From Edison Research’s exit polls in Wisconsin (via The New York Times), we have a clearer idea this morning of why Wisconsin Gov. Scott Walker prevailed over a recall effort led by Democratic challenger Tom Barrett.
Here’s the key question from the exit poll data:
Photo: New York Times
The numbers in the left column are Scott Walker votes. The right column is the tally of Barrett votes.
First, for all the political cliche from “turnout is everything,” it played a huge factor in Walker’s win. You can see that 47 per cent of the people that turned out yesterday were Walker supporters in 2010. Only 34 per cent were Barrett supporters.
The other key was that Barrett didn’t get nearly the amount of new support he needed. Only 13 per cent of the electorate — a rough calculation of just more than 300,000 people — were new voters to this election. They supported Barrett by an 8-point margin, but it wasn’t enough to overturn the vast amount of support from the Republican base.
Now, let’s take a look at the key counties we pegged last night with the help of Marquette Law School pollster Charles Franklin.
Milwaukee: 63.2 per cent Barrett (62 per cent in 2010)
Dane: 69 per cent Barrett (68 per cent in 2010)
Rock: 55.8 per cent Barrett (53 per cent in 2010)
Waukesha: 72.4 per cent Walker (71 per cent in 2010)
Washington: 75.6 per cent Walker (75 per cent in 2010)
Ozaukee: 71 per cent Walker (69 per cent in 2010)
Brown: 60 per cent Walker (56 per cent in 2010)
Both beat their goals in those counties, but like Franklin said, Barrett needed even more support from his base in those crucial three Democratic counties of Milwaukee, Dane and Rock.
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