Wednesday, February 20, 2008

Primaries, 'Sconsin Style

I was wondering how long it would take before the media noticed the real story of the 2008 primary season, but apparently today is the day. Madison's Capital Times ran a piece today about the disparity in turnout between the two parties:

[W]hen the votes were counted, the turnouts in the Democratic and Republican primaries were dramatically different.

More than 1.1 million Wisconsinites voted in Tuesday's Democratic primary between Obama and Clinton.

Only around 400,000 Wisconsinites voted in the Republican primary between McCain and Huckabee.


More than 73 percent of Badger State voters who went to the polls Tuesday voted for a Democrat, while less than 27 percent voted for a Republican.


The Democratic trend was so lopsided that, while Clinton lost badly in the Democratic primary — trailing Obama by a 58-41 margin — she still got more votes than were cast for all the candidates in the Republican primary.

So, that's significant, but where I live, it got even better:

In some isthmus wards of the city of Madison, the Democratic bias bordered on the surreal; for instance, in Ward 34, which votes at O'Keeffe Middle School, a total of 1,974 Democratic ballots were cast compared with a mere 55 Republican ballots.

That'd be the missus and myself in with that 1,974. Lordy, McCain's 29 votes barely beat Kucinich's 22, and he dropped out a coupla weeks ago. Ron Paul and Mike Huckleberry got 12 apiece and Kitten Mittens Romney had to settle for 2. (Complete Dane County results are available online.) The new voter registration tables were busy all day long, all over the state.

But that may not have been the worst of it for the GOP:

In Ripon, the Fond du Lac County home of "The Little White Schoolhouse" where the Republican Party was founded in 1854, Republicans almost always win by comfortable margins. In November 2004, for instance, George Bush beat Democrat John Kerry by a 3-2 margin. Yesterday, however, Democratic primary turnout beat Republican voting by a 2-1 margin.

So who did Ripon favor on Tuesday?

The likely nominee of the Grand Old Party, John McCain, won 346 votes to 240 for his conservative challenger, Mike Huckabee. Democrat Hillary Clinton had 451 votes. And the winner of the birthplace of the Republican Party, with 789 votes — far more than the combined total for the GOP contenders — was Barack Obama.

This should be interesting.

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