State Election News: Romney wins Wisconsin primary, looks ahead to NovemberWisconsin News
-- Mitt Romney and Rick Santorum equally split the conservative vote in yesterday’s Wisconsin GOP primary. Romney won the state’s total vote by five-percent over Santorum.
Mitt Romney and Rick Santorum equally split the conservative vote in yesterday’s Wisconsin GOP primary. Romney won the state’s total vote by five-percent over Santorum.
But in a statewide exit poll, 43-percent of those identifying themselves as very conservative went for Romney – and another 43-percent chose Santorum. Edison Research surveyed almost 2,100 Wisconsin voters as they left the polls yesterday. Almost four-of-every-10 primary voters said they chose the person most likely to defeat President Obama in November, and Romney got two-thirds of the support in that group. Another 22-percent said strong moral character was the most important factor, with Santorum scoring the best. Fifty-five percent said the economy was the most important issue, and Romney was selected as the best to fix it. The exit poll showed that Romney was the most trusted to handle health care, despite Santorum’s constant criticism of Romney’s health package in Massachusetts when he was that state’s governor. Romney also scored the best among Wisconsin senior citizens and those making over 200-thousand-dollars a year. Almost four of every 10 state residents who make less than 30-thousand went for Santorum. Eight-of-every-10 state primary voters thought Romney would go on to take the GOP nomination. And 79-percent said they would vote for Republican Governor Scott Walker in his June recall election.
The state Justice Department says it will probably appeal a recent federal court order to re-draw two Assembly districts in Milwaukee. And if the state appeals, an attorney for Democrats who filed the original redistricting lawsuit says he’ll probably appeal as well. The state and the plaintiffs filed differing proposals yesterday over how they believe the Eighth-and-Ninth Assembly Districts in Milwaukee should be drawn up. Justice Department spokeswoman Dana Brueck says a state appeal will hinge on what the final districts look like. Three federal judges will draw them up. And if the state appeals, Doug Poland – an attorney for the Democratic plaintiffs – can challenge the boundaries of other legislative districts that were upheld by the judicial panel. Those districts were drawn and approved by majority Republicans last year. The U.S. Supreme Court hears all redistricting appeals, and they cannot reject those cases. One point of disagreement involves the ethnic makeup of the Hispanic districts. The Justice Department says all adult Hispanics should be considered in the new mapping – including illegal immigrants who cannot legally vote. The plaintiffs say only U.sS citizens should be counted in the new districts. State Government Accountability Board director Kevin Kennedy is not taking sides – but he wants the issue settled in plenty of time for the fall elections, starting with the partisan primaries on August 14th.
State Assembly Democrat Mark Radcliffe is the latest to announce that he’s leaving. The Black River Falls lawmaker says four years is enough, and he won’t run for re-election this fall. As part of the state’s redistricting plan, Republicans placed Radcliffe in the same district as his fellow Assembly Democrat Chris Danou of Trempealeau. Radcliffe said the redistricting played a role in his decision – but even if it didn’t happen, he said he might not have run again anyway. He said his family has been talking about his plans for the last couple of months. The 40-year-old Radcliffe says it’s time to “give someone else a chance.”
Voters in Dane County have overwhelmingly called for a return to collective bargaining between state-and-local governments and their union employees. By a 2-to-1 margin yesterday, voters approved an advisory referendum stating that employees should quote, “have the right to seek safe working conditions and fair pay through collective bargaining.” Supporters of the referendum said it would send a strong message to whoever’s elected in the governor’s recall contest in June. Dane County is the home of state government – and therefore, the home of tens-of-thousands of state workers. They took pay cuts after most of their bargaining privileges were eliminated last year, and they were ordered to pay more toward their pensions and health care. Republican Governor Scott Walker said the measures were needed to get rid of a state deficit while avoiding employee layoffs.
State officials have posted searchable databases showing the names of those who signed recall petitions – and they identify which signatures were challenged or stricken. You’ll find them on the Government Accountability Board’s Web site, but you’ll only be able to search by name. Addresses are not included. The original petitions have been posted since January, and they have the signers’ addresses – but they’re not searchable. The Board voted last Friday to post the new information. You’ll find it at GAB-Dot-WI-Dot-Gov. The panel certified just over 900-thousand signatures for a recall vote against Republican Governor Scott Walker, and 809-thousand against Lieutenant Governor Rebecca Kleefisch. In each case, about 30-thousand signatures were stricken for various reasons. Databases for four state Senate recalls have also been posted. Tea Party groups have had a searchable database up for several weeks, but only for the Walker petitions. Journalists used that database to report that 29 Wisconsin circuit judges signed the petitions for the Walker recall vote. Some other public officials also signed, along with some employees from news organizations.