Monday, April 2, 2012

Elections depend on who shows up

With it being Election Day tomorrow, I wanted to remind you of how turnout is a big deal in elections, especially when you see that the GAB predicts only a 35 percent turnout in tomorrow's primary and local elections. That's only about 1.5 million votes in all, and even quite a bit less than 2010's low 49.7%, and of course it's even bigger in your local races with a smaller voting population. And if you don't turn out, the other guys might. Look no further than 2008's and 2010's elections.

It's not coincidental that a part of Barabk Obama's big 14-point win in 2008 was because his campaign worked hard to get voters out in his bases of Milwaukee and Madison. And that shows when you see the big chunk of Wisconsin votes that come from those areas.

% of overall state vote, President 2008
Dane County 9.48%
City of Milwaukee 9.22%
Waukesha County 7.81%
Rest of Milw. Co. 6.71%
Brown County 4.18%
Racine County 3.37%
Outagamie Co. 3.07%
Winnebago Co. 2.94%
Rock County 2.65%
Kenosha County 2.64%

Now contrast that with Scott Walker's win in 2010. As is tyical, all places had fewer voters in the off-year election (49.7% turnout vs. 69.2% turnout in 2008), bit some dropped off more than others, and it meant that the percentages changed from '08. In fact, Waukesha County ended up outvoting the City of Milwaukee.

% of overall state vote, Governor 2010
Dane County 10.19%
Waukesha County 8.71%
City of Milwaukee 8.69%
Rest of Milwaukee Co. 7.09%
Brown County 4.09%
Racine County 3.37%
Outagamie Co. 3.02%
Winnebago Co. 2.83%
Washington Co. 2.73%
Rock County 2.42%

Also see how Washington County sneaks onto that list? Pretty significant, since Washington County went 75-24 for Walker in 2010, the highest percentage for any county Walker got in Wisconsin. In fact, Walker's best counties were prominent among those who added the most voters, while the areas that had the biggest dropoffs from 2008-2010 all went strongly Democratic in 2008.

Biggest increase in vote share 2008-2010
Waukesha County +0.90%
Dane County +0.71%
Washington Co. +0.45%
Rest of Milwaukee Co. +0.38% (Walker won 53-47)

Biggest decrease in vote share 2008-2010
City of Milwaukee -0.53%
Kenosha County- -0.37%
Rock County - -0.23%
Winnebago Co. -0.11% (went from 55% Obama to 54% Walker)

You can see where elections might swing based on who shows up. Walker's fans in the 262 always seem to show up, and when they aren't responded to in kind by the rest of Wisconsin, they end up taking over state government. And you see the disastrous results from the last 15 months.

So get yourself out there AND VOTE TOMORROW. Then follow suit on May 8 and especially June 5, and let's get our state back from the screeching minority that used a dip in ethusiasm in 2010 to slide their way into office.

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