Walker won with rural votes?
No matter how huge their margins in Milwaukee and Dane counties, Democrats can’t win statewide if their geographic base is as narrow as it was June 5, when Tom Barrett won only 12 of 72 counties and only six outside the state’s southern tier.
Wisconsin has long had an East-West partisan divide, with Republicans stronger in the East (excluding Milwaukee) and Democrats stronger in the West.
But this race featured a North-South divide as well, thanks in part to what happened with rural voters.
The rural vote is generally up for grabs in big Wisconsin elections.
It went Republican by modest margins in the ultra-close 2000 and 2004 presidential races. It went Democratic for governor in 2006 and president in 2008, according to exit polls.
But in the 2010 governor’s race, Walker won rural voters by 20 points. And on June 5, he won them by almost 30 points (64% to 36% in the exit polls), the biggest margin in any race for governor or president in Wisconsin since the 1990s.
One of the hardest things to know about elections is: when does something pretty unusual constitute a trend? And when is it just something pretty unusual?
I understand farmland values are increasing in WI. Taxes? Actual policy choices?