I was going back over the statewide totals for both the presidential and US Senate races in Wisconsin, and found some interesting patterns. I think looking at both statewide races are vital, because while there wasn't all that much ticket-splitting, there were enough differences in the two statewide totals to give us some more insight into what happened, and where things might be going.
Among the state's counties, they fall into 5 different areas.
1. Blue counties who went for both Clinton and Feingold by more than 10%
2. Counties that both went for Clinton and Feingold, but at least one of those places had margins under 10%.
3. Counties won by both Feingold and Donald Trump.
4. Counties won by both Trump and Johnson, but at least one of those places had margins under 10%.
5. Red counties who went for both Trump and Johnson by more than 10%.
I'll start with category 5, because a measure of the Dems' failure to connect to rural white Wisconsinites is the fact that more than half of the state's counties fall into this "Red County" category. Among these are traditional GOP places in the eastern half of the state, but also a handful of counties that had voted for Barack Obama in 1 or both of his presidential elections. .
Red Counties that went +10% GOP
Fond du Lac
You may want to consider (or not consider) these places when deciding to where to spend your tourism dollars, although drilling down into the municipal level may provide some noteworthy exceptions to prefer.
Now we'll move to counties that both went for Trump and Johnson, but aren't so dark red.
Less red GOP counties
The vast majority of these places also voted for Obama in '08 and '12, and many are split between the large Dem-voting city in the county, and the red-voting countryside.
I'll now skip over into the "lighter blue" counties that voted for both Clinton and Feingold, but were reasonably close. 4 of these 6 counties are split between "blue city/college town, redder country", and the two counties that aren't (Green and Bayfield) are traditionally Dem-voting places that both gave Feingold double-digit margins while not doing the same for Clinton.
less blue Dem counties
And then there are 6 blue counties that I highly recommend giving your discretionary dollars to, all of which are traditionally strong Dem areas.
Blue Counties with 10%+ wins for Clinton, Feingold
Lastly, here are the most interesting group of Wisconsin counties to me- the 6 counties that voted for both Russ Feingold and Donald Trump.
All of these counties are located in the southwest quadrant of the state, are somewhat incubated from Milwaukee-based right-wing hate radio as a result, and are areas that generally leaned Dem over the last 10 years (4 of the 6 voted for Mary Burke over Scott Walker in 2014). And many of these voters are traditionally strong believers in "clean government" and in funding public education.
But they are looking for things to change and improve, and are willing to flip from one side to the other to do so. If Dems aren't drilling theses 6 counties, along with the light red and light blue areas in preparation for 2018 races for Governor and State Legislature, especially given that Republicans are the incumbents in most seats in that area, they are fools. And it needs to be starting NOW, to lay the ground work for people righteous anger to be turned on the GOP governor and Legislature that has caused much of the stagnation that caused many voters in these places to turn Donald freaking Trump in the hopes to "shake things up."
They'll be shaken up in the near future alright, and not in a good way. Let's make them learn why.