preference,

  16. Trixie

    August 17, 2011 at 10:58 pm

    You say: Obama won District 2 with 52.5%. In fact, Obama won ALL nine districts.

    Yes, I get that. So my last question is this: Since Walker won ALL nine districts, by decent margins, in the more recent 2010 (and at least more local) elections, would using those elections as a base line change your conclusion?

  17. Richard Charnin

    August 18, 2011 at 4:24 am


    Your question seems logical enough. But there are a number of reasons why I cannot use the 2010 Governor election.

    The True Vote Model requires the prior election True Vote as a basis. Since Obama’s WI recorded vote share was close to the True Vote (based on the 1988-2008 State and National True Vote Model), I felt confident in using the 2008 WI county recorded vote as a basis.

    The TVM indicates that it is likely that Barrett won and Feingold both won.

    Using the prior election recorded vote as a basis for calculating the True Vote makes no sense yet pollsters do it all the time. They are paid to forecast the recorded vote, whether or not it is fraudulent, So they use prior fraudulent recorded votes to forecast a bogus recorded vote – a self-fulfilling prophecy. And they are usually right on the money.

    I’m interested in the True Vote. I know of no other election analyst who seeks to forecast the True Vote or analyze it post-election.

    To use 2010 district numbers, I would need to determine the True Vote for each district. IThat is not doable. However, since the 2008 county presidential recorded votes and state exit polls are available, I use them as the basis for calculating the True Vote for a selected county as well as for the state aggregate.

    This is the 2010 Governor True Vote Model sheet:

  18. Trixie

    August 18, 2011 at 5:28 am

    Yes, ok, I understand what you are saying. I think. Let me summarize what I think I know: you base a “true” vote for a district whose election results line up reasonably with exit polling. That being the case, I am assuming 2008 presidential results aligned with exit polls, withing an acceptable margin of error. And since exit polling for local elections haven’t historically been done (something I didn’t know), you based this latest analysis from 2008 presidential results.

    IF I got that straight, I get it. And for what’s it’s worth, after doing some research on election tallying, I didn’t realize how concealed the process was. Since it’s all computerized, I guess I assumed the entire process was easily audited. So this is me trying to understand the process better, and not an exercise in trolling. Thanks for your time! I’m off to review the data.

  19. Roselia Stoute

    August 18, 2011 at 2:12 pm

    Do you have a Facebook page or Twitter? Would love to follow you there, I’m on my iPhone and love reading your stuff!


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