Boots & Sabers

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0716, 11 Apr 23

Democrat machine is a well-tuned juggernaut

I suppose that I’ll pile on in the aftermath of the election last week. My column in the Washington County Daily News not only highlights some of the Righties’ failures, but also the phenomenal machine that the Democrats have built. Republicans are still fighting the last war as the Democrats are winning this one. Here’s a part:

Beyond the candidates and their individual campaign strategies, the respective political parties waged entirely different battles. Truly, hats off to Ben Wikler, the chairman of the Democratic Party of Wisconsin. He is an organizational, messaging, and fundraising powerhouse. He has a knack for nationalizing state races to attract national money and for maintaining intramural discipline during primaries.


The Democrats also have an electoral structural advantage in that their voters are more concentrated. This makes it easier to concentrate resources to drive turnout. For example, the turnout in Dane County in recent years — a county whose voters vote 80% or more for leftists — has been phenomenal. Only 36% of Protasiewicz’s vote total came from Dane and Milwaukee Counties. By contrast, the top two counties for Kelly were just 19.3% of his vote total.


The Democrats have also been tremendous at turning out their key voting groups like college students. For example, the dorms at the University of Wisconsin- La Crosse are in two wards. Turnout was over 54% in those wards last week compared to less than 20% in the previous spring election.


The Democrats have also taken full advantage of campaign finance and election laws. They funneled over $10 million to Protasiewicz’s campaign through the Democratic Party while Kelly eschewed any Republican Party money. The Democrats push hard for mail-in voting, early voting, ballot harvesting, and any other means to get people to vote who otherwise would not. Meanwhile, Republicans bicker over the appropriateness of these means and continue to lose elections.

Anecdotally, I also saw a marked difference in how each side was reaching out to voters. I received at least five texts from leftists for every one from righties urging me to vote or pushing an issue. Online, the ads were 10 to one in favor of leftists. Meanwhile, I received several mailers from righty groups and none from leftists. Democrats are putting their resources into reaching voters where they are while Republicans are spending their money and time on the campaign tactics of 2004.



0716, 11 April 2023


  1. Mike

    My parents live in memory care and that unit was hit for votes the first morning of early voting. Meanwhile I didn’t hear a Kelly ad until a week into early voting.
    I did get a call from the local Republican office a few days later and told them about the vote harvesting in their memory care unit and the response I got was “They voted, that’s wonderful!”

  2. dad29

    campaign tactics of 2004.

    Nope. 1964.

    Also note that the Democrats utilize their couch-potato base by paying them to find and hustle voters. It’s not illegal. But the Republicans cannot bring themselves to spend money on anything but 4-color glossy postcards and TeeeeVee ads produced in that beloved 1950’s style.

  3. jonnyv

    I rely on my 13 year old son to let me know what YouTube ads he sees when watching Minecraft videos. I can confirm that he said he saw more for Judge Janet than Kelly. Of course, this is just 1 kid’s observation who lives in a DARK blue area of Milwaukee. So that might just be what was targeted to him more.

    It really feels like Republicans are in a tough spiral to pull out of. Their voting base is getting older and less urban, so that is where you need to try and get the word out. So why would you spend a lot of money on places where your base isn’t (digital ads & urban environments). But of course, then you can argue that you will NEVER appeal to the younger crowds if you don’t spend money there. Also, it is going to be tough to win the youth vote when the leading presidential candidate is a VERY unpopular former president, and the only thing that seems to be on the lips of many conservative influencers is Trans rights and “wokeness”. I swear, every time someone on Fox or AM Radio says “woke” the republicans lose another youth voter. How much time has been wasted on Bud Light this week??? More than people were probably wasted FROM Bud Light this week.

    I also believe that the abortion issue is hurting the republican party. It may be in their best interest to repeal the 1849 law and put in something more moderate (aka FL). Of course, by doing THAT they run the risk of pissing off their hard core base. But at least it would take it off the table for Dems to run against them on. But as long as there is the CHANCE for it to be used against them… it will be.

    But it is funny to go back and re-read comments from last year when some of us said that abortion was going to help drive D voters to the polls, but many here said that it wasn’t going to happen and it was all about the economy and inflation. Republicans have lost the last 14 out of 18 state elections? The Rs need someone who is young (under 45), has actual plans for improvement, charismatic, and avoids most of the culture war BS that doesn’t appeal to younger & more progressive people.

  4. dad29

    many here said that it wasn’t going to happen and it was all about the economy and inflation.


    Most voters understand that SCOWI has nothing to do with either “the economy” or “inflation.” The ’24 Presidential contest is a far different matter. We’d be happy to see documentation of your claim that this SCOWI race was highlighted by “most folks around here” as a race based on “economy” and “inflation.”

    But we’re not holding our breath.

    It is possible that abortion will be a major player in the ’24, of course. And it’s possible that Pritzker and Soros (inter alia) will drop a few hundred million into (D) coffers to push it.

    But it’s a long way to ’24–and most of the action happens after Labor Day.

  5. Mar

    The Democrats are going after the young stupid people and the rich elite.
    The Democrats are no longer the party of the working class people, men, except those men whom identify as something else and men who support the tranny’s.
    And Johnny, you stated a very false statement.
    The GOP is getting more support from people who actually work for a living and they are not old and dying.
    What utter BS.

  6. jonnyv

    Dad29, I wasn’t talking about this election. I said “last year”, meaning the Nov election. But the point was that the abortion topic is STILL driving voters on the D side months later.

    You are right that SCOWI has nothing to do with the economy, it was ALL ABOUT abortion seemingly.

    I don’t know what will be the driving forces in ’24. Inflation is way down right now, but who knows what it will look like in a year. Or Ukraine. Or Russia. My point is that as long as the abortion topic is out there for either side to run on, it seems like the D’s have the advantage on it.

  7. jonnyv

    Mar, “work for a living”. Unemployment is extremely low. Most people are working for a living. And more voted for Ds, and have for the past 14 out of 18 elections.

    Maybe the fact that you call them “young stupid people” is the reason why THEY DONT VOTE FOR YOUR SIDE! Big cities tend to have more education per person than rural areas, and they always vote blue. I don’t think that college education is necessarily any better or worse than other types of education, but it sure seems to point one direction, and has for a LONG LONG time. Those young people are probably more plugged in and gather more information on subjects than the average person. And the more you dismiss them, the more they will continue to vote Democrat. So by all means… keep it up. Make the R’s side irrelevant in all statewide & nationwide elections.

    Republicans used to stand for small gov’t and personal freedoms. That has changed. Instead now they want to get into everyone’s pants and inspect your junk. IMO Republicans need to stick to a few key things.
    1. Lowering the deficit and paying down the debt.
    2. 2nd amendment rights. (as much as I disagree with many of the laws, it is a winning subject with many)
    3. School Choice. (I have a lot of reservations, but I think this could drive voters)
    4. Affordable housing in suburbs and places where people want to live.

    STAY OUT OF “WOKENESS”. Avoid ALL the subjects regarding it. Political Correctness, Trans-rights, pronouns, CRT, gay-marriage, etc. Culture war BS. “Church agenda” BS. Those are all losing wars and it is driving young people away from your tent.

  8. Merlin

    >The Democrats are no longer the party of the working class people, men, except those men whom identify as something else and men who support the tranny’s.

    Once the nation became generally too affluent, the Dems needed to create a new underclass. They’ve thrown open our southern border as a golden invitation to replenish a perpetually poor base. Dems are angling for a return to a quietly subservient constituency. They’ll toss the freaks under the bus at the first opportunity. They serve a purpose at present, but they’re too demanding and won’t be satisfied by having hollow promises tossed their way. Voters with high expectations are a problem.

  9. Tuerqas

    >Voters with high expectations are a problem.

    Really? Can you name a voter with high expectations from either side of the fence? I pretty much agree with everything Jonny has said here. As long as abortion is any part of the campaign, every Republican will be painted as “extreme”, and even though the Democratic party is the very picture of an ‘extremist’ Party by any American historical definition, people believe what they hear over and over…and over and over and over.

    I would bet even a Republican candidate who says they are pro-abortion will have one stray comment or action used against them once in their past life to paint them as a flip-flopping extremist.

    Abortion is a killer topic for today’s entire western world. Too many women are forced to work for a living today even with a husband/partner to be forced to have an unwanted child in or out of wedlock. And to put all of the responsibility on the woman for it? Sorry Reps, you have and will continue to lose at least 75% of the female vote on that alone for eternity. Has it not occurred to a single Republican that the ‘current’ anti-abortion law pre-dates the rights of blacks and women to even vote, much less work full time (for a wage)? It may be just a sidebar issue for the majority of the 30 odd percent of white men in the US today, but it is a very important issue to everyone else. Woke up Republicans!

  10. Merlin

    >Really? Can you name a voter with high expectations from either side of the fence?

    Sure. Me. My family. Lowering your own standards and expectations in order to go along to get along in a rapidly degrading society is not the answer to slowing the slide. Situational ethics aren’t for everyone. If the choice is to compromise and lose, or resist and lose, I feel more comfortable in my own skin not abandoning my own moral and ethical core values as I lose. The sheer number of people who think they’re winning as we circle the drain is astounding.

  11. jonnyv

    T. I am never NOT going to remind you that you said, “I pretty much agree with everything Jonny has said here.” lol.

    Merlin, I respect that you won’t vote against any core morals. But it is less and less likely you are going to find someone who matches YOUR moral code. I used to tell people that I aligned more with D’s socially and R’s fiscally. But over the past 10-15 years, that has changed. I don’t see my values fiscally in any party. But I still see some of my values in the D party socially. Moreso that the R party has REJECTED my values socially. Banning Drag shows. Banning books. Banning classes. There is no party of small gov’t anymore.

  12. dad29

    the ‘current’ anti-abortion law pre-dates the rights of blacks and women to even vote, much less work full time (for a wage)?

    So do the Ten Commandments. Let’s repeal all of them while we’re at it.

  13. Merlin

    For decades all the RNC/GOPe has offered voters is an opportunity to lose by compromise. One-sided compromise is not compromise at all, so in reality winning was still losing. People on the right have been excruciatingly slow to realize this and push back. Perhaps it’s too late.

  14. jonnyv

    Dad29, if those were written into some sort of state law, I would vote to repeal most of them. 1, 2, 3, 4, 5, 7, 10.

  15. Tuerqas

    Merlin, I guess we disagree a bit on what high expectations means. I think you are conflating high expectations with high standards and I would not do that. I think they are distinctly different. My high standards have stopped me from voting for all Dems to date and most Reps in my life. I expect very little from our Government today and have supported a constitutional convention for a few decades now. Sure, we may get some things we don’t want, but it might give all US citizens a new ground that I could stand on with them. Right now our Government is rot and decay and that does not fix itself from within. Voters with high expectations are no problem whatsoever as has been proven my entire lifetime, they are simply marginalized and ignored.

    Remind away JonnyV, we have been on the same side of more than one issue, and we were together in predicting how much the abortion issue would hurt Republican candidates.

    Dad29, wanna go over those quick?
    1) “Thou shalt have no other gods before me.”
    First, He was talking only to Jews. Today there are a myriad different faiths and none of them are against the law here. So, done. Repealed from the very beginning of the US.
    2) “Thou shalt not make unto thee any graven image.”
    Statues/pictures of God, Jesus and the virgin Mary abound, not to mention figurines of those other religions aforementioned. Effectively repealed in today’s world.
    3) “Thou shalt not take the name of the Lord thy God in vain.”
    The first amendment put the kabosh on that one. 0 for 3 on commandments still regularly observed much less in laws.
    4) “Remember the sabbath day, to keep it holy.”
    Yea Saturdays, the retail world’s bread and butter where everyone works…oh. 0 for 4
    5) “Honour thy father and thy mother.”
    No laws for or against that one, I fear.
    6) “Thou shalt not kill.”
    Finally! One that is still much used today. There are many successful defenses and conditions though, aren’t there. Some laws define abortion as murder, other laws don’t. Self defense, insanity, manslaughter, just being rich enough to buy the better lawyer has gotten many a person off. We are not getting rid of it, but we have bastardized it, haven’t we?
    7) “Thou shalt not commit adultery.”
    Nope, it is only rarely an enforceable crime unless a rich person goes after a poor one. It may get you a better divorce settlement or on some TV reality shows, but most liaisons are not enforceably illegal anymore.
    8) “Thou shalt not steal.”
    Finally one that no non-Marxist wants to get rid of and so it is still on the books everywhere. And if you believe it is still on the books because it was stated as a commandment to the Jews rather than because it hurts everyone who is a victim of it regardless of their faith, I have some prime real estate in FL to sell you.
    9) “Thou shalt not bear false witness against thy neighbour.”
    Listen to one campaign ad during elections and try to convince me this is considered a crime anymore. Proving slander is like trying to hold back an avalanche with a spatula.
    10) “Thou shalt not covet.”
    In today’s material world greed is almost considered a positive trait in the world today. It is essentially a synonym for gumption, being enterprising or a ‘go-getter’ or ambition. Not against the law unless you actually steal what you covet.

    So outside of theft and certain types of murder they already have been ‘repealed’, at least the few that had ever been against an American law in the first place.
    So you stupidly equated an outdated law in effect in the US today with an ancient set of religious rules that never applied to post-Christ people in the first place. Kind of shows what age your OT mind is at and proves my point, doesn’t it? No consideration at all of the basic point of my statement, you are definitely one of the many Republicans that have not given it a single thought and would rather attack than even think about it.

  16. dad29

    I would vote to repeal most of them. 1, 2, 3, 4, 5, 7, 10.

    Your problem is that they have NOT been repealed; you have only about 40 years to figure that out and make it right with the REAL Big Guy.

    I note that T is now a Recognized Scholar of Theology and Antiquity as Applied in the Judeao-Christian tradition. Damn!! Don’t have time to clear up that confusion but there’s plenty there……

  17. Mike

    Wisconsin’s abortion law has been amended twice in this century. It is current law, not 1849 law.
    Abortion has normalized the killing of unwanted human beings.
    A Fetus is a subset of human beings, just like seniors and Down’s syndrome kids. Remember Gov Northam saying an unwanted child born alive would be made comfortable while a decision was made regarding whether they live or not? You and I are next.

  18. dad29

    You and I are next.

    Yes. Except that pre-born infants don’t have an AR handy. I do.

    Amazing, ain’a, how utterly callous some people are about exterminating babies?

  19. Mar

    “Dad29, if those were written into some sort of state law, I would vote to repeal most of them”
    Do you not value life of a baby? Do you not value the life of a human being?

  20. dad29

    Mar, you may have noticed that the Big 10 are linked. Bust one and you’ll wind up busting all, to one degree or another. So a dismissal of #`1 will usually lead to a dismissal of # 5 (murder of innocent), # 6 (adultery/serial marriage), etc. You can observe the progress by observing your friends as they walk down that path. Is it inevitable? Perfectly consistent? Nope. But there’s enough ‘there’ there.

  21. Tuerqas

    >I note that T is now a Recognized Scholar of Theology and Antiquity as Applied in the Judeao-Christian tradition.

    My simple opinions make me a recognized scholar of theology and antiquity? Where were you when they were giving out scholarships for College to my grades?

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