Wisconsin Election Thread I

(larger version here.)

Wisconsin demographics are here. There are 5.5 million people. 90% of the state is White, 6% are African Americans and 4.7% are Hispanic. By contrast, in Milwaukee County, the African American population is 26.6%.

Wisconsin is an open primary that allows same day registration. This favors Obama. So does the large student population in the state.

The weather is cold and snowy across the state today. I expect both campaigns have planned for that and have volunteers in place to drive people to the polls.

Wisconsin has 74 delegates to award. Small potatoes compared to Texas and Ohio. The question to me is whether an Obama win in Wisconsin will change the mind of voters in Texas and Ohio.

I didn't expect Hillary to win any contests in February. I don't think a loss in Wisconsin knocks her out by any means. On the other hand, if she does well, even if she doesn't win, it will be a clearer sign that her candidacy is still viable.

Updates below:

40,000 people are excluded from voting in Wisconsin today.
They are felons who are either on probation or parole. And, unlike some other states, Wisconsin prohibits them from casting their vote. Proposed legislation with backing from the Wisconsin chapter of the American Civil Liberties Union, would give those who've finished their prison time the right to vote, even if they're on probation or parole.

ACLU attorney Renee Crawford says the current state law has a disproportionate impact on blacks -- and repealing the ban would allow them to make a difference in elections. She says that nearby Illinois and Michigan allow those on probation or parole to vote.

That's one thing that could have been addressed had their been a debate. I would have liked to hear both candidates express their support for an end to the disenfrancisement of former offenders.

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  • Display: Sort:
    Spinning a loss? (5.00 / 1) (#1)
    by Big Tent Democrat on Tue Feb 19, 2008 at 10:39:23 AM EST
    You shill!! Just kidding J.

    I agree with this entire post.

    How to watch Wisconsin results (5.00 / 1) (#13)
    by Ben Masel on Tue Feb 19, 2008 at 12:16:45 PM EST
    Official County websites linked here.

    Milwaukee, Waukesha, and the smallest counties don't post returns til next AM.

    The following have usually had results up early:
    Douglas, Bayfield, Polk, Dunn, Chippewa, Eau Claire, Marathon, Portage, Brown, Outagamie, Winnebagol, Trempeleau, LaCrosse, Monroe, Fond du Lac, Sheboygan, Washington, Ozaukee,Rock, Kenosha, Racine.

    Dane gets rural townships early, heavily Obama downtown ditricts always come in last.

    Milwaukee, we'll hopefully see enough improvement to have numbers by Weednesday morning.

    If you want to pick one early County as predictive of the rest, go with Rock. Slightly more favorable to Clinton than the State as a whole, so take the Rock result and add 4% to Obama.

    Key delegate County: Eau Claire

    Goes to Obama, but by how much?

    Split between Kind's 3d District, and Obey's. Obama's close to getting 4 of the 6 delegates from each, but can't without taking EC big. If Clinton has 46% here, she likely saves both delegates. Dunn's also split between these CDs.

    Interesting that the media (none / 0) (#2)
    by Jim J on Tue Feb 19, 2008 at 10:47:41 AM EST
    is finally getting around to the whole "Is Obama overrated" meme, just in time to possibly extend the primary season by shaving off some of his support in WI and possibly in the next round.

    It's incredibly frustrating, because if the media had shown ten percent of this willingness to question The Man, The Myth a month ago the entire complexion of the race might have changed.

    I have been racking my brains to remember a candidate who has received such favorable coverage as Obama. I still can't come up with one.

    Too late -- and only on national tv (none / 0) (#3)
    by Cream City on Tue Feb 19, 2008 at 10:54:26 AM EST
    not on local tv and certainly not in print media in Wisconsin, all more favorable to Obama, and some quite anti-Clinton.  Conservative state but for a few cities, conservative media in the largest city, etc.  No sign in the Milwaukee media of David Brooks' column, for example, or of Michelle Obama's problematic quote yesterday -- made in Milwaukee.

    Ironically, the inept Clinton attacks pre-empted (none / 0) (#14)
    by Ben Masel on Tue Feb 19, 2008 at 12:18:39 PM EST
    a deeper look at Obama.

    Nonsense. Thousands of reporters (none / 0) (#24)
    by Cream City on Tue Feb 19, 2008 at 01:40:15 PM EST
    and media outlets, and none could be spared from coverage of Britney Spears to do more than read news releases?  The problem then is lazy media.

    And that's only one counter-argument, but it's a busy day.  Expected better analysis from you (such as your how-to-watch-results memo above), Ben.


    Hey, Lolok over here! (none / 0) (#29)
    by Ben Masel on Tue Feb 19, 2008 at 04:55:24 PM EST

    Tougfh for Camp Clinton to go after the Daleys since they shared a bed in '96.


    See my new post on bursting the Obama Bubble (none / 0) (#4)
    by Jeralyn on Tue Feb 19, 2008 at 11:03:57 AM EST

    It's too late for Wisconsin, but maybe not for Texas or Ohio.

    I'm just digging in my heels (none / 0) (#5)
    by BrandingIron on Tue Feb 19, 2008 at 11:07:49 AM EST
    and waiting for the inevitable CNN reporting an Obama win with .0000001% of the vote in.

    More of a comment on the media bias than reality....

    That only happens in blowouts (none / 0) (#11)
    by cannondaddy on Tue Feb 19, 2008 at 12:11:18 PM EST
    Which there have been plenty.  They called Arkansas that quick.

    I'll take Clinton (none / 0) (#6)
    by badger on Tue Feb 19, 2008 at 11:17:43 AM EST
    51-49 over Obama.

    WI voters tend to the center - people may admire Russ Feingold, but they think (and vote) like Herb Kohl. And outside of Madison, that may even be true of some college students.

    While I think Clinton is slightly to the left of Obama, the perception seems to be the other way around, and that helps Clinton in WI.

    I don't know (none / 0) (#9)
    by zyx on Tue Feb 19, 2008 at 11:46:11 AM EST
    I'd feel differently, I think, about Clinton's chances in Wisconsin if it weren't an open primary.  Whaddaya think?

    There's a big swing vote (none / 0) (#22)
    by badger on Tue Feb 19, 2008 at 01:05:42 PM EST
    In 2004, Kerry took WI by 0.5% - Feingold by 12% (and Bill Clinton won by 5% in '92 and 10% in '96, but Perot did about 20% and 10% in each of those years; Gore only won by 0.5% in 2000). It depends on whether you think those voters will swing to Clinton or Obama - my guess is to Clinton by a small margin.

    In 1960 and 1976 they went for the more conservative candidate - JFK vs Humphrey or Carter vs Udall. I don't think things have changed a lot since then, and I think Clinton is still perceived as the 'establishment' or more conservative choice (which I don't think is true).


    Outstate Colleges go Obama by more (none / 0) (#12)
    by Ben Masel on Tue Feb 19, 2008 at 12:13:26 PM EST
    than Madison. He'll come near 80% at UW Stevens Point.

    Stevens Point probably (none / 0) (#17)
    by badger on Tue Feb 19, 2008 at 12:45:54 PM EST
    and maybe Eau Claire, but I doubt Oshkosh or LaCrosse and I'd be uncertain about Stout or Menominee or Green Bay.

    Not to say there isn't Obama support on every campus - just that it doesn't approach 80% everywhere, doesn't have the intensity that drives turnout in places like Madison, and the Obama non-supporters may not be as visible.


    Dunno Green Bay, (none / 0) (#20)
    by Ben Masel on Tue Feb 19, 2008 at 12:53:24 PM EST
    Stout is Menominee. River Falls huge for Obama according to norahc. UW Plattville 65% Obama, but rest of the County leans Clinton.

    Beloit and Ripon colleges 75% Obama.
    Turnout among students all over the State was huge in '06, driven by the silly marriage amendment, with my Primary as a warmup. The voting habit persists.


    Beloit College (none / 0) (#23)
    by badger on Tue Feb 19, 2008 at 01:22:28 PM EST
    won't make a lot of difference - the enrollment is about 1300. Ripon is about the same size I believe. The African-American vote in Beloit is probably a lot bigger than that as far as Obama support.

    Somewhat the same with Platteville (I lived there a for a few years) In general, that's a pretty conservative part of WI - I worked in Gordon Roseleip's hometown (Darlington) when I lived there and used to see Bill Dyke in the diner where I ate lunch. Even at 65% the UW-P vote isn't going to offset the vote from the surrounding area.


    UW Platteville's grown (none / 0) (#28)
    by Ben Masel on Tue Feb 19, 2008 at 04:16:52 PM EST
    An 18 year old student pulled 40% in Assembly Primary v the County Chair in '04. She then resigned as Chair, asked him to take over. Assembly seat flipped last cycle. Phil Garthwaite's my favorite of the rookies.

    Exit Data? (none / 0) (#7)
    by SandyS on Tue Feb 19, 2008 at 11:35:05 AM EST
    Is there any way to get early exit data?

    I certainly hope not (none / 0) (#8)
    by Cream City on Tue Feb 19, 2008 at 11:37:49 AM EST
    If you please, we'd like to finish voting in Wisconsin first.  

    But you can watch with us for anecdotal reports on turnout on jsonline.com, for one; click on the Newswatch or the All-Politics blog.  For Madison, both papers are at madison.com.  I've got to go now but can be back later with more media url's. . . .


    Thanks for the more specific links. (none / 0) (#18)
    by BrandingIron on Tue Feb 19, 2008 at 12:47:47 PM EST
    I'd searched JSonline before but got lost.  This is pretty telling regarding motives:

    Take Audrey Murray, a 74-year-old registered Republican. She said she voted for Barack Obama at Glenwood Elementary School in Greenfield - but not because she likes him.

    "I don't want to see Barack Obama get elected president," said Murray, a retired banker. "I don't want to see Hillary Clinton anywhere near the election."

    Murray said she believes a lot of Republicans are voting in the Democratic primary in order to weaken the challenge to McCain.

    But then this motive was nice to see, too:

    Mike Burlingame, a 48-year-old corrections officer, is a Mike Huckabee supporter who voted for Hillary Clinton at Lincoln Elementary School in Cudahy.

    Here's his reasoning: He really doesn't want Barack Obama. He thinks his vote would be wasted on Huckabee, so he's crossing over and voting for Clinton though he plans to vote for McCain in November.

    Bottom line: "I want to knock Obama out."

    Boy, it's going to be very difficult to figure out the true demographics of this game.  (from here, BTW)


    This Is Why (none / 0) (#19)
    by BDB on Tue Feb 19, 2008 at 12:51:48 PM EST
    In an extremely close race, I can't get too upset over Democratic party super delegates.  "Will of the people" sounds great, but it can be very difficult to ascertain.

    I still hope this thing shakes out so that we get a clear nominee, but if it doesn't, both candidates will have arguments for why they should be the nominee and why they represent the will of the people (or the Democratic party or whatever).

    But we can fix a lot of this in 2012 - no caucuses, closed primaries, pledged delegate allocation by state, fewer super delegates.  


    Umm (none / 0) (#33)
    by blueaura on Wed Feb 20, 2008 at 11:05:52 AM EST
    You imply the first motive is not nice and the second motive is nice. Why is that? They both seem pretty negative to me.

    NJ was open too and she still won (none / 0) (#10)
    by goldberry on Tue Feb 19, 2008 at 12:05:19 PM EST
    I'm not so sure this is completely a bad thing for Clinton.  I think it depends on how many independents you start with.  For example, in CT, you can declare a party a few days before the primary to vote and in that state, around 1/3 of the population is unaffiliated.  
    On the other hand, in NJ, you can declare at the polls if you are unaffilliated but there are fewer of them here.  
    So, depending on the unaffiliated count, you might just get a very close race.  After all, she won NJ's semi-open primary by 10 points and we thought it was going to be much closer than that.  

    It Also Depends on the Political Leanings of Indys (none / 0) (#16)
    by BDB on Tue Feb 19, 2008 at 12:37:47 PM EST
    Independents can be liberal, moderate or conservative and how they lean is probably more telling about who they will vote for than the fact they are independent.

    Different, then and now, for GOP voters (none / 0) (#25)
    by Cream City on Tue Feb 19, 2008 at 01:43:31 PM EST
    Little crossover when their race counts, as it did until McCain started to run up the delegate count.  Now, Wisconsin GOP voters have their frontrunner by far so will be (because they're being told to do so, and historically do so here) crossing over to pick the one they want to beat.

    I Know This Makes Me a Terrible Liberal (none / 0) (#15)
    by BDB on Tue Feb 19, 2008 at 12:36:02 PM EST
    But I don't have a problem with folks still on probation/parole not being eligible to vote.  I don't particularly have a problem with them being allowed to vote either, but it doesn't seem unreasonable to me for the person to have to wait until they have completed their sentence.  

    It's the states that take away a felon's voting rights permanently or make them hard to restore after they've completed their sentence that I have a problem with.

    McCain's latest robocall: 4 more years! (none / 0) (#21)
    by Ben Masel on Tue Feb 19, 2008 at 12:57:07 PM EST
    Even nsames "President Bush." What nincompoops.

    Filed complaint about my polling inspector (none / 0) (#26)
    by Cream City on Tue Feb 19, 2008 at 04:07:09 PM EST
    Daughter and I went to vote at our polling place, wearing small Clinton stickers on our coat lapels, went through the usual confusion (our pollworkers, bless them, tend to be hard of hearing and with weak eyesight, so there is much loud exchanging of names, addresses, etc., until they find any of us on the lists . . . and then they tend to forget to give us both polling tickets and ballots, until one calls us back, etc.) and cast our votes.  

    As we were leaving, past the room for voting, into the hall of the building, and almost out the door, the polling chief inspector (that's the title) stopped us (and we were in a hurry, both to get to work) and chastised us for "candidate buttons," telling us not to wear them when voting again.  Daughter was embarrassed and upset -- and she had gone through work rescheduling, traffic problems, etc.,  to come vote with her mom, our tradition but meaning even more to her (and me) today.

    Btw, we had noted someone wearing a t-shirt for another candidate -- as it happens, the one most likely to win our congressional district -- who was not stopped and lectured, that we saw.

    So I called the state elections board and was told that what constitutes "electioneering" is left up to chief inspectors at polling places. I asked for the part of the law so open to interpretation, and I was led to the online election day manual.  It states that in the event that voters are wearing campaign buttons or t-shirts, they are to be allowed to simply vote and leave . . . and only if voters begin "electioneering" vocally or the like are they to be stopped, lectured, etc.  The state worker agreed that our polling inspector crossed the line and was out of line.

    So I called the Milwaukee elections board and filed a complaint, saying that I did not want to see any other voters -- and especially young voters like my daughter, as we are close to a campus -- discouraged or dealt with in any way that would take away from what, for many, will be their first experience in going to the polls.  The city worker agreed, and I am to get a callback.

    Now I am tempted to go back to the polls to observe whether, as it seemed, only some candidates' supporters are singled out. . .  All this quite minor, compared to larger problems at polling places that we have seen in past here, but a little caution with overbearing pollworkers may go a long way.

    It happens (none / 0) (#34)
    by blueaura on Wed Feb 20, 2008 at 11:11:29 AM EST
    Something similar happened to me in Chicago a few years ago. I was wearing a button or sticker. . . I can't remember for whom since I don't remember what election it was.  Most likely Gore or Kerry.

    Anyway, I was asked to remove it by one of the judges. I don't remember if it was a Democrat or Republican judge (they are labeled as such here, and it was a general election). I didn't think much of it, but she was reasonably polite about it.


    no snow here (none / 0) (#27)
    by TChris on Tue Feb 19, 2008 at 04:09:44 PM EST
    Cold yes, but everyone is used to that.  At least in southern Wisconsin, the sky is blue and sunny and it isn't snowing.  Most roads aren't icy, so there's little reason to think that the weather will have an impact on voter turnout, at least in Madison and Milwaukee.

    Rural folks have Carharts. (none / 0) (#30)
    by Ben Masel on Tue Feb 19, 2008 at 05:00:34 PM EST
    Elderly, tho, will be deterred. Guy at my polling place was asking if he could take ballots back for 86 and 90 year old sisters in his building. Just accross the street, but not doable on ice.

    Weather, etc. (none / 0) (#32)
    by noonan on Tue Feb 19, 2008 at 06:56:58 PM EST
    I was #1 at my precinct today. By the time I was done voting, there were 10 more waiting.

    By the afternoon, I was taking my seniors up to our in-school polling station to show them the process and allow eligible voters to vote (if they were so inclined). They were averaging 100+ voters an hour for a two-precinct station.


    NE WI Youth Vote (none / 0) (#31)
    by noonan on Tue Feb 19, 2008 at 06:45:24 PM EST
    Obama has the youth vote locked down up here. My Seniors overwhelmingly picked Obama in my mock primary today, and did the same thing last semester, before the media hype hit.

    Looking at my former students, within my Facebook network, 1 die-hard Clinton supporter and the most of the remaining 500+ are for Obama. They are primarily St. Norbert & UWGB, although all state colleges are represented.

    Don't know if you're still here Ben, did you get into the big shindig on Saturday? I know you said you would protest outside if they didn't show up for the FISA vote. I was 10' from Herb, I wanted to smack him upside the back of his dome for how he voted, my wife wouldn't let me.