Thursday, December 02, 2010

Pratt's bitterness tour was an epic FAIL

Former City of Milwaukee alderman/mayor, Marvin Pratt raised many eyebrows when he endorsed Scott Walker for governor. It didn't take long for most people to realize that this was probably due to some lingering bitterness over his loss to Tom Barrett in the 2004 mayoral election. Others speculated that he was angling for a job with Walker. His reasons are almost irrelevant at this point because his efforts ended up being hugely unsuccessful.

When reports surfaced that Pratt was escorting Walker to Milwaukee churches, people assumed that it might help Walker make a dent in the African American vote. Those early assumptions clearly underestimated the savvy of the actual voters. Not only did Mayor Barrett command Milwaukee County (62% to 38%) but his strongest 47 wards statewide were in Milwaukee's African American majority neighborhoods. Milwaukee Journal Sentinel's Craig Gilbert reported today that Scott Walker had almost "zero support" in these wards. Here are some of the details that he provides:

In city ward 175, Barrett got 244 votes and Walker got one. In city ward 99, Barrett got 478 votes and Walker got two. Barrett got more than 99% of the vote in four Milwaukee wards, and 97% or more in 33 wards.
The bottom line is that voters in communities like mine were not fooled. They were all too familiar with Scott Walker's miserable record in Milwaukee County in general and for the African American community in particular (county layoffs of largely AA workers, mismanaged assistance programs, the destruction of public transit, repeatedly trying to close the MLK Community Center...etc). Marvin Pratt running around with Walker to local churches clearly did not change that reality. In fact Mayor Barrett's margins in many of these wards couldn't have numerically been much higher. It looks like Marvin Pratt's last second bitterness tour ended up being more of an epic FAIL.

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