Wisconsin Senate: Argument over Assumptions

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Nathan L. Gonzales February 5, 2016 · 2:00 PM EST

Marquette University Law School recently released a poll which showed GOP Sen. Ron Johnson losing to former Democratic Sen. Russ Feingold by 13 points in Wisconsin. Johnson’s allies called the poll “bogus” and claim that the race is tied. So who’s right?

The fight over the narrative in Wisconsin is just one example of the argument over assumptions that is taking place all over the country. 

Republican and Democratic strategists have different expectations about who will show up to vote in November (how many Democrats vs. how many Republicans) and that affects their polling numbers.

In a scathing, two-page memo, Let America Work, a pro-Johnson Super PAC, criticized the Marquette survey because it “interviewed the wrong people” and “manipulated the data.” Johnson allies believe the Marquette sample is too Democratic and includes too many younger voters and is flawed because it looks at registered voters instead of likely voters. 

Republicans in DC spend a lot of time explaining away the Marquette poll when the best case scenario for the incumbent appears to be a November poll of likely voters from Let America Work, which showed Johnson down by 1 point. A less-publicized sub-sample of likely voters in the recent Marquette survey showed Feingold up by 11 points.

Ultimately,…

Why Haven’t We Updated Our Presidential Ratings?

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Nathan L. Gonzales February 5, 2016 · 1:59 PM EST

The presidential race has moved from hypothetical to reality as voters begin to caucus and cast their ballots in the early states. But while the primaries are starting to take shape, the outlook on the general election is still far from clear.

I got a call a couple weeks ago from a reader in…

Indiana Governor: How Vulnerable is Mike Pence?

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Nathan L. Gonzales February 5, 2016 · 1:58 PM EST

Republican Mike Pence’s shift from the U.S. House of Representatives to governor was supposed to make it easier for him to run for President. But he and the Republicans in the Indiana Legislature created a national firestorm last year over the Religious Freedom Restoration Act (RFRA). And now there…

Wisconsin 8: Ribble Retirement Creates Vulnerable GOP Open Seat

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Nathan L. Gonzales February 5, 2016 · 1:57 PM EST

Three-term Rep. Reid Ribble of Wisconsin announced his retirement, leaving Republicans with yet another competitive open seat to defend.

The roofing contractor talked about how he achieved his main legislative goals and expressed his desire to spend more time with his family and return to the…

Tennessee 8: Fincher’s Decision Brings Congress to Historical Average Number of Retirements

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Nathan L. Gonzales February 5, 2016 · 1:56 PM EST

Not long after Wisconsin Rep. Reid Ribble announced his retirement, Tennessee Rep. Stephen Fincher followed suit. Although it may seem like an exodus, Fincher’s decision brings this Congress to recent historical average for Members calling it quits.

Unlike Ribble’s seat, Fincher’s 8th District in…