Archive for June 6th, 2012
Folks, former D Senator John Lehman claimed victory last night in the District 21 Wisconsin state Senate recall race over current R Senator Van Wanggaard, as I wrote earlier. But as I’ve had a comment from someone who believes this particular race is nonsensical due to Walker winning the overall Racine County race, I thought I’d give a few more numerical particulars as I’ve already explained the case to vote against Van Wanggaard many times on this blog. (Click on the “Recall Van Wanggaard” category and you’ll find many posts explaining why I believed District 21 voters should first recall Wanggaard, then replace him.)
First, here’s an article by the Mount Pleasant Patch that shows the final vote totals. They have reported thusly:
The final vote totals were posted after 1:30 a.m., and by 2 a.m., district-wide unofficial results stood at:
- Wanggaard: 35,476
- Lehman: 36,255
As you see, there were 71,731 votes cast. Lehman leads by 779 votes. This is a margin of slightly over one percent.
How can this be when Racine County, overall, went for Scott Walker and Rebecca Kleefisch (as Gov. and Lt. Gov., accordingly)? Simple. The City of Burlington, which is heavily Republican, is not a part of the current District 21 boundaries. So they could play no part in this particular recall race, though they did play a small part in re-electing Bob Wirch to the District 22 seat last year (as Burlington is in 22 until November, 2012).
Also, according to unofficial reports, John Lehman won the City of Racine by a 2-to-1 margin. Van Wanggaard won the rest of Racine County, but not by enough of a margin to retain him.
And, finally, the City of Racine went out in record numbers — an 80% turnout has been estimated, which dwarfs any previous election including all Presidential elections. Which helped Lehman gain the advantage he needed.
In short — the City of Racine votes heavily Democratic. The county of Racine usually votes Republican. Keep Burlington, which is heavily Republican, out of the equation (as they’re not yet part of District 21), and you have a victory for John Lehman.
Oh, yes — if you’re really that keen on the history of Racine recalls, there are two other posts you need to look at that will explain this result. First, check out my commentary about the 1996 recall race between R George Petak and D Kim Plache here. Or take a look at a recent post where I discussed Milwaukee Journal-Sentinel writer Craig Gilbert’s analysis (a very, very good analysis) here.
Former Senator John Lehman, D-Racine, has declared victory tonight after apparently defeating Republican incument state Senator Van Wanggaard in the June 5, 2012, District 21 Senate recall race in Racine. But as this is a close election, where about 800 votes separates Lehman from Wangaard, I’m only willing to say that Lehman is ahead, though it looks very unlikely that Wanggaard will be able to best Lehman due to there being only one ward remaining in Mount Pleasant — with that ward being unlikely to have 800 votes total within it (much less all 800 potential votes going to Wanggaard).
Here’s the latest report from the Racine Journal-Times:
Note the link says “Wanggaard in a razor thin lead” but the article itself says, “Lehman Claims Victory.”
Here’s a bit from the article:
As of press time, former state Sen. John Lehman, D-Racine leads state incumbent Republican Sen. Van Wanggaard, with 34,834 votes to Wanggaard’s 34,038 votes, according to unofficial results with 59 of 60 precincts reporting. One Mount Pleasant precinct had yet to report. (numbers bolded by Barb Caffrey)
With there being an approximately 800 vote discrepency, this is not within the 1% margin where the state would pay for a recount — Wanggaard’s campaign would have to request one, and they would have to pay the bill.
Should this result hold up, this means the state Senate will be controlled by the Democrats, 17-16, as Wanggaard will have been recalled and replaced via election. But as all votes will have to be verified later today in a process called a “re-canvass,” this result could still change.
Once again, I’ll keep you posted.