Saturday, June 9, 2012

Election recap pt. 2- the turnout was there

I wanted to go back to Tuesday's results, and see if my hypotheses about turnout happened. Turnout statewide was definitely up from 2010, but not to the levels that the GAB predicted. There were just over 2.5 million votes cast, which made turnout around 58%, slightly below the GAB predictions of 60 to 65 percent. However, this varied greatly based on where you may have lived.The WisDems strategy of increasing turnouts in their strongholds of Madison and Milwaukee seem to have work, as evidenced by the 73% turnout in the City of Madison, (would have been more had students been in classes), and 76% in the City of Milwaukee. But working in Walker's favor were the big turnouts in the Green Bay and Appleton areas, where Brown County had turnout near 76% and Outagamie County near 78%. So in addition to the big swing that went to Walker in those areas, he also benefitted from a huge turnout in those places.

With this in mind, let's go to our top 10 counties in turnout for the recall election (results unofficial for now).

% of overall state vote, Governor recall election 2012
Dane County 10.17%
City of Milwaukee 9.24%
Waukesha Co. 8.53%
Rest of Milwaukee Co. 6.53%
Brown County 4.15%
Racine County 3.43%
Outagamie Co. 3.10%
Winnebago Co. 2.83%
Washington Co. 2.76%
Rock County 2.52%

Now let's run the numbers from 2010, and you'll see the effects of that increased turnout for both Green Bay-Appleton (helping Walker), as well as the City of Milwaukee (helping Barrett). The deep-red county of Washington continued to gain as a share of voters, but so did blue-trending Rock County.

% of overall state vote, Governor 2010
Dane County 10.19% (2012 was -0.02% from this)
Waukesha County 8.71% (2012 was -0.18%)
City of Milwaukee 8.69% (2012 was +0.53%)
Rest of Milwaukee Co. 7.09% (2012 was -0.56%)
Brown County 4.09% (2012 was +0.06%)
Racine County 3.37% (2012 was +0.06%)
Outagamie Co. 3.02% (2012 was +0.08%)
Winnebago Co. 2.83% (no change in 2012)
Washington Co. 2.73% (2012 was +0.03%)
Rock County 2.42% (2012 was +0.10%)

So in terms of a turnout advantage in this year's election vs. 2010, the advantage went slightly to Barrett, especially when you consider that Racine, Rock, and the City of Milwaukee were among the few areas that swung toward Barrett vs. 2010. But along with NE Wisconsin, the other, lower-vote total parts of the state is where Walker really cleaned up, and maintained his 6-7 point advantage.

I'll go more into this later, but I got a killer Brewer tailgate to hit. Catch ya on the flip side.

(EDIT:) I'm back now on Sunday, I wanted to throw in the 2008 turnout figures and see if we had any changes.

% of overall state vote, President 2008
Dane County 9.48% (-0.69% vs. 2012)
City of Milwaukee 9.22% (-0.02% vs. 2012)
Waukesha County 7.81% (-0.72% vs. 2012)
Rest of Milw. Co. 6.71% (+0.18% vs. 2012)
Brown County 4.18% (+0.03% vs. 2012)
Racine County 3.37% (-0.06% vs. 2012)
Outagamie Co. 3.07% (-0.03% vs. 2012)
Winnebago Co. 2.94% (+0.11% vs. 2012)
Rock County 2.65% (+0.13% vs. 2012)
Kenosha County 2.64% (approx. +0.14% vs. 2012)
Washington Co. 2.49% (-0.27% vs. 2012)

So what this shows is that on June 5, Wisconsin;s turnout resembled a low-turnout presidential election, with the composition of the electorate, and this was especially shown with the larger share for the City of Milwaukee. The big exceptions are the pro-Walker counties of Outagamie, Brown and Washington, who all grew their share of the turnout. Waukesha County still had a bigger share than they had in 2008, but you can see where the Milwaukee turnout and other high levels of voting diluted them a bit. Interestingly, Dane County stayed so high in turnout that they stayed above their 2008 levels, and that was with quite a few UW students voting elsewhere (as noted by turnouts below 10-15% in the student dorm wards).

Bottom line, increased turnout generally gave a small boost to Barrett and the Dems, but it was overcome by shifts in votes to Walker in NE and rural Wisconsin, and that's what made the difference Tuesday.

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