Saturday, November 8

Presidentail Elections and Wisconsin

Seriously. Of the bleak Wisconsin is the bleakest. Take a look at this map from USAToday.

It is easy to see that Wisconsin has the highest number of counties that switched from Rep in '04 to Dem in '08. These are scattered all across the state but heaviest in the north eastern part of the state. Also look at the closest contested counties. A huge percentage are located along Wisconsin's western half and spilling over into eastern Minnesota a Iowa.

Several reasons why I think this happened. Wisconsin politics is about being different and innovative even maverick. Now that might seem like a perfect Wisconsin fit for McCain but the element he was missing was the community rather than individual political tilt. Wisconsin is different in that it shuns many libertarian individualistic ideals for community and religious ideals. Taking party out of the mix, Obama fit that mold much better than a McCain or Hillary. As a Republican candidate, Huckabee would have run much better in the state even if he probably would have done worse across the nation.

The solution? When Tommy Thompson won the state and Bush almost took the state twice they emphasized their comitment to both conservative ideals as well as social concerns like education, inner-city poor, and welfare. They had distinctly conservative approaches (welfare to work, vouchers) but their empathy was real and felt. McCain was just too cold.