Go to HHH home page.
Smart Politics
 


How Big will Barrett Score in Dane and Milwaukee Counties?

Bookmark and Share

Holding 2010 totals constant for the state's other 70 counties, Barrett would need to carry 75.1 percent of the vote in Wisconsin's two most populated counties to beat Walker on Tuesday (up from 64.1 percent in 2010)

tombarrett10.jpgThe Wisconsin Government Accountability Board estimated last week that turnout in the state's gubernatorial recall election Tuesday could hit an astounding 60 to 65 percent, from somewhere between 2.6 and 2.8 million voters.

Turnout in 2010 was only 49.7 percent, or 2.1 million voters.

Underdog Democratic challenger Tom Barrett will obviously have to improve his 2010 numbers across the state's 72 counties in order to score an upset victory over Republican Governor Scott Walker.

No doubt part of his recipe for success is a particularly large turnout in the state's most populated counties, Dane and Milwaukee, where Barrett tallied his second (68.0 percent) and third (61.6 percent) best showings in the state nearly two years ago respectively.

(Barrett also won 77.9 percent of the vote in sparsely populated Menomonee County and 61.6 percent in Ashland County).

Presuming, for the moment, that turnout patterns increase equally across all counties in the state in the recall race, and presuming that the Barrett/Walker county splits hold constant from 2010 in the other 70 counties, how big a share of the vote does Barrett need to snag in Dane and Milwaukee Counties to win the election?

In 2010, more than a quarter of the votes cast in the gubernatorial race came from Dane and Milwaukee Counties: 561,290 out of 2,160,832 total votes, or 26.0 percent.

Barrett carried these two counties by a 64.1 percent to 35.1 percent margin, netting 162,781 votes on Walker.

Walker meanwhile won the rest of the state by 287,419 votes, for a final victory tally of 124,638 votes.

Estimating voter turnout on Tuesday in the middle of the Government Accountability Board's projections at 2.7 million, that would mean 701,612 votes will be cast in Dane and Milwaukee Counties.

Looking at the Barrett-Walker splits from 2010 across the state's 72 counties with the new turnout model, Barrett is operating at a deficit of 153,900 votes that he needs to make up, or 1.409 million to 1.256 million statewide.

To make up those 153,900 votes in Dane and Milwaukee Counties, Barrett would have to increase his vote share from 64.1 to 75.1 percent (526,683 votes out of 701,612 cast), or a 17.2 percent increase, while Walker drops to 24.1 percent (169,316 votes).

Note: The model also presumes independent candidate Hari Trivedi captures approximately the same total as 2010's three third party candidates for governor.

Of course, the truth is, Walker does not need 75.1 percent of the vote in these two counties.

For if he increases his vote tally to even 68 or 69 percent in Dane and Milwaukee Counties he will undoubtedly be increasing his tally from 2010 in many of the state's other 70 counties - whether he won them or not in the last cycle.

Then again, it is also possible that turnout in either or both of these two counties could theoretically be much higher (or lower) than the rest of the state vis-à-vis the 2010 race.

So, while the numbers above do not reflect a predictive model, they nonetheless capture a rough gauge of the baseline from which Barrett will need to improve in order to have any chance at victory Tuesday evening.

The converse is also true: if Governor Walker improves on his 2010 best performances in Washington (75.0 percent) and Waukesha (71.5 percent) Counties, then his chances of building upon his 2010 margin of victory also likely increase.

Follow Smart Politics on Twitter.

Previous post: Wisconsin Poised to Extend Competitive Gubernatorial Election Streak
Next post: Scott Walker's Victory by the Numbers

Leave a comment


Remains of the Data

Plurality-Winning Governors Elected At Century-Long High Water Mark

The rate of gubernatorial candidates elected without the support of a majority of voters is at its highest level since the 1910s.

Political Crumbs

Seeing Red

Congressman Nick Rahall's failed bid for a 20th term in West Virginia this cycle, combined with a narrow loss by Nick Casey to Alex Mooney in Shelley Moore Capito's open seat, means that West Virginia Democrats will be shut out of the state's U.S. House delegation for the first time in over 90 years. The Republican sweep by two-term incumbent David McKinley in the 1st CD, Mooney in the 2nd, and Evan Jenkins over Rahall in the 3rd marks the first time the GOP has held all seats in the chamber from West Virginia since the Election of 1920. During the 67th Congress (1921-1923) all six seats from the state were controlled by the GOP. Since the Election of 1922, Democrats have won 76 percent of all U.S. House elections in the Mountain State - capturing 172 seats compared to 54 for the GOP.


Home Field Advantage?

When the 114th Congress convenes in a few days, Maine will be represented by one home-grown U.S. Representative: Waterville-born Republican Bruce Poliquin. With the departure of Millinocket-born Mike Michaud, who launched a failed gubernatorial bid, the Pine Tree State was poised to send a House delegation to D.C. without any Maine-born members for the first time since 1821. Three-term U.S. Rep. Chellie Pingree (born in Minnesota) coasted to reelection as expected, however Poliquin edged Kentucky-born Emily Cain by 5.3 points to keep the streak alive. Since 1876, a total of 208 of the 222 candidates elected to the nation's lower legislative chamber from the state have been born in Maine, or 94 percent.


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