Thursday, November 10, 2022

A review of the key voting numbers that decided Tuesday's elections (pt.1)

Been busy these last 48 hours at work, play and in pretty much everything else. But a few quick thoughts on Tuesday election here in Wisconsin.

Unofficial turnout looks to be just over 2.65 million votes, actually a bit less than I would have expected (and more on that in a second), but similar to what was cast in what was considered a high-turnout 2018 election.

1. I'm very happy about Evers' convincing win and the lack of a GOP supermajority in the gerrymandered Legislature. But Ron Johnson's less than 1% squeaker in the US Senate race kept it from being an amazing Election Night. And the answer to a question I asked on Monday's post makes it extra disappointing.

Will Milwaukee step up, or will its share keep shrinking?


If you assume the City votes 75% Democratic (which is slightly below most years), another 50,000 votes in the US Senate race would have broken 37,500-12,500 for Mandela Barnes, almost entirely making up the lead of around 26,500 that Ron Johnson has today.

That makes it a sad irony that a Black man from Milwaukee is kept out of the US Senate in significant part due to....Milwaukeeans not turning out for him. After the racist and anti-Milwaukee GOP rhetoric and strategy was in both the Senate and Governor's race, it's is mind-boggling to me that Milwaukee voters did not respond by turning out in big numbers to kick the GOP's ass for that. Which means you'll see the same garbage from the GOP in 2023 and 2024.

2. I mentioned there were 5 counties that had voted for 3 of these 4 winning statewide candidates - Donald Trump in 2016, Ron Johnson in 2016, Tony Evers in 2018, and Joe Biden in 2020. Let's see who they voted for in 2022. Door (Evers and Johnson) Vernon (Evers and Johnson) Grant (Michels and Johnson) Kenosha (Michels and Johnson) Sauk (Evers and Barnes) I also targeted was a group of counties in SW and S. Central Wisconsin that did not vote for Ron Johnson in 2016, but did vote for Donald Trump in both 2016 and 2020, and 4 of them voted for Evers in 2018. Columbia Crawford Lafayette Richland Vernon All 5 of these counties voted for Ron Johnson on Tuesday. Evers was able to win Columbia and Vernon, but lost the other 3. Seems worth putting in the memory bank for 2024.

3. While some swingy rural counties may be trending to the GOP, Dems continued to gain in a group of high-population counties that used to give massive gains to the GOP. Those are the WOW (Milwaukee suburban counties of Waukesha, Ozaukee and Washington) and the BOW (the Fox Valley centers of Brown, Outagamie and Winnebago Counties). After going strong for Scott Walker in 2018, Tony Evers cut significantly into those margins in 2022. Likewise, Johnson was not able to run up the huge gains he got on Russ Feingold that he got in these areas in 2016.

Evers also improved in the BOW Counties, all of which had margins of less than 10 points, and Tony nearly won Winnebago County outright (losing by 1%).

You also see that Dems do seem to keep losing ground in rural Western and Northern Wisconsin, including the loss of 2 Assembly seats and 1 Senate seat in NW Wisconsin. This is something that needs attention and may be a flip side of the WOW/BOW shifts in the Trumpian era.

That's my quick dive, but since there's more to do in my real life tonight, I'll pick that up later. Signs are generally good for Dems (especially in statewide races), but this is still a state heavily divided on educated and urban/rural lines. And it is still disturbing that Ron Johnson was able to slide by on a campaign of racism and fear, which means there is much work left to do to restore this state, and help it keep up with the noew all-blue states of Minnesota and Michigan.

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