Go to HHH home page.
Smart Politics
 


Wisconsin Republican Primary Results Mirror Illinois in Modern Era

Bookmark and Share

The Badger and Prairie States have voted for the same Republican presidential candidate for 11 consecutive election cycles, with a victory margin differential usually within single digits between the two states

wisconsinseal10.pngEven though the call for Rick Santorum to get out of the race for the Republican presidential nomination from analysts and the GOP establishment seems to be getting louder each week, a new CNN poll released Tuesday finds a clear majority of GOPers nationwide would like to see the former Pennsylvania U.S. Senator remain in the hunt.

And now, with Mitt Romney expected to lock up big victories in Maryland and Washington, D.C. next Tuesday, what suspense remains on April 3rd can be found in Wisconsin - another key Midwestern battleground state in which Romney hopes to eke out yet another win.

Since the 1970s, Wisconsin has generally held its primary a few weeks later than Illinois - doing so in eight of 10 cycles (1972, 1976, 1980, 1984, 1988, 1992, 2000, 2008) with Illinois holding its GOP primary a month later during the inconsequential 2004 cycle (when George W. Bush ran unopposed) and the two states holding their contests on the same day in 1996.

Two trends stand out from a comparative analysis of the primaries in these two Midwestern states over the last five decades.

First, due in part to the two states generally holding their contests on the back half of the primary schedule (when frontrunners have frequently amassed near insurmountable leads), Wisconsin and Illinois have backed the same Republican candidate for each of the last 11 cycles dating back to 1968 - all 11 of whom became the party's eventual nominee.

The neighboring states both voted for Richard Nixon in 1968 and 1972, Gerald Ford in 1976, Ronald Reagan in 1980 and 1984 (unopposed), George H.W. Bush in 1988 and 1992, Bob Dole in 1996, George W. Bush in 2000 and 2004 (unopposed), and John McCain in 2008.

Mitt Romney hopes his victory in Illinois a week ago can once again serve as a blueprint for Wisconsin voters.

The former Massachusetts governor carried the Land of Lincoln by 11.7 points over Santorum on March 20th - two weeks in advance of Wisconsin's contest.

Not only have Illinois and Wisconsin voted for the same candidate during this 40-year span, but they have done so by nearly the same margin in all but two of these cycles.

The difference in victory margin between the two state's GOP presidential primaries has been less than eight points in every cycle since 1968 with the exceptions of 1988 (55.7-point difference) and 1996 (23.8 points).

The large gap in 1988 is easily explained.

In between Illinois' primary on March 15th and Wisconsin's primary three weeks later on April 5th, George H.W. Bush's chief challenger, Bob Dole, suspended his campaign. As a result, Bush's 18.7-point victory in Illinois ballooned to 74.4 points in Wisconsin for a 55.7-point differential between the two states.

That leaves 1996 - the only cycle since the first presidential primaries in 1912 in which both states held their contests on the same day (March 19th).

On that day, Dole trounced Pat Buchanan in Illinois by 42.3 points, but Buchanan came within 18.5 points in Wisconsin. This is the only cycle since 1968 in which there has been a notable difference in the two states with the frontrunner's chief challenger still in the race.

By contrast:

· In 1976, Gerald Ford beat Ronald Reagan by 18.8 points in Illinois and by 10.9 points in Wisconsin three weeks later (a 7.9-point gap between the states).

· In 1980, Reagan carried Illinois by 11.7 points over John Anderson and was victorious by 9.8 points in Wisconsin over George H.W. Bush two weeks later (a 1.9-point gap).

· In 1992, Bush won Illinois by 53.9 points over Pat Buchanan and carried Wisconsin by 59.3 points three weeks later (a 5.4-point gap).

· In 2008, John McCain beat Mike Huckabee by 18.9 points in Illinois and 17.7 points in Wisconsin two weeks later (a 1.2-point gap).

McCain had suspended his campaign in his 2000 run on March 9th - before both Illinois (March 21) or Wisconsin (April 4) voted (although the two states still voted almost identically once again, with Bush winning by 45.9 points in Illinois and 51.1 points in Wisconsin).

Follow Smart Politics on Twitter.

Previous post: Full House: Santorum Presidency Would Have 2nd Most Children Under 18 in White House History
Next post: Will Rick Santorum Win 20 States?

1 Comment


  • Mitt Romney - The Candidate To Unite Republicans and America

    Mitt Romney is uniting the republican electorate, restoring a sense of patriotism in America and taking our message of change to Washington that represents the mind and will of “We The People”.

    The Republican party and America needs a proven leader like Mitt Romney who will defend our rights , our values, our freedoms, our country and inspire Americans to “Believe In America”.

    Mitt Romney led the 2002 Olympics in Salt Lake City and has once again in 2012 demonstrated the same leadership on the campaign trail ready to lead the Republican party to victory.

    It is now time for Republicans, the tea party folks, libertarians, conservative media and all Americans to rally behind Mitt Romney and stand united ready to defeat Pres. Obama in the November general election.

    United We Stand!

    “We The People” video
    http://www.youtube.com/watch_popup?v=JVAhr4hZDJE&vq=medium#t=19

  • Leave a comment


    Remains of the Data

    Which States Have the Longest and Shortest Election Day Voting Hours?

    Residents in some North Dakota towns have less than half as many hours to cast their ballots as those in New York State.

    Political Crumbs

    No 100-Year Curse for Roberts

    Defeating his Tea Party primary challenger Milton Wolf with just 48.1 percent of the vote, Pat Roberts narrowly escaped becoming the first elected U.S. Senator from Kansas to lose a renomination bid in 100 years. The last - and so far only - elected U.S. Senator to lose a Kansas primary was one-term Republican Joseph Bristow in 1914. Bristow was defeated by former U.S. Senator Charles Curtis who went on to win three terms before becoming Herbert Hoover's running mate in 1928. Only one other U.S. Senator from the Sunflower State has lost a primary since the passage of the 17th Amendment: Sheila Frahm in 1996. Frahm was appointed to fill Bob Dole's seat earlier that year and finished 13.2 points behind Sam Brownback in the three-candidate primary field. Overall, incumbent senators from Kansas have won 29 times against two defeats in the direct vote era. (Curtis also lost a primary in 1912 to Walter Stubbs, one year before the nation moved to direct elections).


    The Second Time Around

    Former Republican Congressman Bob Beauprez became the seventh major party or second place gubernatorial candidate in Colorado to get a second chance at the office when he narrowly won his party's nomination last month. Two of the previous six candidates were successful. Democrat Alva Adams lost his first gubernatorial bid to Benjamin Eaton in 1884, but was victorious two years later against William Meyer. Democrat Charles Johnson placed third in 1894 behind Republican Albert McIntyre and Populist incumbent Governor David Waite but returned as the Fusion (Democrat/Populist) nominee in 1898 and defeated GOPer Henry Wolcott. Gubernatorial candidates who received a second chance but lost both general elections include Democrat Thomas Patterson (1888, 1914), Progressive Edward Costigan (1912, 1914), Republican Donald Brotzman (1954, 1956), and Republican David Strickland (1978, 1986).


    more POLITICAL CRUMBS

    Humphrey School Sites
    CSPG
    Humphrey New Media Hub

    Issues />

<div id=
    Abortion
    Afghanistan
    Budget and taxes
    Campaign finances
    Crime and punishment
    Economy and jobs
    Education
    Energy
    Environment
    Foreign affairs
    Gender
    Health
    Housing
    Ideology
    Immigration
    Iraq
    Media
    Military
    Partisanship
    Race and ethnicity
    Reapportionment
    Redistricting
    Religion
    Sexuality
    Sports
    Terrorism
    Third parties
    Transportation
    Voting