Tuesday, April 05, 2011

Wisconsin Nightmares

I'm following the Wisconsin Supreme Court race, widely seen as a preview of the emerging Democratic recall threat. Unfortunately, I don't know the state well enough to offer much independent analysis -- I'm reliant on Swing State Project for that (and the AP for up to date results). One thing I do know is that the vote patterns seem to be tracking the 2004 Presidential election very closely. For those of you who don't remember, Kerry beat Bush in Wisconsin ... by .4%. Yeah, this is going to be a long night.

One thing that intrigues me about Wisconsin -- Minnesota is the same way -- is that the suburbs are, far and away, the most conservative parts of the state. Prosser is racking up massive margins in Waukesha County, outside Milwaukee. Why is that? In Maryland, Montgomery and PG County are huge Democratic strongholds, and the inner-ring NoVa suburbs are key blue regions in Virginia as well. Are we the weirdos, or is it a Midwest thing?

UPDATE: Dave Weigel has been doing some good 2004 vs. 2012 side-by-sides. Kloppenberg (D) appears to be barely outperforming Kerry in the counties measured. But all these counties are ones that Kerry ended up winning -- no word if Prosser is outperforming in more conservative regions.

UPDATE #2: SSP has also been observing the huge numbers coming in from Waukesha County and other Milwaukee suburbs. But it observes that something seems off about them -- the turnout is monstrous; not "we're really excited about this race" high, more "it's illegal not to vote" high. And while, hey, maybe that's what's up, another option is that the numbers are overstated (not because of fraud or anything, just the denser precincts have already reported, and the more sparsely populated ones are yet to come). If that's not the case -- well, we might just be screwed.


Christopher Meyer said...

DC, NYC, SF & Boston are so thoroughly blue that their suburbs are blue strongholds as well. But those are definitely the exceptions to the rule; the suburbs lean conservative in almost every other metro in the country. And even in those four ultra-blue metros, the suburbs are still substantially more conservative than the central city.

The only other outlier I can think of is Miami, due its Cuban population. (It's the only large central city in the whole country represented by a Republican.)

demonwhatdares said...

Yeah, provincial exceptions aside, suburbs are traditionally conservative. Ever hear of white flight? The goldwater revolution? Any U.S. history of the last half-century?

Anyone? Bueller?

Christopher Meyer said...

The other thing I was going to say is that what's so interesting about MN & WI is that our rural areas are so moderate. I guess they just have robust populist traditions that managed to survive into the 21st century.