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Wednesday, April 6, 2011

Why Kloppenburg's Win IS a Big Deal!

Update on the Kloppenburg/Prosser Supreme Court race in Wisconsin:

As most of your know, on Thursday (yesterday, April 7, 2011), the Republican Clerk of Waukesha County in Wisconsin, one Kathy Nickolaus, announced that she had somehow forgotten to add 14,000 votes from the town of Brookfield, Wisconsin, into the vote counts she reported early Wednesday morning.  As Brookfield, Wisconsin, is an overwhelmingly conservative, Republican burg, those 14,000 votes were cast overwhelmingly in favor of the conservative incumbent, David Prosser, thus giving him the lead by about 7,500 votes.

Vote canvassing and auditing continues, and there is still talk of a recount. We will all have to wait and see what happens as a result of this "miscounting".  (I will comment on the particular situation involving Ms. Nickolaus in a separate blog entry a bit later.)

Though the numbers used below will have to change should Waukesha's updates be found to be correct, most of this article still holds:

Kloppenburg, an unknown liberal Democrat, came from a 20-odd point deficit a few weeks ago to glean a vote count within one half of one percent of the long-time conservative incumbent Prosser.  But, as my fifth grade teacher used to say, "Almost never got there", and that is never more true than in elections.  But it's only just begun, and Kloppenburg did carry 19 more counties that controversial conservative Republican governor Scott Walker carried in November.    

This article as originally written:

Right now Wisconsin Supreme Court candidate Joanne Kloppenburg is winning the race with a mere 204 vote lead.  It is likely that the Republican incumbent, David Prosser, will request a recount, so it isn't over yet.

Many Republicans are trying to devalue the importance of Kloppenburg's win.  "It's only 204 votes," they say.  No, Republicans and baggers, it is much, much more than 204 votes.  And some Democrats are concerned that this vote was too close; they feel that Kloppenburg should have won by a lot more.  

Below, two very cogent and clear descriptions of the importance of this election and explanations of why a victory of a mere 204 votes is much more than it seems:

From "Cinnamonape" at Huffington Post:
"Just some interestin­g number crunching to show what this means. Prosser won the non-partis­an collective Primary in early February with 55% (247,500 votes). Kloppenbur­g only had 25% (112,500 votes).By all sane estimates Prosser would have won in a landslide again. Kloppenbur­g wasn't a particular­ly attractive or charismati­c candidate, lacked anywhere near the experience of Prosser, and lacked the benefit of incumbency­. In fact she was easily painted as someone on the left, where a centrist candidate might be viewed as more electable.
But then Walker, Fitzgerald and their crew began to wreak havoc with their budget reform plans....a­nd although Prosser wasn't even directly involved with those events,anyone associated with Walker became a  lightening rod.
As you can see from the above Kloppenber­g, a 30% underdog, rallied from that deficit to, apparently­, defeat the heavy favorite.
But there is even more to the story. The run-off resulted in a tripling of voter turnout (from 450,000 to almost 1.5 million).
Looking at this in terms of just "new turnout".  Prosser was able to mobilize 492,500 more voters to support him besides those that showed up to the original primary. But Kloppenbur­g brought out 627,500 more voters than voted for her in the Primary. That means that while Prosser brought out 2 new voters for every one in the Primary, Kloppenbur­g brought out 5.5 for every one voter supporting her in the primary!
This is a stunning turn-aroun­d in a short two months.. ­and the only thing that explains it is the failure of the Wisconsin Republican­s to govern in a manner that befits "Represent­atives of the People." "

From "Forward Progressive" also at Huffington:

I'm tired of people saying "I'm upset the victory margin wasn't higher" if you looked at what Joanne was up against you should be ecstatic if she even won by one. I'll spell it out here....
1.) it's a spring election, traditiona­lly very low turn-out which typically is good for Republican­s (Prosser)
2.) She was out spent by prosser. (he spent 1.8 million and she spent 1.2)
3.) He's an incumbent, typically harder to beat an incumbent.
4.) She was a virtual no-namer to, us, Wisconsini­tes 6 weeks ago
5.) Prosser was supposed to be "untouchab­le" to any challenger
This is a HUGE victory, stop demeaning it.


  1. Thanks -- I didn't know any of that.

    I will keep an eye on this blog, I do love to learn stuff.

  2. Thanks! Please follow this blog.. Sometimes I publish a lot, sometimes not so much.

  3. The sun is shining! O! HAPPY DAY!

  4. Indeed, Edward. Thanks for your comment!

  5. Thanks for the info, Molly. I'm a friend in the Huff, but just found your blog. I've programmed for over 40 years, but am pretty computer-illiterate by today's standards, so hope I can figure this blogging thing out.

    My main concern about this election is that 2/3 of the people still did not vote. I know the turnout for this type of election was very good, but the common people must realize that the popular vote is the only power we have, and we must use it any time we can.

    I'm in Mass now, and most of the time my vote is meaningless, but I would not have been able to live with myself if I had not gone out and voted against Scott Brown. Hopefully we'll correct that mistake in the next election.

    Wisconsin has become the location of the new "shot heard 'round the world" and I hope ya'll will keep up the good fight. Good luck, and thanks. The nation needs you to succeed.

  6. Hi Neil, Thanks for stopping by and thanks for your comment!

    I started programming about 40 years ago as well, but I switched gears when my son was born a couple of decades back.

    In view of the "surprises" in Waukesha county since I wrote this article and you posted your reply, your comment cannot be more appropriate: More and more people need to understand how important their vote is, for this and every election. Too many people are either apathetic, lazy, or, more likely, overwhelmed by the issues and the choices, or simply too oppressed and depressed to vote.

    I grew up in a "culture of voting". I remember going to the polling place with my Mom, and I remember taking my toddler son into the voting booth with me. Too many kids don't have those experiences.

    We all have our work cut out for us, and the comments from various conservatives and right-wingers at Huff and at other outlets make it really clear what we are up against.

    Thanks again for stopping by!


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