Campaigns and Elections,Edge Messaging,Public Policy

MU Law Poll Analysis

18 Sep , 2018  

It is not time to panic, but don’t kid yourself, all is not well.


Parental obligations and client meetings this afternoon preclude me from the usual Marquette University rapid reaction video.  But after getting grief from folks (who knew you cared?), I will take a minute to offer a brief perspective on the results.

Biggest takeaway is that while Republicans should not panic, many need to adapt and overcome. Three big things: 1, the Right Direction/Wrong Track numbers have a bad trajectory 2, there is a growing enthusiasm gap with Democrats more jazzed about the election than GOPers. And, 3, Despite six months of record unemployment in Wisconsin and a whole host of other good news, the mood of the electorate here is mirroring that of the national polls. That is, the traditional mid-term hangover for the party in power has emerged.

The question remains, of course, will things get better or worse over the next 49 days.

Leah Vukmir is clearly feeling the after effects of a bruising primary, one that pushed her so far to the right it pushed moderates and independents into Baldwin’s camp. The National Club For Growth strikes again!

Governor Walker, as he himself predicted, is now behind Evers. The Evers campaign received a post-primary boost and the Governor is suffering the triple whammy of mid-term funk, voters having 2-term incumbent fatigue, and a complacency that often accompanies prosperity (The public doesn’t clamor for tax cuts when the economy is booming; in fact, they are more willing to tolerate the increased social services spending that Democrats promise).

Polls are only a snapshot in time and a lot can happen in 49 days. But there isn’t a moment to waste, it is time kick it into gear.  However, the problem with bad poll numbers is that they can impact donor and grassroots enthusiasm. Republicans up and down the ballot need to prevent that, first and foremost.

And, a bit about the President. This poll is not all about him. Generally, President Trump’s positives do not seep down the ballot, but his negatives always have. That has never been so evident in Wisconsin as it is in this poll. His unpopularity with college educated white women and independents is really hurting both Vukmir and Walker. (And, I suspect legislative Republicans may be seeing the same impact on their polling, by the way). No candidate will write off that demographic, and they do have good things to talk to them about, if they so choose. They need to!

In fact, in many policy areas the GOP candidates have great stories to tell all of Wisconsin. They need to find the right storytellers, and the undecided / leaning ears willing to give them a listen.

The Wisconsin GOP’s fate is in their own hands. They are not tied to the fortunes or misfortunes of President Trump. But the grassroots and the donors need to step up. As do the candidates. County party and regional offices need to start humming 14 hours a day. Callers need to call. Lit droppers need to drop. Donors need to donate. Leaders need to lead. It’s going to be a grind. So be it.

Oh, as for my client Brad Schimel? Well, his take on his favorable numbers can be found, here.
MU Law School Poll September results, here.

Campaigns and Elections,Edge Messaging,Podcast,Public Policy

What we learned from the July Marquette University Law School Poll?

18 Jul , 2018  

Dan Deibert and I discuss the findings from the latest Marquette University Law School Poll, which were released this afternoon.



Here are the top-line numbers. The cross tabs can be found here.

This will be the last poll before the primary, which is less than 4 weeks away (August 14).



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Edge Messaging,Half Hour Happy Hour,Podcast,Public Policy

Outside the Bubble, Featuring Charlie Sykes

8 May , 2018  

In his most extensive interview since leaving 620 WTMJ in Milwaukee, conservative author and pundit Charlie Sykes sat down with me for the latest episode of Outside the Bubble.

Now a fixture on national news programs, including MSNBC, Sykes reflects on his first year away from his Milwaukee radio talk show and reacts to his numerous, and vocal, critics.

Podcast,Public Policy

EdgeCast Live: Politics and Policy

7 Mar , 2018  

Lisa Manna and I did a Facebook Live today covering a myriad of topics including Eric Hovde possibly getting in the US Senate race and my thoughts on the school walk out coming up next week.





Campaigns and Elections,Edge Messaging,Public Policy

Breaking Down the Latest MU Law Poll

5 Mar , 2018  

The new Marquette University Law School poll out today had some interesting results. I broke it all down during a Facebook Live including the findings on Foxconn, President Trump, Governor Walker, Senator Baldwin and more.


Dailytakes On Air,Fraley,Public Policy

My take on tonight’s looming government shutdown

19 Jan , 2018  

The folks at WTMJ’s Milwaukee studio called the Edge Messaging production facility in Brookfield and we discussed tonight’s looming federal government shutdown. Who wins? Who loses? Who’s to blame? Will anyone blink?

Listen, here:



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Campaigns and Elections,Public Policy

Fact: Every Wisconsin Republican Lawmaker Who Supports Infrastructure Investment Rewarded with Re-Election

10 Nov , 2016  

So, as you know, I support efforts to invest in our transportation infrastructure. I think it is a key component in economic development efforts in Wisconsin. All the job training programs and incentive grants in the world won’t mean didily if getting raw materials and manufactured goods to and from market becomes harder and harder every year.

Fortunately, more and more lawmakers get it. And so does the public.

One of the key takeaways from this past election is that sensible lawmakers who aren’t afraid to tackle real problems have nothing to fear come election time.

Every single Wisconsin Republican lawmaker who has pledged to meet our economic development needs and invest in transportation infrastructure won on Tuesday.

Every single one. More…

Just Fix It!,Public Policy

Wisconsin Business Leaders Want Roads Fixed Now and a Sustainable Budget for Future

22 Aug , 2016  

Wisconsin’s transportation infrastructure is in crisis. As I’ve written, I believe it is imperative for conservative lawmakers to take the lead to find the most responsible and efficient ways to address this crisis and create a sustainable revenue source so things never get this bad again. But no matter your political persuasion, the transportation crisis is an issue that impacts every business in Wisconsin.>

We’ve come a long way but we can’t ignore the fact that the job is not yet done.


Fraley,History,Public Policy

Our Fight Against the John Doe Ringleaders Continues

2 Aug , 2016  

If you thought conservatives’ counter assault against the partisan witch hunters who tried to silence us was over, think again.

On Monday, the John K. MacIver Institute for Public Policy filed a class action in Federal Court.

From the official press release: More…

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Public Policy

Conservatives Must Lead the Way With Transportation Fix

31 May , 2016  

It’s time to get serious about the Wisconsin road, bridge and highway crisis, and it’s time for conservatives to lead the way toward resolving it.

Conservatives are guided by facts, not emotion. Here are the facts:

  • 42 percent of Wisconsin’s major roads are in mediocre to poor condition
  • In a report card for 2015, the Wisconsin Taxpayers Alliance gave the condition of Wisconsin’s highways a D–this was the worst grade of the 23 factors that were measured
  • 14 percent of our bridges need immediate repair or modernization and 919 are currently posted with weight restrictions, so many of today’s heavier trucks and farm implements can no longer safely go over them
  • Our Interstates, which are beyond their 50 year life span, are in the process of being reconstructed
  • While income and property tax receipts to the state increase every year (even in a sluggish economy) gas tax receipts do not because of increased fuel efficiency
  • Our vehicle registration fees are also relatively low compared to other states, which makes the annual cost to drive (gas tax and vehicle registration fees) lowest in the region by a wide margin
  • We’ve relied upon bonding so much in recent years that debt service now accounts for 19.3 percent of every dollar spent from the transportation fund, that’s up from 10.8 percent in 2010
  • The rightly-applauded property tax freeze implemented in Wisconsin is going up in smoke as municipality after municipality relies on bonding, new taxes, and referenda-approved spending to cover dwindling state transportation aid


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