Sunday, May 13, 2012

May 8 election turnout- does it mean anything for June 5?

Been a bit busy with Craft Beer Week, good weather, and other duties, so I haven't had a lot of time to discuss Tuesday's election results, and if there's anything to be read into them.

First, I don't really see much importance that nearly as many Republicans voted for Walker as others voted for the real Dems and Arthur Kohl-Riggs. Ok, we didn't know that about 20% of the state's voting popuilation consists of right-wing Walker-supporting wack-jobs that have nothing better to do than follow the orders of right-wing radio hosts? Big freaking deal. The real question is where can Walker find at least another 500,000 to support him that were't have their little show of force on May 8? I'm not sure they exist, at least in Wisconsin.

The number that jumped out for me wasn't just that all 4 Dem Senators won their recall primary over the fake Dem by huge margins, but who won by the most- Lori Compas in District 13. Compas is running in allegedly the reddest district of the 4, and one where recalled Senator Scott Fitzgerald actively recruited a huge Walker supporter from Lake Mills to be the candidate, but Lori won 72-28%, and got more than 21,000 votes in the process (which is nearly as many votes as Fitzgerald's opponents got in the 2010 general election, which had 2 times as many votes). Fitz has to be freaked about seeing this level of support for Compas, and Foolish Fitz didn't do himself any favors this weekend by implying that Compas's husband did all the heavy lifting in the recall drive that Lori headed up. Which led the Compas family/campaign to put together this awesome video (full-screen it and check out the kids' t-shirts, SWEET!).

And that's why Lori Compas is the American Dream, and that's why she has a real chance to win this thing. Walker has to be furious with Fitz for being such a dimwit, because Walker won Fitz's district by 26 points in 2010, and if Lori beats Fitz or comes close, you can bet Walker will lose most of those 26 points out of his 2010 lead as well. When you remember that Walker only won by 5.77% statewide in 2010, even a 12-point swing would equal a sizable Walker loss.

As for going inside the gov's race, other than high numbers for Walker in the Green Bay-Appleton area, (an area Dems really suffered in during 2010 and have to pick it up in), and comparatively large numbers of voters in the City of Milwaukee (over 35% turnout, above the state average) and Barrett's support in his hometown (over 70% of the Dem primary vote), I didn't see too much in the Guv numbers to point out. And I'm not concerned about allegedly lower-than-expected Dem turnout, because I can personally speak to several people I know that didn't vote on May 8 (they were happy with any Dem that won), but these people have actively marched in protest rallies and will certainly be there to vote for Barrett on June 5. Can Walker and WisGOP say the same?

One thing I did notice is the big drop-off in the number of people in Waukesha County that voted in the Governor's election (just under 70% for Walker and fake Dem Gladys Huber, by the way), and the comparatively small amount that voted in the Liutenant Governor's election (114,803 voted in the Gov election, but only 52,328 voted for Lieutenant Gov). This was a "drop-off rate" of 54.42%, and it was well above the state drop-off average of 41.28% outside of Waukesha County, and it made me wonder if Kathy Nickolaus was pre-marking absentee ballots again, like she did in 2005. So I decided to take a look at the numbers of the places with the highest turnouts in the state to see if there was any pattern to be seen (the one exception to this analysis is the parts of Milwaukee Country that are not in the City of Milwaukee, because the County doesn't have the unofficial results up on its site. If anyone can find it, I'll greatly appreciate it and add the info). What I'm going to do is combine the Dem vote (minus Huber) and Arthur Kohl-Riggs' (who will be listed as AKR) total share of the vote, and then see how much of a drop-off there was in who voted for Lieutenant Governor, along with winner Mahlon Mitchell's percentage of the vote.

May 8 recall primary vote in large Wis. counties
Dane County- 78.77% Dem/AKR, 68.64% Mitchell, 27.91% drop-off
City of Milw- 78.00% Dem/AKR, 58.76% Mitchell, 27.76% drop-off
Rock County- 60.32% Dem/AKR, 55.09% Mitchell, 35.26% drop-off
Statewide- 52.05% Dem/AKR, 52.23% Mitchell,42.43% drop-off
Racine County- 50.40% Dem/AKR, 47.95% Mitchell, 36.76% drop-off
Winnebago Co.- 48.85% Dem/AKR, 50.17% Mitchell, 44.30% drop-off
Brown County- 44.11% Dem/AKR, 49.04% Mitchell, 45.06% drop-off
Outagamie Co.- 43.29% Dem/AKR, 50.73% Mitchell, 43.88% drop-off
Waukesha Co.- 30.85% Dem/AKR, 33.67% Mitchell, 54.42% drop-off
Washington Co.- 26.53% Dem/AKR, 31.23% Mitchell, 56.81% drop-off

So it certainly seems to be a pretty good correlation between a lower Dem/AKR vote and Mitchell vote, and a higher drop-off rate, and the state numbers are right around the breakeven point for this (52%). This also shows itself in the fact that Mitchell scored below the Dem/AKR figures in the high-Dem areas, and above the Dem/AKR figures in the low Dem areas. Given the huge drop-offs in Bagger counties like Washington and Waukesha, I bet fake Dem Isaac Weix is pretty bent at the number of people in the 262 who didn't fill out the Lt. Gov. ballots, because he might have had a chance to win if they did, because the heavy-Dem counties dropped off enough to give an opening. Apparently they needed Sykes and Belling to also tell them who to vote for in that race, and since they didn't get their cue, they just dropped off the ballot (if you believe the GOP nut officials in those counties didn't have the Nickolaus-style pre-marked "Walker" ballots, that is).

The one outlier for a lower drop-off seemed to be Racine County, who also had a Senate recall primary in much of it, so I wanted to combine that with numbers from two other prominent counties with recall primaries- Marathon County (District 29) and Eau Claire County (District 23), and see if that may have been a reason.

May 8 recall primary vote in large Wis. counties
Eau Claire Co.- 58.53% Dem/AKR, 47.99% Mitchell, 28.61% drop-off
Racine County- 50.40% Dem/AKR, 47.95% Mitchell, 36.76% drop-off
Marathon Co.- 44.71% Dem/AKR, 46.76% Mitchell, 45.94% drop-off

The lower-than-expected drop-off amounts seem to be the case in Eau Claire and Racine Counties, while Marathon County acted more like similar-scoring places in Brown and Outagamie Counties. So I'd call it an "inconsistent" correlation on turnout, and Eau Claire County's lower numbers for Mitchell vs. Dem/AKR is a bit off as well.

Bottom line- the numbers aren't a big indicator at this time, because if the June 5 election turnout matches 2006 and 2010, you're looking at another 60-65% of voters entering the booths vs. the amount on May 8, and we'll see who those people are. I'm thinking that the more people that turn out, the more it helps Barrett, and some polls don't seem to want to get this, and sticks with samples that are more like who voted on May 8. I'll break some of this down more in the next 3 weeks, but I figure this is enough number geekery for a given night.

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