Wednesday, November 3, 2010

2010 midterms - a look back

It's interesting how things can look so different just by changing the perspective. Nationally, the Republican wave didn't surge as much as it could have. It was still pretty powerful, (taking back the House with a significant majority and evening up the Senate) but it wasn't quite the tsunami that it could have been.

Here in Wisconsin, however, it was quite a different story. Two House seats went from blue to red (a third, WI-3, nearly fell in what was, going in, considered a safe seat for the Democrats), the governor's mansion will be occupied by Republican Scott Walker, Wisconsin's junior Senator is now a conservative business owner from Oshkosh, and the State Assembly and the State Senate switched to a Republican majority. The last time the Assembly, Senate, and Governor all switched parties in the same year, you have to go back to 1938.

All that is a good thing. Perhaps we can get the big spending under control now. While I know that Mr. Walker and Mr. Johnson know that if they don't do what they promised, we will replace them with someone who will. Hopefully the State Assembly and Senate get the hint too.

The most confusing thing though, is what's coming out of the WI-4. For those that don't know, the 4th is basically the city of Milwaukee and as strong a lock for the Democrats as any district in the country. In this election, Gwen Moore was challenged, rather strongly as it turns out, by local business owner Dan Sebring. At first glance, the 69-30% win for Moore is what you would expect in a race that wasn't heavily backed by GOP money. However, all doesn't seem to be kosher. After Mr. Sebring posted on his Facebook account last night that he would not be conceding due to what he called "irregularities" in the vote counting. I took a bit of time myself and dug a little deeper.

Granted, I do not have access to the numbers of same day registrants, but basing the vote totals for the Senate race and the number of registered voters in Milwaukee county as of October 20th, it began to look a bit fishy. According to my numbers, 63.5% of Milwaukee county registered voters turned out to vote. Now, there was a VERY high turnout in the south suburbs, but that also is a cause for concern because those areas also voted heavily for Ron Johnson and Scott Walker. Cudahy, St. Francis, South Milwaukee and a segment of West Allis are a part of the 4th. According to JSOnline's map, those areas also voted pretty strongly for Walker and Johnson. I would tend to believe that they would have voted for Sebring as well.

That leaves us with the city of Milwaukee. Sure, Republicans tend to do very poorly here, but even still, there were irregularities. Again, according to JSOnline's maps, Aldermanic districts 11 and 13 leaned significantly to Walker. You would think that those voting Walker would vote Sebring as well.

So what does this all mean? Could it be possible that all this evidence only accounts for 30% of the vote? Sure, it's possible, but unlikely. That is probably the reasoning behind Mr. Sebring's official protest of the election's results. Thee has already been one account of illegal actions by poll workers (an inner city poll worker said to a voter, "Let me show you some of my favorite candidates"), who's to say there wasn't more?

It looks like it will be quite a while until the dust settles in this one. If you are interested, go ahead and follow Mr. Sebring's Facebook account. I'm sure that it will be very interesting...

No comments: