Fascinating analysis - - backing up this:
April 6, 2011
TO: Interested Parties
FR: Paul Maslin and Jonathan Brown
Fairbank, Maslin, Maullin, Metz & Associates
RE: Wisconsin Spring 2011 General Election Results Analysis
JoAnne Kloppenburg’s stunning showing yesterday in the potentially game-changing election against David Prosser was fueled by significant improvements in her vote in several areas relative to the 2010 gubernatorial election when Scott Walker was last on the ballot, most notably:
Western Wisconsin and especially Mississippi River-adjacent Counties
Among the 12 Wisconsin Counties that border the Mississippi River, Kloppenburg gained 18 net points over 2010 Democratic Gubernatorial nominee Tom Barrett’s performance against Walker last November. Throughout the remainder of Northwest Wisconsin, Kloppenburg led Prosser by two points while Barrett lost the region 44%-55%, a +13 Democratic swing. Overall, in Northwest Wisconsin, Kloppenburg received 52 percent, just slightly less than Jim Doyle received in the 2006 Governor’s race (54%)
South Central and Southwest Wisconsin
The combined South Central and Southwest portions of the state (west of the Milwaukee suburbs) was a bigger part of the Spring 2011 electorate than it was in 2010 and Kloppenburg bettered Barrett’s vote by 12 net percentage points. The Democratic stronghold of Dane County saw a 160% increase over the primary, indicating strong interest and the county accounted for 12 percent of all votes cast in the Spring election, compared to 10 percent in November 2010. Kloppenburg’s winning margin in Dane County reflected a net gain of 10 points for the Democrats over the gubernatorial race.
While not to the extent seen in other portions of the state, Kloppenburg’s share of the vote in Brown, Fond du Lac, Sheboygan and Winnebago Counties showed improvement over Barrett’s totals.
In Kenosha County, Kloppenburg received 53 percent of the vote, a net improvement of 11 points over Barrett’s performance.
Results in the rest of Southeast Wisconsin are noteworthy. Kloppenburg was able to reach potential statewide victory while underperforming Barrett in Milwaukee County; leading, but losing net ten points to the Republicans. That result alone would have convinced many that Kloppenburg could not win. Additionally, Prosser outperformed Scott Walker in the Republican base areas of Ozaukee, Washington and Waukesha Counties, winning 74 percent of the vote.
With record-high turnout for a Spring election, we find that Kloppenburg’s vote is a harbinger of a reversal of fortune for Democrats in Wisconsin from last year. Clearly, voters in Northwest Wisconsin and especially those who live in the River-adjacent counties are moving back toward Democrats and we see stronger Democratic enthusiasm in South Central and Southwest Wisconsin.
All observers should remember that this was an election for an office which may or may not have direct involvement in the current partisan conflict in Wisconsin. One side tried, with substantially greater resources than the other, to make it a campaign about law-and-order, supporting an incumbent who began the race with a 30-point advantage earned on Primary Night in an election cycle that habitually produces very low turnouts.
And yet, over one million more people voted in April than February, nearly double the total of previous Supreme Court elections. One can only wonder just how bad the Republican defeat would have been yesterday if it had been Scott Walker on the ballot.