Tuesday, November 2, 2010

A huge change in Kenosha County?

For decades being a Republican in Kenosha County was an exercise in futility.  Democrats had a lock on things, except perhaps in the rural Assembly district where Samantha Kerkman, despite an aggressive challenge from Democrat Steve Brown, easily won reelection. 

That was then.  Take a look at "now."

The Republican hurricane hit Kenosha County, to be sure.  Look at the race for governor:

Candidates Votes %

Walker/Kleefisch (REP) 24246 50.92%

Barrett/Nelson (DEM) 22835 47.96%

Not only did the GOP carry Kenosha County in the governor's race, it also picked up the bulk of the votes for U.S. Senate despite the fact Senator Russ Feingold's sister in a Kenoshan:

Candidates Votes %

Ron Johnson (REP) 24596 51.55%

Russ Feingold (DEM) 22514 47.19%

Now I've always felt that people who cast straight party ballots in rote fashion have succeeded, at a minimum, in checking their brains outside the door of citizenship but the tale of straight party ballots in Kenosha County is telling:

Candidates Votes %

Democratic (DEM) 11197 49.88%

Republican (REP) 11113 49.51%

While Democrats still outpaced Republicans in terms of straight ticket ballots in Kenosha County, the difference is statistically miniscule.  Granted the GOP picked up a boost from protest votes -- the extent of which can't be assessed now -- but for a county where the GOP for so long was a virtual non-entity, these numbers suggest that the union-sustained lock on Kenosha County voters may well have been broken.


Village People said...

Let's just hope that whoever is in office can now get something accomplished. Tired of all the empty promises and now's the time to demonstrate you can do what you said or we'll just see another turnover shortly.

Dad29 said...


In Waukesha County, for the first time in 30+ years, I voted 'straight Party' (R).

This year it wasn't hard: Republicans ran as though they had principles. Maybe that's true, for a change.

RAG said...

How do I respond, Dad29?

I would expect no less from Waukesha County or you...lol...but seriously the point was that here in Kenosha County the "one party rule" may have become a thing of history. Taken in the intended context that's huge.

I don't know if anyone really had principles. I think Walker's message was much clearer and more definitive than Johnson's. And I certainly wasn't sure what Barrett's message was, if there was one. I'm also surprised that Feingold blew a chance to respond to Johnson about the deficit, i.e., a chunk of it can be attributed to the war.

That said the deficit is a major issue for voters and more than one exit poll ranked the important issues as first, deficit reduction, second, jobs and, a somewhat distant third, taxes. I was a bit surprised by the latter but one friend summed it up by saying that rather than having a tax cut, as he's not seeing the $$ now it might as well be used to buy down the defecit. Interesting point.

My take on Johnson is that he had a good core message but didn't show any depth beyond that. Even his victory speech was all over the boards. I kept thinking over the weekend that we already have one millionaire senator who isn't a Washington heavyweight. From a pure Wisconsin perspective, Feingold probably was the better choice this time. Both he and Kohl have seniority which is huge on the hill, especially as the Dems were likely to hold the Senate along with the White House (for now). As a freshman minority party senator Johnson won't count for much and does Wisconsin need two millionaire lightweights?

Dad29 said...

Oh for crying out loud...

First off: Barrett is the very DEFINITION of the "enthusiasm gap."

On to Feinie:

He is the #2 or #3 most Lefty US senator. He's so far to the Left that even Herb Kohl couldn't bring himself to push hard for him. That's saying something.

And even that COULD be forgiven, if he wasn't in favor of human butchery. But he is, emphatically; so to say that he's "good for Wisconsin" betrays a very serious flaw in your definition of "good."