Originally published in Red Racing Horses.
Previews will be split into two groups today: previews of the recall
elections in Wisconsin in one post and the other primary contests in the
Turnout looks to be strong, set to exceed 2010 although not approaching the record levels seen in 2008. The Government Accountbility Board anticipates 60-65% turnout, up from 50% in the 2010 gubernatorial race but down from 69% in 2008. Turnout is high in both Dane (as high as 75%)
and Milwaukee counties, Barrett strongholds. Nevertheless, Republican
stronghold Waukesha also has strong turnout. While unions and Democratic
activists are passionate about their cause and have conducted huge
amounts of canvassing, the Wisconsin GOP phonebank operation, with
outside assistance from Americans for Prosperity and the RGA, should
minimize any turnout edge for Democrats.Walker has consistently polled
at or just below 50%, giving him the decisive edge in this contest.
has to do well among a number of groups: women, union households,
Milwaukee and Dane County, youth and minority voters. These groups are
anticipated to vote for Barrett by large margins, but turnout is the big
question- excepting Dane County, some of these constituencies don't
have the best turnout in non-presidential elections. Same-day
registration helps with the youth vote (now home from college).
has to build his margins and turn out loyalists in Waukesha, which
appears to be happening. Northern Wisconsin is also strong for him, as
are large chunks of the Milwaukee suburbs.
Independent Hari Trivedi's support should be nonexistent. Expect 1% and little impact.
sides are already building their narrative to explain defeat. There are
a variety of fears about fraud. Republicans are angry about letters
sent by a group allied to the recall effort listing which years
neighbors voted in, which some felt was an invasion of privacy (though
all public information). Liberals, meanwhile, are complaining about
robocalls of unknown origin telling voters that if they signed the
petition to recall Walker, they do not need to bother to vote. Others
are focused on Waukesha County, where in a recent state Supreme Court
race reporting of results was haphazard. All of these perceived
instances of fraud and malfeasance will be focused on by whoever emerges
Beyond this, both sides have hired numerous lawyers in
preparation for a recount- a wise idea with such a (nearly) evenly
also four state senators and the Lieutenant Governor Rebecca
Kleefisch up for recall. In general, the Lieutenant Governor, who faces
the head of the state firefighters' union, is not anticipated to face a
different fate than Walker- there is little reason to anticipate
strategic voters splitting their gubernatorial tickets.
State Senate, three of the four races are projected to be won by
Republicans, with a fourth more or less tossup. SD 13 and 29 should be
relatively safe. Majority Leader Scott Fitzgerald has received a pass in
13, with little outside help going to Democratic nominee and activist
Lori Compas. Nevertheless, Compas has run a strong effort independent of
such help, which will at least help the Barrett effort. In 29,
Democratic nominee Donna Seidel has been more disappointing, failing to
gain traction against Republican nominee Jerry Petrowski.
incumbent Terry Moulton (R) faces Democrat Kristen Dexter, who defeated
Moulton in a State Assembly seat in 2008. The race is more competitive
than 29 or 13, but Moulton has the edge.
21 is the most difficult
race to predict, incumbent State Senator Van Wanggaard (I am not looking
forward to typing that name over and over tonight) faces Democrat John
Lehman. Over $1 million has been spent in this race in traditionally
swingy Racine. Polling from PPP has shown the race to be in a dead-heat.