Wednesday, August 10, 2022

Wis primary shows Trump effect, GOP split, and Dems' opportunities

A couple of quick reflections from last night's primary.

First of all, we had quite high turnout, especially since the Dem Senate race had all the drama taken out of it 10 days before the election. Unofficial results for Tuesday's primary show that nearly 693,000 Republicans voted in the governor's race and more than 501,000 Democrats voted in the Senate primary. Interest fell in that race won by Lt. Gov. Mandela Barnes after his three top challengers dropped out two weeks ago.

Still, the 25.5% turnout was the best since 26.9% in 1982. Turnout in the 2018 primary, which featured a large field of Democratic gubernatorial candidates, was 23%. I don't view the difference in turnout by party to mean much, because I would imagine more than a few people chose to vote in the GOP race for Governor because that was where the contested action was, and voters who are "independent" (or claim they are to seem "above politics") tend to follow the heat.

And the result in the GOP primary for Governor is an amazing Rohrschacht test about the party, and whether they went along with the Scott Walker-endorsed Rebecca Kleefisch, or the Trump-endorsed Tim Michaels.

Lots of socioeconomic and educational...errr..differences between the pink counties and the dark red counties. And it continues a trend that we saw in 2018, where the Walker-establishment Republicans won with Leah Vukmir, but "outsider" Kevin Nicholson won most of the counties.

And the GOP split broke wide open after the polls closed when arguably the most powerful Republican in state politics pulled off this blast after surviving his primary by less than 300 votes.

Boy, if only Robbin' could do something about that, and about Janel Brandtjen chairing the Assembly's Elections Committee...

And it got more ridiculous today, as Robbin' went back to weaseling about the Big Lie investigation that HE ordered and HE controls.

GIVE ME A F***ING BREAK! This was Vos trying to two-step by keeping the MAGA rubes stirred up about something that he knew was BS from day 1. And of all the people that could have been chosen to head up this sham, he chose a crooked dope like Gableman because....??

Now the GOPs have 3 old white male 3 pro-MAGA candidates at the top of their tickets for the most important races in the state (US Senator, Guv, and Derrick "Small-D" Van Orden in the 3rd Congressional District). And that candidate for Governor did worst in areas where Trump bled away the most voters in 2020.

Between that and the overturning of Roe v. Wade, sure seems like Dems should be rocking the suburbs and appealing to decency and steadiness for the next 3 months, doesn't it? It also means that the barely-GOP State Senate districts in Appleton/Neenah/Menasha and Tosa/Brookfield/New Berlin/Stallis are definitely in play for Fall, GOP-held districts that include high-educated suburbs and college towns are in peril.

Lots more can be broken down in the future (there are some real treats that won GOP primaries last night), but the results seem to tell us a lot about how broken the state GOP is, and how different things are in TrumpWorld vs the other 2/3 of Wisconsinites. And while Tim Michels may have gotten the most votes to win the GOP nomination, he only got around 27% of the total votes in an election that only had 26% of voters turn out.

So good luck to Michels and other Trumpers in having that translate to a midterm win when turnout that is likely to be at least twice as much as we had yesterday. And a majority of them hate Trump.


  1. Back in February, I predicted that Tim Ramthun would be the GOP nominee for governor. That was before Michels joined the race. My point was that the Trumpiest candidate would win. In the end, it wouldn’t matter who won. They are all radicals and all would be completely beholden to the orange bleach blond insurrectionist. Tony Evers has already attacked Michels on that very point.

    I read recently that Mandela Barnes’ strategy against Ron Johnson is to back off the Trump association and focus on middle class bread-and-butter issues. I get that to a point. Yes, people are generally sick of hearing about Trump and want him in the past. But he isn’t in the past. Rumor has it he’s set to announce his 2024 presidential campaign as early as September. His goal, of course, is to become dictator through sycophants willing to break the law for him. Sycophants like, you know, Johnson and Michels.

    Minnesconsin Tom

    1. With Michels, I think Nicholson dropping out is what put him over the top, because it allowed the pro-“outsider” vote to consolidate. In contrast, the only reason Toney won the AG race is because there were 60% of the voters splitting 35/25 between two wackadoos.

      As for Johnson/Barnes - the challenge is in focusing on what to smack Johnson with. His crookedness? Regressive policies? His idiotic statements? Or that he tried to get the election overturned on Jan 6 and has lied about that day for 2 years?

      All GOPs have to respond is fear/racism and some lame, outdated BS on inflation (which they have no solutions for anyway). If Dems are fierce with the truth, I like their chances.


    2. Silly me. I almost forgot the Supreme Court handed us a gift on a silver platter a few weeks back. Both Johnson and Michels must be hammered repeatedly on the fact that they are both 100% Pro-Forced Birth.

      Minnesconsin Tom