Thursday, April 4, 2013

Supreme Court recap

   Pretty straightforward analysis here for Tuesday's Supreme Court election, because it only takes a couple of stats to tll the big story. First, when a candidate only wins 8 counties statewide, that candidate isn't going to win no matter which places turn out. That's a serious shift from the 2012 election, when both Obama and Baldwin won approximately half of the state's counties in their victories.

   It was even 50-50 in Dem strongholds like La Crosse, Milwaukee, and Rock Counties, and it's clear that Roggensack are her backers spending 5 to 10 times the Fallone supporters did her a major advantage in exposure to the casual bystanders that cast ballots. If you're going to run against a WMC-bought candidate, you have to spend money yourself, and many of the pro-Fallone and Dem forces didn't do that, or do it nearly as much as the Roggensack group did.

    But turnout does come into play when you realize Roggensack's winning margin in pro-Dem counties is related to the under-20 percent turnout that the election had.  Unfortunately, I think a lot of people are burned out after the last 2 years, and this allows the corporate slime to seep in even more, because they and the scared old folks that listen to angry-man radio never have an off-switch when it comes to imposing things onto this state (it's not really admirable, because it shows they don't really care about doing right and it shows they don't have a life). Because the turnout was so low, especially in places without a lot of huge local elections (especially in Milwaukee), it allowed other places to take a bigger share of pie than they're used to.

   Top 10 counties, 2013 Supreme Court election (unofficial)
    Dane County 10.84%
    Waukesha Co. 9.45%
     City of Milwaukee 6.02%
     Rest of Milw Co. 6.01%
     Brown County  3.67%
     Racine County 3.52%
     Washington Co. 2.92%
     Outagamie Co. 2.87%
     Sheboygan Co. 2.51%
     Ozaukee County 2.38%

   Compare this with the November 2012 elections, which had a 70% turnout.
Top 10 turnout counties, 2012 president
Dane County 9.88%
City of Milwaukee 9.54%
Waukesha County 7.91%
Rest of Milwaukee Co. 6.55%
Brown County 4.21%
Racine County 3.37%
Outagamie Co. 3.07%
Winnebago Co. 2.89%
Rock County 2.64%
Kenosha County 2.64%
(Washington Co. 2.58%)

First, see that the amount of votes for the City of Milwaukee and the rest of Milwaukee County are basically the same? Very different than what we saw in November, wasn't it? Also notice that Waukesha County massively outvoted both of those constituencies this week, and that all 3 dead-red WOW counties appear in the top 10 (and all 3 gave between 74 and 79% of their votes for Roggensack), - only Waukesha County did that in November 2012. Rock, Kenosha, and Winnebago counties don't even show up in the top 10 in the Supreme Court elections, and all 3 counties went for Obama in 2012.  

  This illustrates a challenge and the opportunity that the Democratic Party of Wisconsin should take note of- if turnout is higher in Wisconsin, Dems usually win, and if not, righties win. And it takes active exposure of Democratic candidates and advancing popular progressive values to get these voters out to the polls.

  This didn't happen enough on Tuesday, and the work needs to start today to change that dynamic over the next 19 months. Standing against vouchers and in favor of public education (like School Superintendent Tony Evers did) is a winning position. So's the demanding of clean government, standing in favor of same-day registration and opening up the vote, and standing up to the corrupting influence of money in politics. Instead, I hear an obsession about the huge corporate donations to Walker and WisGOP and fear of GOP mouthpieces on AM radio, but not enough done to stand up to them. Mealy-mouthed nice-guy stuff may be noble, but it's not enough to move the needle in the places Dems need it to move, so why stick with that method of campaigning?

  2014 starts now. Get on  it.

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