Monday, October 24, 2022

Ron Johnson last ran in 2016, Evers in 2018. Voting patterns could well be different now

I wanted to go off of Dan Shafer's excellent breakdown of all 99 Assembly races in Wisconsin (read it if you haven't already). Instead of talking about the individual races, I wanted to look at how various districts have recently voted at the top of the ballot, as there are some key trends and counter-trends to look at as election returns come in on November 8.

I used the Dave's Redistricting website to look at results by Assembly district in 3 statewide races - the 2016 US Senate race (won by Ron Johnson, up for re-election on Nov 8), the 2018 Governor's race (won by Tony Evers, up for re-election on Nov 8), and Joe Biden's 0.6% victory in Wisconsin in 2020.

I'll start with 11 districts that have been turning towards the Democrats over these 3 elections, and often in a big way. All of these are in the Mlwaukee, Green Bay and Appleton suburbs

So will this trend continue, which would hurt Ron Johnson and help Tony Evers in 2022?

In addition, Republicans hold all of these districts in the Assembly outside the now-strongly blue 14th and 23rd districts. Those were 2 of the 3 districts that flipped to Dems since 2016, and Robbin' Vos and other GOPs in the Assembly admitted defeat, turning these districts into strong Dem districts to try to prevent further losses in the burbs in other districts. But south side districts 21 and 84 definitely seem to be in play if recent trends hold up.

Conversely, I have listed 14 districts that have shown sizable movement toward the GOP, even as the statewide share of GOP candidates was lower in 2018 and 2020 compared to Johnson's victory in 2016. Most of these are in rural districts in northern and western Wisconsin, along with previously strong Dem districts in Kenosha and nearby communities (District 64) and a district that includes much of Beloit and rural western Rock County (District 45).

(Ignore District 85, I'll get back to you on that one).

You'll notice that Evers in 2018 won 3 districts that the other Dems did not, and generally outperformed compared to what Dems did when Trump was on the ballot (2016 and 2020). So is that going to benefit Ron Johnson, or are these areas going to swing back toward Dems in the midterms, and will Evers maintain his numbers here against a pro-Trump guv candidate in Tim Michels?

Oshkosh native Johnson did extremely well in 2016 in Northeastern Wisconsin, slamming Russ Feingold by large margins on his way to a 3.4% statewide victory. But both Evers and Biden did much better in these areas in 2018 and 2020 - both in the pro-GOP suburban districts, and in the pro-Dem districts in the cities of Oshkosh (District 54), Appleton (District 57) and Green Bay (District 90).

So will RoJo continue to have a home-area advantage in the 920? Or will Barnes make headway in this region, and go a long way toward increasing his chances of winning? Barnes and Dems groups are definitely going to try, as Wisconsin Eye says they are going to outspend Johnson and other GOPs on the GB/Appleton airwaves in these final weeks.

Lastly, there are still a few districts that have produced close results in each of these 3 races. In the Assembly, 4 of these seats are held by Democrats and 3 by Republicans, and which way these seats go in both Legislative and statewide races should tell us a lot about where the state is going as a whole.

There are a couple of other variables I'll look into over the next couple of weeks. But I'd sure be targeting these parts of the state hard no matter which campaign I was part of, because these areas have either swung a lot since 2016, or have stayed closely contested and flippable between one party or the other.

No comments:

Post a Comment