Boots & Sabers

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0810, 25 Jul 22

Nelson Drops Out of Democratic Primary for U.S. Senate

That’s a shame. He was one probably the most qualified and earnest candidate for Wisconsin on that ballot.

Outagamie County Executive Tom Nelson’s long run for the U.S. Senate is over.


Nelson announced Monday that he was ending his Democratic primary campaign and throwing his support to Lt. Gov. Mandela Barnes.


Although Nelson was running fourth in the polls, the move could provide a significant boost for Barnes, who is locked in a tight race with Milwaukee Bucks executive Alex Lasry, with state Treasurer Sarah Godlewski further behind.

I do wonder how many of a candidate’s supporters actually follow the candidate’s recommendation for an alternate candidate. Political followers always seem to assume that most or all of them will. I do it too. Can we really assume that all of Nelson’s 7%-10% will go to Barnes because Nelson told them to? Or will they split to the other candidates along the same lines as they would had Nelson not made a recommendation? Do failed candidates really have that much sway over their former supporters? Has anyone studied this?


0810, 25 July 2022


  1. Tuerqas

    I can’t say I ever studied it scientifically, but I have wondered about that in the past too and noticed that news and punditry add the percentages as if the followers will go along with the suggestion when it happens until the next poll. Then, in this example, Barnes will have slipped in the polls by whatever percent did not actually follow Nelson’s recommendation. So I have seen surges that are ‘shortlived’ because everyone will give Barnes Nelson’s percentages until the next poll comes out and shows what percentage really followed Nelson’s recommendation.

    I think it definitely has a significant positive effect for the recipient, though, because I think some of the undecideds can be swayed too.
    If a voter was behind Nelson because of research they did, laziness sets in when their horse leaves the race and they just go with Nelson’s choice as the next closest candidate, but an undecided may have liked Nelson too and if Barnes was their other choice it could help them make up their mind.

  2. Merlin

    Silver Spoon Lasry is out now too. He also now endorses Barnes.

  3. Mike

    The partisan WEC changes the rules again. Lasry voters are told they can call the clerk and request their ballot be cancelled so they can re-vote.
    We have always been told that one disadvantage of absentee voting was the inability to change your vote when additional information came to light between your vote and the election.

  4. Merlin

    >Lasry voters are told they can call the clerk and request their ballot be cancelled so they can re-vote.

    Why bother? Doesn’t matter. Milwaukee will ‘discover’ as many middle-of-the-night votes as Barnes needs anyway.

  5. penquin

    The partisan WEC

    Our elections used to be ran by a non-partisan board (one that was called “a worthy model for other states”), but the WI-GOP decided to eliminate it a few years ago in order to create this highly-partisan commission we now have. I think we should undo those changes and go back to how it was being done before.

    changes the rules again

    Are you sure that rule were just changed? ’cause here is a story from 2020 explaining how to cancel an absentee ballot that was already sent in.

    You might wanna double-check your info/sources before discouraging anyone from casting a vote.

    Milwaukee will ‘discover’ as many middle-of-the-night votes

    Waukesha County Clerk Kathy Nickolaus has entered the chat

  6. Jason

    Penny the dolt wants to go back to the guud ole days of John Doe investigations that are still an embarrassing stain on this great State. Good call Pangeuin, let’s do that.

  7. dad29

    Unlike the crook posing as the City of Milwaukee’s “elections chief”, Nickolaus was fired as soon as possible for her incompetence. Meantime, the Milwaukee crook “forgets” the memory stick with election results, leaving it someplace. It’s not secured, and chain-of-custody is irreparably broken.

    Immediately after plugging it in, Biden gains umpty-thousand votes and wins Wisconsin.

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