Monday, November 3, 2014

Where might they swing in Wisconsin tomorrow night?

As a preview of tomorrow's election, here are a couple of stats that come to mind that should give indicators of what direction the Governor and AG elections are taking in Wisconsin.

First, I'll give you a list of counties that voted both times for President Barack Obama (in 2008 and 2012), and both times for Scott Walker (in 2010 and the 2012 recall election). This is a pretty good indicator of which counties are swing counties, as Obama won in 2012 with 53% of the state's vote, and Walker won his two elections with 52% and 53% of the state, respectively.

Obama-Walker counties

The biggest of these counties are Racine and Winnebago (the Oshkosh area), almost all of the others are in rural areas of Wisconsin, mostly in the western part of the state, with some in the central to north-central part of the state. If Mary Burke is winning some of these counties, this means she has a very good chance of winning the election. And if she's winning the southwestern counties like Grant, Lafayette, Sauk, Vernon and Adams, it probably portends well for the Dems in heavilycontested State Senate and Assembly races there as well. Likewise, Walker holding onto these counties probably means he'll win the election, and the GOP may even be strengthening their already massive hold on the State Legislature.

Another group related to this are the counties that Obama won in both 2008 and 2012, but Walker has also won one time in.

Obama won twice, Walker once
Columbia (2010, Walker won)
Crawford (2012, Walker won)
Green (2012, Walker won)
Kenosha (2010, Walker won)
Trempealeau (2012, Walker won)

I think Burke needs to be winning all of these blue-leaning counties in order to be successful. These places are also sites of some of the few contested Assembly and Senate races (not surprisingly).

Lastly, here are the counties that shifted the most between 2012's recall election, and the 2012 presidential election. All shifted to the Dems, as you'd expect from races that went from 53% GOP (in the recall election) to 53% Obama in November. But these places had much larger than a 14-point shift (from GOP +7 to Dem +7) to Team Blue. If Walker cannot recover at least 10 points of these swings tomorrow night, he's in big trouble. And yes, you'll see some repeat names.

Largest swings between Walker 2012 recall and 2012 Presidential election
Lafayette- GOP +14.1 to Dem +15.4 (29.5 swing)
Trempealeau- GOP +14.8 to Dem +14.1 (28.9)
Manitowoc- GOP +28.9 to GOP +2.8 (26.1)
Buffalo- GOP +22.4 to Dem +2.9 (25.3)
Richland- GOP +8.3 to Dem +16.1 (24.4)
Forest- GOP +18.8 to Dem +5.4 (24.2)
Kewaunee- GOP +28.6 to GOP +5.4 (23.2)
Jackson- GOP +8.0 to Dem +15.0 (23.0)
Crawford- GOP +3.0 to Dem +20.0 (23.0)
Shawano- GOP +32.9 to GOP +10.0 (22.9)

Also, I'll add a couple of larger counties that had big swings who will be worth watching- Outagamie (Appleton area) (21.4), Brown (Green Bay) (18.2), Marathon (Wausau) (18.8), and Sheboygan (20.3). Many of these places also have competitive state legislature races that'll go a long way toward determining if the Dems have a shot of taking the Senate and turning the Assembly close to even, and all but Marathion County are also in Wisconsin's 6th Congressional District, where Glenn Grothman and Mark Harris are in a relatively competitive race for an open seat.

So that's my brief look at which areas will show a swing on Tuesday (or not), which will give a big clue on who might win. As I've mentioned before, when you're looking at the Milwaukee and Madison areas, the percentages don't change all that much (maybe 5% one way or the other), but instead that part of the election equation will hinge on which areas (Dem or GOP) will turn out more than any rapid shift one way or the other.

Get out and make it happen tomorrow, folks. And yes, it is very doable.


  1. Who has the most up to date county by county numbers?

  2. County clerks are the best for local numbers. I'd say the AP and are usually the best places. But if someone knows a better one, I'm all ears

  3. Nationwide The Polls Were Skewed Toward Democrats

    1. It is remarkable how a lot of the close Senate and Gov races all seemed to be off by 3-7 points against the GOP. At the same time, the lesser-polled races were pretty close.

      That's not usually the way it works, and I find that interesting. In a few ways.