• WisPolitics


Monday, April 4, 2011

 9:56 PM 

Local turnout could impact Supreme Court race

Poll watchers say they’ll be watching turnout in left-leaning Dane and Milwaukee counties to help get a hand on whether incumbent Justice David Prosser is in trouble in tomorrow’s Supreme Court election.

Interim Dane County Clerk Karen Peters is projecting county-wide turnout as high much as 45 percent. What's more, Peters is expecting city of Madison turnout as high as 60 percent.

Peters said absentees in the county are already as high as the rates for a presidential election. Going back to 1996, Peters said the highest turnout she found in an April election was 31 percent.

Susan Edman, executive director Milwaukee Election Commission, is expecting turnout of about 25 percent, much higher than the typical 10 percent to 12 percent turnout the city sees for April elections.

The continuing battle over Gov. Scott Walker and GOP legislators' changes to collective bargaining to state employees have given a jolt to Dem voters and have goosed support for Prosser challenger JoAnne Kloppenburg, with "Prosser=Walker" a common refrain on the left.

While passions may be running high in Dem areas, there are some signs the mood in GOP areas is gloomy, though Waukesha County Clerk Kathy Nickolaus is predicting turnout in the 35 percent range due to a contested circuit court race and other local races. She also cited heavy media coverage of the Supreme Court race as a turnout driver.

Republicans agree that Prosser needs huge turnout in collar counties of Waukesha, Washington and Ozaukee to survive.

There is also a contested county exec race in Outagamie, pitting former GOP State Treasurer Jack Voight against former Rep. and Dem lt. guv nominee Tom Nelson, and a GOP primary for former Rep. Mike Huebsch's La Crosse-area seat that might push turnout. School referendums in 27 communities will also drive voters.

There are also special election primaries in two Assembly districts vacated by Walker appointees.

There is a 7-way GOP primary in the heavily GOP 60th AD in southeast Wisconsin, formerly held by Mark Gottlieb, who Walker appointed as transportation secretary. Two Dems are also vying for the seat.

In the western Wisconsin 94th AD, formerly held by DOA Secretary Mike Huebsch, there's a five-way GOP primary and a two-way Dem primary.

There is no primary in the 83rd AD formerly held by Rep. Scott Gunderson, who left the Assembly for a executive assistant spot at DNR.

OTHER KEY BALLOT ITEMS

**Brown County executive
Andy Nicholson
Troy Streckenbach

**Racine County executive
Ken Hall
Jim Ladwig

**School referendums over $10 million:

Racine: Total of $128.5 million on three referenda questions
River Falls $38.9 million
Johnson Creek $29.2 million
Nicolet UHS $10.8 million
Medford $10.6 million
New Glarus $10 million

See all the referendums:
http://www2.dpi.state.wi.us/sfsref/ref_Home.aspx

-- By Greg Bump

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