There’s no such thing as a perfect candidate

Thank goodness that little fact doesn’t keep most people from voting. You see, if you want the perfect candidate, one who aligns exactly with your ideals, you are going to need to run yourself.

That’s a scary thought, huh? Can you imagine opening every closet for the entirety of your existence and explaining exactly what you were thinking when you were 23 and thought that (fill in this blank) was a good idea? It is a humbling experience, running for public office. Even local office. Imagine trying to be a governor of one of the 50 United States.

Still, in just a few weeks thousands will head to the Wisconsin polls. Armed with nothing more than their good intentions (thanks to the Supreme Court of the United States slap-down of photo voting ID) they will fill out a ballot declaring their allegiance to one of our two main candidates – Scott Walker or Mary Burke. Except not really. Your vote is not a proposal. More likely than not, Wisconsin independents, those voters who truly do not declare a party preference, are holding their noses while they draw the line on the ballot. (That can get tricky. Do be careful.)

The Marquette Law Poll, the current gold standard in Wisconsin polling, declared both candidates tied at 47% today. No need to round the numbers, the poll explained, because each candidate garnered 380 votes. That means 760 of the 803 likely voters have made their choice. That leaves 43 people who need to decide. Let’s call it 6%. Actually, when you read the numbers for question 16, only 3.3% claim to be undecided. The rest wouldn’t answer or claim they won’t vote or will vote for someone else.

Every advertisement you see, every pitch you hear, every dime spent campaigning for the next three weeks is to sway 3.3% to 6% of likely voters.


While I’m sure the Walker campaign grimaced over today’s numbers, and there was evidence that Burke was delighted, I’m not so concerned. The change from Walker’s 50% number two weeks ago to 47% now is within the 3.5% margin of error. No doubt Walker would have enjoyed seeing a number like 51, but it’s likely the last survey was a blip. The race is still very divided.

I catch heck all the time for not going all-in for Scott Walker. He’s not my perfect candidate.¬†For fun lets look at some other questions. Keep in mind, these are the same 803 people being surveyed. It looks like a few others responding are happy to keep a little incongruity in their political opinion, too.

5. Overall, do you approve or disapprove of the way Barack Obama is handling his job as President?

46.8% Approve

6. Overall, do you approve or disapprove of the way Scott Walker is handling his job as Governor of Wisconsin?

49.8% Approve

So in job performance, Walker outpaces Obama. Walker also comes very close to 50% there.

7. Favorable/Unfavorable: Barack Obama

50.6% say favorable.

8. Favorable/Unfavorable: Scott Walker

49.8 % say favorable.

And these are the four that keep my brow wrinkled. More approve of the Walker’s job performance, but more find President Barack Obama favorable. That favorability number for Obama may be why Burke will finally campaign with Obama in Wisconsin. (You might remember she slipped out of LaborFest before POTUS made his appearance a couple of months ago.)

Next is the number that hurts, though, if you are working for the Burke campaign:

9. Favorable/Unfavorable: Mary Burke

43.7% say favorable.

That’s right. 47% plan to vote for Burke, but only 43.7% view her positively.

Four more questions and then I’ll let you finish your coffee:

21. Wisconsin in the right direction – 53.4%

23. Wisconsin state budget in better shape – 45.4% say yes, and another 24% say about the same. Only 27.8% claim the budget to be in worse shape.

29. Scott Walker is someone who is able to get things done – 66.9%

30. Mary Burke is someone who is able to get things done – 45.6%

Once again, I’ll declare thatI’m betting on a Walker win at 53%. Someday I’ll need to explain why I’m as strong a candidate as the Democrat’s Mary Burke.

Cross posted at Purple Wisconsin.


  1. Mussolini was also effective at “getting things done”.