ABC News elections expert sees voter discontent as key to elections

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September 23, 2010

By Kyle Maichle

MILWAUKEE, Wisconsin: A consultant for the ABC News political unit said that the growing discontent and lack of trust from people towards their state and federal governments will be crucial to determining key electoral battles on November 2, 2010.

Ken Goldstien, an elections consultant for ABC News and a University of Wisconsin-Madison professor, said that he has never seen a greater amount of discontent among Wisconsinites towards elected officials. Goldstien also said that the level of discontent in the key battleground state is similar to what is happening in other states across the nation[1]. The consultant made these remarks to a crowd of over 200 during the Refocus Wisconsin luncheon at the Grain Exchange in Downtown Milwaukee.

Goldstien conducted a poll during June and July of 2010 as part of joint project with the Port Washington-based Wisconsin Policy Research Institute and the University of Wisconsin-Madison. The June 2010 poll was the first poll conducted by WPRI and Goldstien. The July 2010 follow-up poll revealed a higher level of frustration from survey respondents about Wisconsin's state government.

The July poll found that 70% of Wisconsinites are frustrated with their state government. This resulted in a five percent increase from June when 65% of respondents said that they are frustrated. Also, 47% of Wisconsinites responded in the same poll that "major reform" in state government is needed. Moreover, 61% of the respondents said that Wisconsin's state government is using outdated and old ideas[2].

Despite the poll did not mention any candidates on the statewide and state legislative tickets in Wisconsin, Goldstien said to luncheon attendees that the numbers are indicative of the growing trend of voter apathy and discontent nationwide[1]. The poll surveyed 3,330 Wisconsinites in June and July of 2010[2].

  • CLICK HERE for the full results of the Refocus Wisconsin Poll

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  1. 1.0 1.1 [From Ken Goldsiten's remarks given on 9/23/2010]
  2. 2.0 2.1 Refocus Wisconsin, "Statewide Polling Data"