Here are the final results of last night’s primary contest, and presumably a variant of this[***] will end up on Democratic political operatives’ desks across the breadth of Wisconsin:
Note that that total does not include the almost 20K of ‘Republican’ votes accumulated by ‘Republican’ Arthur Kohl-Riggs, given that the use of square quotes in both cases is justified.: he’s not a Republican, and neither were his supporters. And let me make this one point: Kohl-Riggs demonstrates why I don’t really believe in strategic opposite-side voting and/or Operation Chaos-style shenanigans. I am not convinced that such things worked, and yesterday’s results seems to back me up on that. Yes, I know that Republican spoiler Isaac Weix came in second in the LT-GOV primary recall (which is why nobody on the Left is bring that race’s total voters up); but I should note that he did not, in point of fact, actually win.
So. Let’s look at what happened, shall we?
What happened was that yesterday we had two primaries. The Democratic primary was supposed to be an enthusiastic, multi-candidate affair with clear differences (from a Democratic perspective, at least) between them; it was also being energetically fought, with the primary underdog (Falk) supposedly having still having broad financial and logistical support. That should have translated to ‘high turnout’ – especially since supposedly the Democrats are all selling what Wisconsin wants to be buying.
Meanwhile, the Republican primary was… an annoyance. Scott Walker was going to be the nominee; the only reason why he had a challenger in the first place is because progressives thought that it made good agitprop*. And I believe that Walker’s was the only Republican primary that night. And all of that should have translated to ‘low turnout.’ Which would have been fine; incumbents often have sparsely populated primaries. I was personally expecting Walker to end up ahead of any one candidate, and to get somewhat less votes than the top two combined (Barrett & Falk). For that last scenario, Walker being ‘behind’ by anything less than 100K wouldn’t have concerned me.
Instead? Walker ended up ‘losing’ to the entire Democratic field by less than 44K votes, and ‘beat‘ Barrett/Falk by almost 7.5K. This happened because of one of two things: either Walker voters are very motivated – which is to say, motivated enough to participate in a token primary race – or Democratic voters are not very motivated (please note that the final number of recall signatures was almost 901K**). The Left will be doing their level best to push back on either interpretation, because either interpretation is disastrous to their recall hopes. But watch their actions, not their words:
The three losing Dem guv candidates will join nominee Tom Barrett in Milwaukee for a unity event, the state party has announced.
Given that the news before the election was that Barrett couldn’t be bothered to attend a previously-announced Unity rally on the Capitol steps, this is interesting news. As is the fact that the rally now has to be outside Barrett’s house; it would be cruel for me to note that this represents a somewhat desperate, unprepared scrambling for a half-suitable emergency venue.
This represents a somewhat desperate, unprepared scrambling for a half-suitable emergency venue.
Moe Lane (crosspost)
*Spoiler warning: it didn’t.
**The difference between the number of petition signers and the number of Democratic voters is of interest. Then again, as I noted on Twitter last night, it could rather easily be explained by the minor detail that recall signers could only vote once.
[***I've had it pointed out to me that: Huber was our spoiler candidate for the Democrats; and that there are reports that a significant portion of Falk voters were supposedly Republicans. I note the first, and look askance at the second; however, neither really helps the Democrats, anyway.]