Go to HHH home page.
Smart Politics
 


Wisconsin Eyes Just Fourth Plurality Winner in GOP Primary Since 1912

Bookmark and Share

Republican primary and caucus victors have reached the 50 percent mark just six times in 29 contests in the 2012 cycle, down from 10 at this stage in 2008

wisconsinseal10.pngWhether or not Rick Santorum scores one of his patented 4-5 point surges in the closing day heading into the Wisconsin primary, the winner of Tuesday's high profile contest is probably not going to reach the 50 percent mark.

That, of course, would not be unusual for the 2012 cycle, with winners of just one-fifth of the 29 state primary and caucus contests held to date recording more than 50 percent of the vote: Nevada, Virginia, Idaho, and Massachusetts for Mitt Romney and Missouri and Kansas for Santorum.

That number is down from 2008, in which winners in 10 of the first 29 state contests emerged with a majority of the vote: Nevada, Maine, Massachusetts, Colorado, and Utah for Romney, Connecticut, New Jersey, and New York for John McCain, and Kansas and Arkansas for Mike Huckabee.

At this point in the 2008 cycle, McCain had notched 50 percent of the vote in just three of the 12 states he had won, compared to four of 16 for Romney in 2012.

With four candidates still in the race - even with the pull on the electorate by Ron Paul and Newt Gingrich loosening - reaching 50 percent has been a challenge for both Romney and Santorum.

Then again, if one of the candidates had emerged as a consensus favorite in the voters' eyes, perhaps there would not be four candidates left in the race in the first instance.

As for Wisconsin, just three of the state's 25 previous GOP primary winners failed to reach the 50 percent mark, with Romney or Santorum slated to become the 4th in the 26th such contest Tuesday:

· In 1948, former Minnesota Governor Harold Stassen defeated Douglas MacArthur by 5.4 points in the Badger State with just 39.4 percent of the vote.

· In 1952, Ohio U.S. Senator Robert Taft was victorious over California Governor Earl Warren by 6.8 points with 40.6 percent of the vote.

· In 1980, Ronald Reagan defeated George H.W. Bush by 9.8 points with 40.2 percent of the vote.

Only four other Wisconsin primary winners failed to reach the 60 percent mark: favorite son Robert La Follette in 1920 (52.8 percent), Gerald Ford in 1976 (55.2 percent), Bob Dole in 1996 (52.3 percent), and John McCain in 2008 (54.7 percent).

The GOP primary winner has averaged 75.6 percent of the vote in Wisconsin over the last 100 years, with an average victory margin of 59.3 points.

Romney reached 46.7 percent in his win in neighboring Illinois two weeks ago. Wisconsin and Illinois have voted for the same Republican White House hopeful in each of the last 11 electoral cycles dating back to 1968.

Follow Smart Politics on Twitter.

Previous post: Will Rick Santorum Win 20 States?
Next post: Country Strong: Santorum Still Flexing His Muscles in Rural America

Leave a comment


Remains of the Data

Gender Equality in the US House: A State-by State Quarter-Century Report Card (1989-2014)

A study of 5,325 congressional elections finds the number of female U.S. Representatives has more than tripled over the last 25 years, but the rate at which women are elected to the chamber still varies greatly between the states.

Political Crumbs

Final Four Has Presidential Approval

By edging Michigan in the final seconds Sunday, the University of Kentucky guaranteed that one school in the Final Four this year would be located in a state that was not carried by President Barack Obama in 2012. (Connecticut, Florida, and Wisconsin had previously earned Final Four slots over the weekend). Across the 76 Final Fours since 1939, an average of 3.1 schools have been located in states won by the president's ticket during the previous election cycle. All four schools have come from states won by the president 29 times, with the most recent being the 2009 Final Four featuring Connecticut, Michigan State, North Carolina, and Villanova. On 30 occasions three Final Four schools have been located in states won by the president, with two schools 11 times and only one school six times (the most recent being 2012 with Kansas, Kentucky, Louisville, and Ohio State). There has never been a Men's NCAA Division I Final Four in which no schools were located in states carried by the president's ticket.


Three for the Road

A new Rasmussen Poll shows Wisconsin Governor Scott Walker in a dead heat with likely 2014 Democratic nominee Mary Burke. Walker is seeking to win his third consecutive election after prevailing in 2012's recall contest. Eight of his predecessors accomplished this feat: Republicans Lucius Fairchild (in 1869), Jeremiah Rusk (1886), Robert La Follette (1904), Emanuel Philipp (1918), John Blaine (1924), Walter Kohler (1954), Warren Knowles (1968), and Tommy Thompson (1994). Three others Badger State governors lost on their third campaign: Democrat George Peck (1894), Progressive Philip La Follette (1938), and Republican Julius Heil (1942). One died in office before having the opportunity to win a third contest (GOPer Walter Goodland in 1947) while another resigned beforehand (Democrat Patrick Lucey in 1977 to become Ambassador to Mexico). Overall Wisconsin gubernatorial incumbents have won 35 of 47 general election contests, or 74.5 percent of the time.


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