I'm a Wisconsin native. Born and bred until I moved away to college in 1979. I'm very proud of my home state's progressive tradition, from Fightin' Bob LaFollette to Senator Bill Proxmire to Gov. Lee Dreyfus (Republican governor who signed one of the first statewide gay and lesbian anti-discrimination bills, more than 25 years ago) to my grandfather, former mayor of Racine. Wisconsin politics is in my blood, you might say.
So I follow the state's votes very, very closely. I'm a numbers freak. German, Virgo, gay accountant. Can you say anal?
So anyway, I was a tad nervous about today's vote in the Badger State. Not really for my candidate (I'm a former Edwards supporter, switched and voted for Obama in the CA primary.) So if not for my candidate, why was I skittish? Follow me after the jump and I'll give you some numbers that should make every Democrat proud today.
I was nervous because I know that Wisconsin, despite all of its progressive tradition, also has a tendency to be a very, very split vote when comparing Democratic to Republican totals in presidential elections. So I was keen on how big the Democratic turnout would be vs. the Republican turnout. I wanted to get a clue as to whether Wisconsin was trending red or blue, if you will.
For instance. In 2000, Gore carried Wisconsin by 0.22%. Look at that number again...zero point two two. Too close for my blood, but that is where the state has been in the last two presidential elections. Don't believe me? Take a look at 2004. Wisconsin was the single closest state that Kerry won. 0.38% margin of victory.
So I think it is worth looking at turnout tonight in Wisconsin, to get a clue as to whether there has been any perceptible movement.
Total Democratic popular vote today: 1.1 million, in a state with a total population of 5.6 million souls, and that isn't just adults...that's total population.
Total Republican turnout today:395,000. That's it.
Oh yes, I know, McCain has it sewn up, they weren't motivated, blah, blah, blah.
Me? I'm taking that 700,000 vote difference in my homestate, and I'm gonna sleep a bit better on that tonight.
Well done, Wisconsin! Forward!