Sunday, March 31, 2019

What to look for in Tuesday Supreme Court vote totals

With Tuesday's Supreme Court election between Lisa Neubauer and Brian Hagedorn, I wanted to go back over the last 2 statewide elections in Wisconsin, and see what might be the key numbers and indicators as the results come in.

To start, let's look at the red-blue county map from November's race for Governor between Tony Evers and Scott Walker, which Evers won by just over 1%.

And now compare it to the results of 2018's Supreme Court race in April of that year, which Rebecca Dallet won by double-digits.

So one huge key seems to be the Highway 29 corridor from Hudson to Green Bay. The pattern in that area generally is as follows.

1. GOP win - GOPs sweep the area, and win big in most of those counties.
2. Small Dem win - GOPs still generally win, but many of the counties are close.
3. Big Dem win- Dems win many of these counties.

Racine County is a similar story, as Walker won it by less than 5% in November, and Screnock won it by less than 1,000 votes. But a wild care here is that Neubauer is from Racine, and her daughter Greta is a State Rep from Racine. So could an area that generally favor GOPs could end favoring Neubauer more than normal?

Other key results will be in the WOW Counties, which would be Hagedorn's home territory, and tend to be an especially strong area for right-wing court candidates for both turnout and percentage. And usually Milwaukee County is a mirror image to the WOW Counties, which make it near a split decision in a statewide election.

What's interesting here is that while Screnock was getting drilled in the rest of the state in the Supreme Court election, he actually ended up with a similar performance to Walker's in the 4 counties in and around Milwaukee, and even grabbed a larger percentage than Walker in the city.

If Hagedorn wins the WOW counties by as much or more than Screnock did, then he has a chance if he can improve in the rest of the state. If his numbers there and in Milwaukee County look like Walker vs Evers, he will likely lose big.

Lastly, let's look at turnout totals from those two elections. November had 2 1/2 times as many voters as April, but just as key is where those voters are. As you can see, the red-leaning WOW Counties and bright blue Dane County took up a larger chunk of the votes in the Supreme Court election, while other mid-size counties and the City of Milwaukee had more significance in November.

Not that I should need to remind you, but if you haven't already, VOTE ON TUESDAY (and according to the Madison City Clerk, quite a few have there).

What these numbers tell me is that in order for "Handmaid's Tale Commander" Hagedorn has in order to beat Neubauer, relatively low and GOP-skewed turnout is the way he can do it. Decent people coming out to vote would shut the door on that tool, and lessen the chances of this state continuing to be held hostage by a fraction of a fraction of a fraction of Wisconsinites.


  1. Madison mayoral contest will elevate turnout in the State's most Democratic district. Will be tough for the homophobe to overcome that margin even if he thinks he has religion on his side. Judge Neubauer by a double digit margin!

  2. Some contentious circuit court and Milwaukee School Board races Tuesday should help turn out blues, but I generally agree with your analysis.

  3. Oh, so Neubauer had a similar margin to Dallett in Dane County, and got more votes than Dallett did last year? Must have been a blowout.

    Wait a minute.....